I used to have a dog.
Now I have a rug.
The dog was a cocker spaniel.
The rug is a Royal Palace.
Sam, the dog, had the reign of the house.
The rug lies in the living room on the tile floor.
The dog shed all over the house.
The rug sheds continuously.
The dog stopped shedding when he died.
The rug never stops shedding though I’m certain it’s been dead for years.
When Sam the cocker spaniel was alive, I was continuously vacuuming his hair from anything and everything in the house. This included the carpet, the floor, the electronics, the fans on the back of the computers, the furniture, the wooden doors that looked like they were covered with shag carpeting, and the ceiling fans, though I was never sure how it or he got up there. I vacuumed the corners in the bathroom, the bedcovers, the lamp shades, the inside of sealed light fixtures, and the lint hose that runs from the dryer to the outside. I quit asking how a long time ago. It was part of having Sam in my life.
Sam lived with me for twelve years.
The rug has been here for about the same length of time, including the past four years without Sam.
I had Sam groomed every six weeks or so to keep his hair manageable.
I groom the rug at least once a week and its hair is never manageable.
If you happen to sit or lay on the rug, when you stand you look like you’ve been attacked by a herd of pink Persian cats that are all in shed mode. Just walking near it allows the jumping fibers to attach themselves to your clothes.
I have one of those bagless, super sucker, clean the world type vacuum cleaners. You can actually see the stuff you vacuum up in the bag less chamber. I empty the bagless chamber after each use. It still has been plugged with debris, stopped up with hair balls, choked by threads, and rendered sucker less, more times than the toilet, the sinks, and even Sam who was born with butt problems.
Shortly after I begin vacuuming the rug, a tornado of rug hair forms in the vacuum, spinning and growing with monumental speed. The size of the tornado has nothing to do with the length of time between when the rug was last vacuumed and now. The rug sheds the same amount or more every time I vacuum it.
If for some bizarre reason I have to use the hand tools on the vacuum to clean some area of the rug, the resulting vacuumed stuff wraps around the internal gizmos that run the hand tools. It continues to wrap until nothing can get through the hose. Not hair, not fibers, not threads, and especially not air.
I have a Royal Palace runner in the hall with the same pattern on it as the rug in the living room. It sheds too. It sheds continuously and with joy and abandonment. It is a happy rug. I am not a happy rug owner.
I’ve vacuumed enough rug hair from these Royal Palace fiber factories to weave at least three comparable rugs and runners. Sam shed, but he never shed enough to create a new cocker spaniel. Well, not one as hairy as he was.
Sand is the rugs best friend. When sand gets into the rug, the rug refuses to let it go. I can vacuum the rug for eight hours straight and still when I sit down on the rug, it feels gritty. Raising the rug does not reveal sand that has sifted through. The rug never learned how to sift.
I’ve considered taking the rugs outside and beating the living daylights out of them. I don’t have the energy to lift them. And besides, the rugs are already dead.
I’ve set up my video camera to record what goes on when I am not in the room. I thought I could capture the carpet fibers growing. I didn’t.
I thought about taking it outside and trimming it with the lawn mower. It was a passing thought. I know what happens to the grass once it is cut. I also know what happens to the hair on my legs after I shave. I’m having a hard enough time keeping up with the carpet without the fibers growing longer, faster and thicker.
I keep thinking one day the rugs will look as scalped as Sam did when he was ruled a “bad” dog by the groomer and had to be muzzled before he could be groomed. It hasn’t happened yet and muzzling the carpet does not keep it from shedding.
If this rug were hair on a man’s head, he and his barber would be giddy with delight, both of them knowing that baldness were beyond possibility.
I’ve seen threadbare rugs with bald patches on them, most of them selling in antique stores for huge sums of money.
Not so with these Royal Palace fiber monsters. The more they shed the nicer they look. I don’t think in my lifetime I could vacuum them enough to make them bare their threads. I on the other hand have bared my all because of them. To maintain some resemblance of order, I am forced to shed my black pants before entering the living room or walking down the hall. This has, on occasion, caused a few guests to wonder about my home life.
If it weren’t for the fact that I occasionally move the rug around, I would think that it had rooted and was now growing more fiber to replace what I vacuum up every week. Perhaps it is being supplied by RGF (rug growth factor) from some unknown source.
When Sam died, he got a special burial in the yard. If the rug dies before me, I’m burning it. If I die first its remains are being left to science. If they can figure out its mysterious growth ability, they might find the secret for reforestation, baldness, alopecia, unproductive infertile farms and spinach.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
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