[This originally appeared Aug. 30 of last year.]
Robotic vacuum cleaners are cute. The Internet is teeming with videos of my fellow cats riding them. To me, having help in keeping the floors clean seems to have no downside. That is what Jesse Newton of Little Rock thought until … he was up in the middle of the night trying to clean up something resembling “a Jackson Pollack poop painting.”
Dogs are behind all home disasters (my theory anyway), and this one started with the family puppy leaving an extensive late-night dump on a rug. The Roomba, as programmed, started its cleaning tour at 1:30 a.m. From Mr. Newton’s Facebook account, relayed by PJ Media, on how “it” happened:
“It will be on your floorboards. It will be on your furniture legs. It will be on your carpets. It will be on your rugs. It will be on your kids’ toy boxes. If it’s near the floor, it will have poop on it. Those awesome wheels, which have a checkered surface for better traction, left 25-foot poop trails all over the house. Our lovable Roomba, who gets a careful cleaning every night, looked like it had been mudding.”
But your nose would tell you otherwise, and Mr. Newton’s did, when his 4-year-old climbed into bed at 3:30 a.m. with a distinctive smell: “You’re not just using profanity — you’re inventing new types of profanity. You’re saying things that would make Satan shudder in revulsion. You hope your kid stayed in bed, because if he hears you talking like this, there’s no way he’s not ending up in prison.”
Wait, it gets worse: “Then you get out the carpet shampooer. When you push it up to the rug — the rug that started it all — the shampooer just laughs at you. Because that rug is going in the trash, folks. But you shampoo it anyway, because your wife loved that damn rug, and you know she’ll ask if you tried to clean it first. Then you get out the paper towel rolls, idly wondering if you should invest in paper towel stock, and you blow through three of four rolls wiping up poop. Then you get the spray bottle with bleach water and hose down the floorboards to let them soak, because the poop has already dried. Then out comes the steam mop, and you take care of those 25-foot poop trails. And then, because it’s 6 a.m., you go to bed. Let’s finish this tomorrow, right?”
The Roomba did not survive its trip to the bathtub, but there is a happy ending. Mr. Newton bought it from catalog merchant Hammacher Schlemmer, which graciously replaced it. Two other companies, Merry Maids and Clorox, reached out when they heard about the Facebook post. Kudos to all.