October 21, 2009

Paranormal Appliance Activity

I have the perfect maid. She cleans whenever I tell her to and she never misses a spot. She never complains and she doesn’t steal anything. She never comes late or calls in sick. She never snoops through my underwear drawer, and she never asks for a raise. She is perfect, and her name is Roomba. Roomba was given to me by my friend Anne, who obviously thought that my housekeeping skills sucked badly enough to warrant such a gift. Regardless of the reason, I love Anne and I love my Roomba. At first I wasn’t sure about her. She required alot of instruction and set-up, she refused to do steps, and she was a bit rude and pushy. My son had his own issues with her. He thought she was creepy, and when she went in circles she made him dizzy, but he eventually got used to her as well. I have had her for about 1 1/2 years now, and she has always cleaned like a champ.

The other day, I sent her off to work her magic as usual, and she did a great job, but stopped before she was finished. When I came into the living room to check on her, she was taking a little siesta. I found this odd, since she is usually such a hard worker. I picked her up and told her that she had been doing a good job and in a creepy, GPS lady voice she said, “Please change Roomba’s filter!” At this point I screamed and almost dropped her on my toes! After 1 1/2 blissful years together, I thought I knew Roomba well, but never, in all that time has she ever spoken to me. The most she has done is make a few beeps and play a little pre-cleaning get into the groove music. That is it! I called a friend of mine who has her own Roomba, and asked her if it has ever spoken. Nope. Never. I looked through my instruction manual and could find no mention of Roomba even having a voice. This was freaking me out, and to make matters worse, nobody will believe me! I admit that I have been known to imagine things, like the time when I was 8 and I swore I saw a guy walking an alligator on a leash, or when I was 10 and I thought my nice old neighbor had chopped his wife’s head off and put it on the window sill (a very lengthy investigation ensued), but this was not one of those cases. I SWEAR MY ROOMBA SPOKE TO ME!

Last night, at about 11:00 PM, Steve and I were both on the edge of sleep when I heard a cough. “Was that you?” I asked him. “No, but I heard it too” he said. “Oh my God!” I said, “I think it was Roomba! She told me to clean her filter! In 1 1/2 years she’s never asked me for anything, and this one time, she takes every ounce of battery life she has remaining in her shiny little round body, just to ask me to clean her filter, and what did I do? Instead of cleaning her filter, I chose to watch tv and (surprise!) drink wine. Now I think she has caught a bad case of asthma. Is that even contagious?” Of course Steve, being a man as well as someone who has been conditioned to tune out my endless ramblings and freak-outs, had already fallen into a deep and loudly snoring sleep. There was no way I was gonna sleep. My mind was racing with thoughts of Roomba. I tried to think of something that could explain what was going on. Unfortunately, I came to the frightening conclusion that my Roomba was possessed.

I went out last weekend to see approximately 98 minutes of pure terror called “Paranormal Activity”, and I was (and still am) living in an extremely heightened state of fear. I admit that I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since subjecting my eyes to that nightmare 5 days ago. That movie has convinced me that possession is a very real possibility, and that there is definitely a good chance that my beloved Roomba has fallen victim to some evil spirit that is trying to do me in. So, I guess I will get on Google and try to find some kind of appliance exorcist to help me get my sweet, hard-working Roomba back. Maybe we can offer up a new “host” for the spirit to inhabit. Maybe it would be interested in my coffee maker or my toaster oven. On second thought, I love those appliances almost as much as I love Roomba, so maybe we can offer up Steve. It’s not like he cleans my floors or makes me toast or coffee in the mornings or anything. As a matter of fact, if the evil spirit promises not to snore, I am totally cool with this whole exchange. Hang in there Roomba! Help is on the way!

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