About a month ago, we bought a Roomba, a robot vacuum that dances happily around the floor sucking up dirt and dog hair all by itself, and I must say, it’s been a game-changer.
We have 3 dogs who live inside. And one, a corgi, wins the gold medal in the fur-shedding Olympics. If I could figure out how to knit his sheddings into coats, I could clothe a third-world country a week. I’m serious. I think he grows 5 completely new sets of fur a day. He just walks through a room and it goes from hardwood floors to shag carpet.
The first few times the Roomba ran, it would stop every 10 minutes and inform us, in a sad, disappointed voice with a touch of fear, that its brushes needed cleaning. I think it really wanted to ask “what have I done to deserve this God-forsaken assignment,” but the folks at iRobot have wisely given it limited vocabulary.
Which is good, because the first time it ventured under the couch, I am pretty sure the Roomba wanted to unleash a string of profanities that would make a Dyson blush.
But eventually, with regular use, the little spinning robot actually began to win the battle on fur and dirt. It could run an entire cycle without needing its brushes cleaned. So then, I started scheduling it to automatically vacuum the living room every morning while we were still sleeping.
It worked beautifully. I awoke every morning to singing birds and pristine floors. The Roomba, its work done, had docked itself to recharge. I cheerfully emptied out its bin while I waited for my coffee to brew.
I thought we were all happy with this arrangement.
Then, this morning, as I sleepily lurched towards the door to let the dogs out, I stepped on something.
It had a weird texture, like bits of a brownie left out overnight. I couldn’t quite see it, so I walked over to turn on the light… and then the two horrifying things registered into my brain. Realizations of terror that will be there forever.
First, my nose woke up enough to recognize the horrific smell in the living room. Then, I realized that what my bare foot was standing in was, in fact, unequivocably NOT a brownie.
Then, I turned on the light.
And there, I saw the revenge of the Roomba.
Sometime in the night, one of the dogs had apparently come into the living room and left the gift of poop. Then, as we slept, the Roomba had gone to work with its spinning brushes. Finding the poop too big to devour, it instead spun it into poop confetti, whirring and flinging it around the living room with wild abandon.
I don’t like to use profanity on this blog, but the phrase “shit storm” has never been more accurate. The single poop left by the dog had been turned into a thousand, like Tribbles multiplying endlessly.
And in the midst of it, the Roomba. Its indicator light blinking ominously. When I pushed it, it said serenely “Error. Open Roomba’s brush compartment for cleaning.”
An hour’s worth of Swiffering, and disinfecting, and scrubbing later, the room was livable again. I cleaned the Roomba (you’re being spared details of this because I love you.) and plugged it back onto its docking station. And because it was still early, and I wanted to start Saturday over again, I headed back down the hall to bed.
And I swear, that’s when I heard the Roomba snickering.