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August 23, 2005


I am cleaning the house. Vacuuming everywhere. I am using a small shop vac, and I notice some additional lint under the water bed, stuck to the sideboards. As I lift the sheets to see what's under there I kinda swing my head and my ponytail gets SUCKED UP INTO THE INTAKE AIR OF THE VAC'S MOTOR! The whole vacuum cleaner is NOW STUCK TO THE TOP OF MY HEAD. And I can't see it.

First thoughts: Fire? Unplug immediately! OK. Safe. But no one is home. I am on the floor on my hands and knees and can't get up 'cause the weight is too great. So I decide to separate the motor from the dirt storage container. I now can see a filter full of dog hairs, lint and whatever else out of the corner of my eye. UCK! Need to get outside! Immediately!

So I carry the vac out, still attached to the top of my head. I find a mirror and am trying to see where my hair went, and how much is gone. I notice some screws. Cool! I get the battery drill and start dismantling the vac. Off goes the plastic protection thing. Now there's a shaft with a bolt. Off goes all that. Soon I am down to the plastic protection for the motor. I manage to somehow separate it and now there's wires. UCK! So I get the wire clippers and start cutting. Off goes the cord. Off go all connections, but the motor is still stuck to my head.

Now what? Lubrication!! I get baby oil. Lots of baby oil and pour it in the motor, but my hair will not budge. Hair conditioner! I pour that on too, and my hair still will not budge. So? I need a fork. I can fork it out! Ha ha! No good either.

After one hour with my arms in the air over my head, they are starting to shake and I am thinking my hair is no longer so important. So off it goes with a razor. Now I have the motor in hand and I can see there was NO hope. So back to work. . . .except I now do not have a vac.

-- Doreen Komocar


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I understand the same thing happened to Telly Savalas

"Nature abhors a ponytail."-Aristotle

that was funny, yet somehow poignant. no wait. it sucked.

Good one, insom! I love erudite literary references!

Wow! That's impressive!

I don't know too many women who could dismantle a shop vac to begin with. Dismantling one while it's attached to your head is a whole new degree of difficulty.

Hats off to Doreen! (Oh, sorry, Doreen. You'll probably want to keep yours on for a few weeks....)

P.S. You are planning to sue the shop vac maker for millions in damages and emotional distress, right?

This is why I leave the vacuuming to my husband, who has a military-style buzz haircut.

doreen komocar, accidental inventor of thispopular product.

Doreen, I feel for you. Something similar happened to my daughter, except it was one of those hamster ball things. She pried it open and gave the hamster a hug while the wheels on the bottom were still running. Hilarity and a haircut ensued.

But, she was three.

And no, my husband does not use a Hoover Dustette.

I hate to be the one to offer advice after the fact, but here tis. Roomba. Goes right under the furntiure--withyou you :)

Egad typo--without you.


Sorry, have to take UMBRAGE with your comment I don't know too many women who could dismantle a shop vac to begin with.. I personally have dismantled (and put back together) most of the engine of a 1986 Ford Ranger (yes, it still runs, out in the parking lot at work at this moment). A shop vac would be a piece of cake compared to that. Although cake is hard to get out of hair too.

A hearty THBBBBBT to you sir.

Wait... really?

This actually happened? Do we have proof?

And how did the neighbors not notice and offer help?

*clink* raises a toast to Swooshie *hoo-Yea!*

And, oh, please, next time put a Swallow Alert™ at the top of a post as hilarious as that!

yeah qetzal, i could dismantle a shopvac. you'd never get it back together, mind you. but i'm real good at demolition! vacuuming however, well that's not a skill i've acquired.

*beams in*

What is this thing called a vacuum of which you earth people speak?

Mrs. Swoosh... is that your turck running out in the parking lot?

Oh sh*t!!!

*runs from room screaming "Come back here you crazy truck!!!!* (as if it would listen)

WHEN will people learn to wear helmets while vacuuming so senseless accidents like this don't happen?!?!

If this story just helps ONE person, it will have been worth the mocha spewed all over my monitor and keyboard.

Why does this lady, whose name apparently infuriated the blog gods when I tried to post this comment moments ago, keep a bin full of dust, lint, doghair and assorted yuck stored in her shop vac?

Doreen should'a done this with her hair before she vacuumed.

You don't need a vacuum. Just use your ponytail to dust.

I've been agonizing over cutting my waist-length hair very short (I'm thinking Amélie short), and I think this woman's story has tipped me in the direction of going to the hairdresser and scheduling an appointment.

Marie, keep it long, but don't vacuum.

How old are you Doreen? If you're over 29, there's no excuse for walking around with horse hair. The vacuum cleaner was trying to tell you something.

And shaved heads are so ugly. Maybe you'll meet an ugly guy.

Ponytails? They're just long mullets tied up with a gay bow aren't they?

*removes all carpeting, hands Doreen a dustpan and broom*

Some people should just not operate machinery.

Mrs. S (fkaS),

I'm impressed again! Your 86 Ranger still runs after you put most of the engine back together. What did you do with the left over parts?

Obviously I don't know the right women. Or enough women.

P.S. Sorry to hear you're on UMBRAGE. Is that for something chronic? Hope it's covered by your insurance.


A good lawyer could get about 1.5 million dollars for her, I mean there aint no sticker on my vac warning me of sucking up my hair. on the other hand I am not stupid......

Poop Dogg, I don't understand. How would painting a sea life mural on her head have helped prevent such a tragic hair-related accident?


Doreen, thank you! That was the best story I've read in a while, and, well, the screen is washable. Dismantling a vacuum you can't see while it's stuck to your head... I am in awe.

For the people who asked about neighbors: oh come on, would you want to admit this to people you see every day? And if you didn't mind admitting it, would you really trust them with your head, your hair, and the hardware stuck fast against your scalp? Not me, no sirree, no way, no how.

Look at Doreen's do (not doo) in the photo. She's bundled her ponytail on top of her head, so it doesn't get in the way.

Ya, it really happend. We are just happy it wasn't the BIG VAC!

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