Against my better judgment, I grabbed my vacuum cleaner's wand and ran the brush on the keyboard of my laptop trying to get out the dust accumulated underneath the keys.
Even before I could gasp, the key bearing the letter M vanished into the wand's opening. "Oh BLIP."
The bagless vacuum cleaner is equipped with a dust chamber which needs to be evacuated every now and then. Of course it had been ages since it had been emptied, and the accumulated dust inside had been practically cemented and mineralized into a cinder block. Now before me was the task of having to fish out my key. The clock read 12:20 AM.
I took the dust chamber outside and dumped its contents on the patio ground. Of course the particles splashed all over my face leaving me gasping for air. I had no dusk mask, so I began the unenviable task of wading through the mound while trying to hold my breath. Considering how tiny laptop keys are, this was not going to be a slam dunk.
As any engineer would, I quickly formulated an algorithm to systematically attack the problem and to attain the goal of locating my key.
- Grabbed a plastic bag. Parts of the dust already checked went in there.
- My head facing away from the mound of dust so as to minimize inhalation of hazardous particles.
Well, Mr. Murphy decided to stick around and I failed to locate the key even after three rounds of carefully combing through the mound of dust. Looked inside the dust chamber. Nothing there. In the meantime, my lungs were practically incapacitated. I will die at least 2 hours ahead of schedule because of this.
Then the light bulb went on.
How about dousing the stack of dust with water inside a bucket and wading through the mess? That would keep the dust from flying around and I could actually see what I was looking through.
Oh my dear letter M.