Tuesday, February 22, 2005


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.

1:05 AM.

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.

1:30 AM.


Oh my dear letter M.





At February 22, 2005 11:42 AM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

"M" is an important letter....glad you found it. That was a great post. I could completely picture the whole incident in the wee hours in the morning. I probably would have just called it a night when the vacuum sucked it up and tried to retreive it in the next day.

At February 22, 2005 8:40 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Thanks for the comment, JRA. Well, the laptop is basically my work life. I work as a software consultant and take my laptop to client sites almost every day.

At February 24, 2005 5:04 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Was it really that important to look for the key at 12:30 a.m.???

At February 24, 2005 5:04 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

And weren't your roomates disturbed with you vacuuming that late, anyway?

At February 25, 2005 12:37 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

Nag, nag, nag, nag.

And you are not even my girlfriend/wife.

At March 01, 2005 12:18 PM, Blogger Jaded Lady said...

I don't think we really realize the value of something as important as the Letter M until it is no longer there. Your post would not have made sense without considering that you used it over 60 times (I started to count, but finally gave up!) Glad that you retrieved it!

At September 13, 2005 7:16 AM, Blogger Michael the Forgiven said...

Thank you, David, for making me laugh out loud as I start another day, chained in my cubicle, listening to white, pink, and grey noise (wouldn't that combine to make noise the colour of decaying flesh).

Ah, but I am not here for my own sake. I am here to enhance shareholder value for the owners of this company. Oh wait, this is an employee-owned company. I suddenly feel EMPOWERED! Watch as I brazenly spring from my cubicle, boldly walk down the corridor, to fill my commuter mug with my favourite caffeinate beverage: flavourless office coffee!

Stop me before I type again!


At April 05, 2006 11:14 AM, Anonymous Pat said...

Next time put a nylon stocking over the nozzle of your vac. Anything that comes off will be trapped there. Works great for looking for your contact lens. Good Luck. Pat in MICH

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