An excerpt from my forthcoming autobiography:
There were days when I began to doubt my decision to declare the vacuum cleaner off limits to the rest of the family, days when I secretly missed the excitement of never knowing what would turn up inside its twisting and lint-clogged recesses. Miniature weapons, spiral notebooks, international currency: it was like finding a spy novel buried in a landfill.
I never did figure out how they did it. They vacuumed everything in their path, never stopping until the vacuum did. It was a landscape of forgotten toys, half-eaten snacks and dirty laundry. We went through so many vacuum cleaners in those years.
Then one day it came to me as clearly as if it were written in the flowing black ink of my favorite uni-ball Impact 1.0 mm gel pen: They had vacuumed up one of my favorite pens again and there was nothing I could do but dismantle the hose and clear the clog, releasing a cloud of dust that would have to be vacuumed a second time.
It was, as they say, one of those ah-choo moments...