The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Daniel Will Harris

The Sandoval Signpost (Web edition) is pleased as punch (diet punch that is) to bring you the humor and insightful human observations of Daniel Will Harris, author of My Wife and Times. —Ed].

doesn't have to suck

By Daniel Will Harris

I like to vacuum. Most men do, if they'll admit to it. There are two reasons why: the first, and most important, is that it involves a machine with an engine. The second is that men are visually motivated animals, as can be readily seen by the magazines we read. Vacuuming is a highly visual pursuit with the kind of instant gratification we men go for.

I mention this because life is really about how you package and sell things and ideas. Men normally don't confess to liking vacuums, but if someone would just package vacuums correctly, they'd be as macho as sports cars and BBQ grills.

If I were the CEO of a vacuum cleaner company I would revolutionize male-pattern-vacuuming by introducing the "riding vacuum." Like the popular "riding lawnmower" this would turn the vacuuming into a vehicle, thereby ensuring its popularity with men.

I'm sure they'd be *so* popular that men wouldn't even allow their female mates to touch the vacuum. "Honey, it's a sophisticated piece of machinery, better leave it to me." Following that success, I'd introduce the riding washer/dryer.

In the mean time, we v-men will have to content ourselves with the biggest, heaviest, loudest silver, red, or black vacuums we can find, with the magic word "turbo" in the name.

I also recommend the bag-less "cyclone" models. First of all, "cyclone" just sounds macho—it makes me imagine those flying cows in the movie Twister. Next, as a man, I can say that while men might change the oil in a vacuum cleaner (if that was possible), we will *never* change a bag because that smacks of housework. Also, these bag-free models have big clear windows that show us how much stuff we've collected and we find this almost embarrassingly exciting. What can I say, it's a primal thing.

Now, I tend to go overboard with these things, but it works for me, and might work for you. My black v-machine (sounds way cooler, doesn't it) has a racing stripe, and a large silver number on it. Mine is #12, for the amps in the motor. "Amps" sounds manly, doesn't it? No? Say it with a sneer and it will.

Next, I recommend getting one of those Tyvek jumpsuits (it's what Fed Ex envelopes are made of). I got mine at the hardware store and it's supposed to be for painting, but if you stick on a few sponsor logos, like Valvoline, Pennzoil, and Rogaine, it becomes a cool (and machine washable) racing suit.

Of course, since you're operating heavy equipment, you should consider protective eye wear to complete the effect. Avoid *tinted* goggles, however, as this can lead to collisions and broken lamps.

One tip for the ladies: Whatever you do, never point out something a man missed. You might think you are helping him, but he will inevitably look at it as criticism, get mad, and very well may never use the v-machine again. I'm *not* kidding here.

Guys: Once your V's tricked out, if you start to get bored with flat surfaces, try going off-road—tackle the stairs, that's a real challenge. And get yourself a stop watch so you can have time trials and compete to break your own world's record.

There's a whole untapped market here! I could sell instructions and cones for setting up indoor courses. I could sell small colored pieces of fabric that racers have to suck up to prove they followed the Phase II house-to-house course (complete with a triathalonic outdoor run segment). Then I can charge people for memberships, so they can set up their stats online, and challenge other v-racers to competitions, where the winners get listed as top seeds and losers are known as "suckers."

I can see this going national, then international, with sponsors such as Fantom, Dyson, Hoover, Eureka, Dirt Devil and Viagra. Next come the V-Games. Then all remains is turning it into an Olympic eligible sport!

You laugh now—but just wait 'till you are watching the Survivors challenge where they have to vacuum up Roo doo and the winner gets our new V-Pro model with a built in tent!

It's all how you market it. You can make what you do into a chore people want to avoid, or a game people look forward to. And now if you have a great idea it's even easy to get started, with resources like for accepting credit cards and to sell items with your genius logo on them.

There are lots of opportunities people haven't thought of yet. And lots of ways to freshen up and expand on things that seem old and tired. This applies to your site, too, and how you present your products or services. You can make it all corporate and dull and boring. Or you can present it in an *appealing* way that interests people.

Gentlemen, start your vacuums.



My Wife and Times by Daniel Will HarrisIf you would like to read more fabulous stories such as Moms Online, you need Daniel Will Harris’s My Wife and Times. The 148 page book contains stories that are conveniently short, perfect for bedtime reading, or between airport friskings. Price: $15 postpaid and is available for purchase online at or on



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