When my daughter Lily was 13, her friend shared a crazy incident that happened the previous week. We’ll call her Amanda for now.
Her dad, Don, was using the vacuum attachment to get rid of cobwebs. One cobweb was up high, so he lifted the upright vacuum cleaner toward the ceiling, but when he got it to a certain point, he felt resistance and couldn’t raise it any higher. This perplexed him for a moment, until he heard Amanda screaming, “Stop, Dad! Stop!”
She had been sitting at the desk working on the computer, and the vacuum had sucked up all of her long, thick brown hair that had hung four inches below her shoulders. The vacuum was flush with the top part of the back of her head.
Don quickly shut the vacuum off and told Amanda to lay down, but she couldn’t lay down because the vacuum was higher than her neck and it hurt too much, so he put a pillow under her head.
Eleven-year-old Vanessa had witnessed the whole thing, so she ran to the other room and told her 18-year-old sister Christie, “Amanda’s got a vacuum stuck on her head!”
“What?” Christie said. She hurried in and discovered her father tugging at Amanda’s hair to free it from the vacuum.
“Dad, stop!” Amanda hollered, her eyes filled with tears.
Her sisters laughed. “Oh, I need to take a picture of this,” Christie said as she ran to get her camera.
While Don worked on dismantling the vacuum, Christie tried to snap pictures of Amanda, who half cried and half laughed as she lay on the floor. She blocked the camera with her hands and feet and managed to prevent Christie from getting any pictures.
Finally, Don detached the roller brush and spent a good five minutes unrolling Amanda’s hair. Once he was done, Amanda was left with a nest of knots and tangles.
Relieved to be free, Amanda hopped in the shower to wash the dirt out of her hair. Fortunately, she had thick hair, so no one would notice the handful of hair she lost.
At this point, Amanda’s mom had finished showering. The girls were instructed by their father, “Don’t tell your mother!”
Of course, Christie and Vanessa couldn’t wait to tell their mother what she had missed out on.
Do you remember Flowbee?
Here’s a video that demonstrates how it works. Looks crazy. I never tried it. Did you?
Do you have a parenting or grandparenting story you’d like to share? If you’re not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too. (Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)
If you enjoyed this post, I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog. Look for the following in the sidebar:
Just add your email address in the window, click on “Subscribe,” and voila! You’ll receive future posts on your email doorstep!
(The names for this post were changed.)
(A version of this story was originally published in the Highland Community News in September 1998.)
Hilarious, but my scalp hurt while reading!
Haha! Susie! That’s funny!
Yikes! That sounds knotty and nutty lol. There’s a guy famous this week for vacuuming his daughter’s hair into a perfect pony tail. I wonder if he can do it twice.
I hadn’t heard about that guy, Catherine. Was it in the news? I wonder how he did that. Would have gone perfectly with this post!
As someone whose hair is nearly waist length, this was as scary as it was funny! Glad to see you blogging at again!
Jennette, thanks. It feels good to be blogging again. I just hope I can keep up with it. I really do enjoy blogging.
It would be scary to have my hair sucked into a vacuum. Mine’s not thick like Amanda’s, so I’d probably lose half of my hair! And with your hair that long, it would take a long, long time to get it unrolled from the roller brush!
When I was a kid, I would take the attachment off the hose and put the hose up to my face. I liked the sensation. Fortunately, my face wasn’t sucked off, but I wouldn’t have minded going to a store to get a new one. I’d probably have to stand in line, though, behind all the other kids who had been playing with vacuums.
Steve, that’s so funny! I’m glad your face wasn’t sucked off, and I bet you’re right about lots of other kids playing with vacuums! I’m sure there are lots of funny and freaky stories out there waiting to be told. Thanks for sharing your cool childhood memory with us. I love it!
Awwwww poor Amanda!! But glad all ended up ok!! Is that flowbee for real?!?! Off I go to google it now!! LOL! Take care
Old Kitty! How wonderful to see you here, my friend! Yes, Flowbee is for real. I don’t think they still make them, but maybe they do. I’ll have to google it, too, and find out!
I always make jokes about the Flowbee, and have even recommended it to people who try to cut their own hair, but I’ve never actually seen one in person. 🙂
Poor Amanda! I cringed thinking about her hair stuck in the vacuum.
I can’t think of a funny parenting moment, but my parents lost my sister (she was around 4 years old) in a department store before. Luckily, it was back in 1972 and wasn’t quite as scary as losing sight of a kid nowadays would be.
Teresa, I think we all joked about Flowbee because the whole concept is comical, isn’t it? I guess it does work, but I never felt like giving it a shot!
Losing your kid in a department store is scary. I have a post in my archives with those kind of stories. I’ll have to republish it again one of these days.
That’s a funny story. Well, not for Amanda, but funny for the rest of us.
My husband and I actually vacuum our dog. He seems to enjoy it, but maybe he sits real still because he’s terrified or in pain. Who knows. It’s a great way to suck up the hair before it hits the floor.
I had my hair sucked into the back of an oscillating fan once. That was not fun and it started to burn. Not fun at all. And stinky.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Patricia, I saw a YouTube video of a dog being vacuumed, and I thought it was pretty funny. I was looking for a short Flowbee video and stumbled upon that. We should try that with our red heeler. She sheds all year round. I can’t believe how much she sheds. Might scare her, though. Your dog is brave!
Getting your hair sucked into an oscillating fan sounds horrible. Yikes! Was your hair long? Was it hard to get it out of the fan? Tell us more! Don’t leave us hanging here! 🙂
Yes, my hair was long. As soon as we turned the fan off I got most of it unwound. I had to visit the salon for a good trim after that because a lot of the ends broke off, but there wasn’t too much damage, surprisingly.
As soon as my hair wound around the center part where the motor is, the motor had a hard time running so that’s what the burning smell was. No damage to the fan either. Just a freak thing.
It was something that never happened again, though. I try to stay away from fans these days. Plus my hair is a whole lot shorter now.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Thanks for filling in the rest of the deets, Patricia. Good thing you didn’t end up with more damage than you did. And the motor getting jammed and causing the burning smell is scary. Good thing it didn’t catch fire. A freak accident, for sure, but I bet it’s happened to others, too. No fun!
Pingback: Parenting Plights & Delights – Hairy Moments Animated | Lynn Kelley, Author
ACK!! Poor Amanda! Ivy would have had a c0w. I have to tell her the story though. I’m massaging my scalp, bestie. YOUCHIE! Hmmm, Ivy decided to open up a hair salon for one of her brothers. Needless to say, it was an ugly scene. UGLY! Especially when brother looked in the mirror. xoxo
Oh, yes, Robyn, you’ve got to tell Ivy this story. The fact that it’s true is even funnier. And I hope you’ll share Ivy’s hair salon story with me. I can sure relate because my son used to insist I cut his hair with the electric trimmers and I had no idea what I was doing. If only he’d been okay with a buzz cut, I could handle that. Bug, no, he wanted it longer on the top and make it fit in with the lower hair. One time I accidentally had the clippers set for a buzz cut and that’s a whole other story for another blog post! Heeheehee! Thanks for stopping by, Bestie!