Back in the 1970s we had shag carpeting in our "rec room". It was a long shag and it was green. After it was vacuumed, we would "rake" it. We had a special, plastic rake that resembled the tool one might use when working in the yard and, when company was expected, we would use the rake to make the strands of fiber in the rug stand on end. We would work really hard to make sure the resulting pattern was consistent and appealing. It became a sport for my mother and I. Either that, or she used it as an excuse to get me out of her hair when she was preparing for visitors.
Although we were rarely allowed in the room, the "parlor" was vacuumed regularly and the triangles that resulted were to be left intact and not marred by our footprints. Should the telephone ring while someone was vacuuming, the machine was to be turned off immediately because it was so loud.
To this day, I get annoyed when someone vacuums around me. If I'm in a retail store in a busy mall and a clerk starts vacuuming near me, I'll usually leave. To my way of thinking, that's something that should be done after hours when no customers are in the store. Or, unless there's an accident of some kind, discreetly when no one is around.
Last week I stayed a night in an upscale hotel. While there, I spent quite a bit of time in the hotel's lobby, visiting and relaxing with colleagues, and I counted no less than six different people who vacuumed right around us as if we weren't even there. Frankly, I didn't appreciate spending all that money to stay in a place where I couldn't have a conversation because I couldn't hear anything.
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