Monday, March 4, 2013

Spot Bot Rot

Lauren had a bit of a rough night last night, in the way that kids do when confronted by a 24-hour stomach bug.  And as is often the case when children have such bugs, there was collateral damage to the carpeting, particularly in our bedroom where she stopped in to alert us to events before proceeding on to the bathroom, by which point the need to proceed had rather abated somewhat.

It was long after everyone’s bedtime by then, so we cleaned it up as best we could, covered it with baking soda and a rag rug, tucked Lauren back in bed, and went to sleep.  Lauren spent today home from school, a bit delicate but generally in good condition.  Better than the carpet, anyway.  She’ll be back at school tomorrow, pending the result of tonight’s snowstorm.

Fortunately, some time ago we had purchased a device called a Spot Bot, mainly to deal with a similar situation involving one of the cats, some dark brown liquid medication, and the rug in Lauren’s room. 

The Spot Bot is a marvel of modern technology.  It combines the cleaning power of an entire maintenance staff with the grinding noise of an industrial port city and the shaking of a burlesque queen, all in a convenient portable machine.  And it works like a charm.  It is a fine and commendable product, the Spot Bot. 

So we figured we were in good shape regarding the current state of our bedroom carpet.  A plan was in place, and the technology already existed – not only in the world but actually in our home as well – to implement it.

Tonight we hauled out the Spot Bot and set it to work cleaning up that carpet.  And it did a marvelous job.  A wonderful, marvelous, super-fantastic, shiny and enviable job.  Really.  Superb.

Quite.

And if you’re following along at home, you know exactly what this means.

It means that the worn and faded blue carpet on our bedroom floor has exactly three meticulously clean, bright, good-as-new circles on it, right at the foot of the bed – two the size of picnic plates and one rather larger where several circles merged into one.

They kind of stand out.

Thus I find myself in something of a quandary.  Do I just keep letting the Spot Bot do its thing, one plate-sized circle at a time, until the whole carpet looks clean again?

Or do I grab my boots and scuff up those circles a bit so they blend back in?

There’s nothing in the operating manual about this, by the way.  You would think, given the sorts of things that the Spot Bot is being called upon to do (most of which involve some kind of deep scrubbing) and the sorts of people likely to buy one of these machines (people more likely to try to clean a spot than replace an old carpet) that they could have foreseen this situation and provided some helpful hints to make it look less … obvious.

Maybe they can throw in a dye kit so you can place the Spot Bot in random positions around the room and make a lovely pattern on your rugs.

Or perhaps a cutting tool to solve the problem once and for all.  If it’s a big enough tool you could make a skylight down to the next floor, although that does create more problems than it solves now that I think of it. 

Sigh.

The solution to the problem just changes the problem.

5 comments:

Lee I said...

Still laughing, five minutes after I finished reading. I must look into the Spot Bot. I can't publicly say how I deal with cat barf on my light colored rug (not so light that a Spot Bot couldn't make it lighter).

TimBo said...

My own recent vomit story goes like this: After putting the three boys to bed, Jonah puked all over his bed and the carpet all the way to the bathroom. As I was cleaning up the mess my basement renter came upstairs and collapsed in the front entrance. The boy's bedroom is on the second floor off a balcony that overlooks the entrance so I could easily hear the moans of pain. The boys could too.

I called 911 and did my best to relay information from the balcony while keeping the boys in check. When the ambulance arrived there was no keeping them from the scene and they lined up and watched the EMT's work. That at least distracted them enough so I could clean up the mess (lots of water and then Shout! for animal accidents, which deals well with the biological portion of these things.

The boys went to sleep only an hour late. My renter was fine in a couple of days and the carpet reasonably clean.

John the Scientist said...

You forgot the third option:

Ehh, screw it, who is going to look at the bedroom carpeting besides us? :D

David said...

Lee - cat barf is just one of those mysterious substances that defy any rational attempt to clean them up. I wouldn't be surprised if it were the main ingredient in those dye packets that banks use for the money they give robbers.

Tim - Poor Jonah! Kids are resilient though - I'm sure the spectacle of the EMTs made him forget about it all. Glad everyone turned out okay.

John - you clearly haven't met Kim. :)

beatrice in Paris said...

I vote for the fourth option: polka dotted clean spots on the carpet. Only half the cleaning job. Tell Kim it's modern art.