Behind The Awkwardness: Vacuum Boy

March 19th, 2013

“As a child, my boyfriend loved appliances and in his eyes, all other appliances paled in comparison to the vacuum cleaner. When he was around five, his mom took him to a photography studio to get his portrait taken. He asked the photographers if they had any vacuums he could take a picture with. They found one in a broom closet and brought it out for him… the rest is history.”

(submitted by Joanna)


48 Responses to “Behind The Awkwardness: Vacuum Boy”

  1. Andy says:

    So many questions …

  2. Milly says:

    Hmm, this gives me an idea for a portrait of my three year old son! He’s obsessed with vacuum cleaners, to the extent that after watching numerous YouTube videos (which all seem to be by men!), he will actually lecture anyone who’ll listen on which is the best vacuum to buy at any given time! He’s got toy ones, real ones, books about vacuums, etc. I’m hoping he’ll grow up to invent a worldwide brand like Dyson or Numatic (creators of Henry and Hetty) and support my husband and me in our old age with his billions ;-)

  3. Jessica Ann Mikel says:

    OMG!!! My son has been absolutely obsessed with vacuuming since he was a tiny baby, and at 7 years old, he still is. Lol

  4. Jason says:

    C’mon, why cant anyone figure out why boys like vacuums? They suck :p

  5. IsntLifeSweet says:

    Whoa! All these years I thought my twin sons were unique with their vacuum cleaner obsession! Apparently not!

    I believe it all started when they were about two years old. They stood there, watching their Dad, in an almost catatonic state of suspended fascination, as their Dad assemble our new shop-vac. When he flipped the power on to clean the area, they never flinched. But, they wanted to know EVERYTHING about it and try it themselves.

    From that “magic-moment” they had to know, and made a point to ask everyone and anyone, including all of our family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, their pediatrician, dentist, you get the idea… everyone… what type of vacuum they owned.

    They loved to visit their grandma; she always owned the latest and greatest vacuum, available on the market and not surprisingly was willing to “let them,” take turns (oh! the negotiations!) vacuuming the entire house whenever they wanted.

    So, it should not have been such a surprise for me that Christmas, when at age four, as Santa asked them “What Do You Boys Want Santa To Bring You For Christmas?” a little hush fell over the shoppers as they waited for their replies. Who knew they would both … very loudly… and in unison say:

    “WE WANT VACUUM CLEANERS!”

    - – -There we were, in the middle of the Orange Mall, on what had to have been, one of the busiest shopping day of the season, simply for the boys and their sister, to enjoy their annual visit and photo opp with Santa.

    Remember, back in the mid 1980’s, twins and multiple births were not as common as they are now, and as so many shoppers had stopped to admire the cute little twins with their sister and Santa, you can’t imagine the looks and comments they gave me!

    Even the photographer/candy-cane-dispensing-person, aka “Santa’s Helper” turned and gave me a look straight out of the film “Christmas Story.”

    Happily, that Christmas, Santa did not disappoint them…. They both received their very own rechargeable “Dust Buster” – which were installed on their bedroom walls, at their level. Needless to say, they were thrilled for many years!

    So, how are they now, at age thirty? Very well thank you. Both men graduated high school in the top 1% of their class and both graduated from private universities… Yes! They still have a fondness for Vacuum Cleaners.

    I love and am very proud of all my children and sure got a kick out of this web site photo and the stories of other “Vacuum Kids”

    • MamaK says:

      Why do you say that twins and multiple births weren’t so common in the mid 80′s? What a ludicrous remark. These things are standard over time.

      • Deb says:

        Actually, multiples ans twins were less common in the eighties than. Older mothers and the increase in fertility drugs like Clomid, which encourages a woman’s body to release more than one egg, are the reason.

  6. Marybeth says:

    OMG! When my son was little, he also had a vacuum obsession! Whenever we’d go to someone’s house, he’d always ask if they had a sweeper and if he could run it and thats how my 80 something year old grandmother would keep him occupied when she babysat while I was at work..
    When he was 3, I had gotten a vacuum on his birthday cake… I had no idea what else to get and when the lady at the bakery asked what he liked, I asked if they could do a “sweeper”

  7. Chris says:

    This is just flat out adorable.

  8. ST says:

    Love this kid and his mom. I’ll bet he grew up to be an awesome guy.

  9. Azalea says:

    My friends son loves vacuums, too! I didn’t know so many other kids did haha… I just thought he was very unique. Well, he still is I suppose. The only kid I have heard of that wanted a real cash register for Christmas, above all else it was number one on his list. Kids are funny

  10. Rich says:

    This may be my favorite photo ever.

  11. mishi says:

    My daughter was obsessed with brooms and their accoutrements. I remember a night just after her sister was born when I was awakened from my first deep sleep in days to my oldest, who was 3, shaking me and saying “Mommy, Mommy, I need a dustpan to snuggle with!”

  12. Kelly says:

    My son has an obsession with vacuums! It is the funniest thing. He just turned 3 and its been going on over a year. For almost 2 weeks he slept the manual to my old vacuum.

  13. Maura says:

    Two thumbs WAY up for the mom who let her kid pose with a vacuum cleaner! Parenting: you’re doing it right, mom!

    A friend of my mother’s told me her son was obsessed with garage door openers as a child. They would drive through the neighborhood, and he would peek into any open garage and exclaim “That’s a Craftsman Power III! There’s a Liftmaster 2000!” or whatever. I don’t think he ever had a portrait taken with one, though. ;-)

  14. Astrid says:

    My son loved vacuum cleaners when he was little too! Hand dryers were the worst thing in the world and made terrifying noises, but the vacuum cleaner was great!

  15. diane says:

    I once worked with a lady whose 4 year old grandson loved and obsessed over vacuums. He would tell you in all seriousness that Hoover was the best brand of vacuum around!

  16. Angie says:

    Any chance that as an adult, he’s an engineer or mechanically inclined? I don’t know this kid, but witnessed similar fascinations in my nephew, who is now studying engineering.

  17. Jessica says:

    Hey, some boys just love their vacuums!

  18. I am John Alligood’s aunt. I can testify that the above story is true. I remember the day and remember my sister in law (John’s mother) telling me of the incident. When John was a very little boy, he would come to visit and ask if he could vacuum my house. I think he should have this photo taken again at his present age, who doesn’t love a man with a vacuum in his hand?

    • schoolnurse says:

      I would love to see a current version of this, what a great idea. I hope Joanna snapped up John and married him, a man who loves vacuums sounds like a keeper!

  19. Alio Soliman says:

    I gottaa meet this kid !!

  20. Andrea says:

    Too cute!!!

  21. kokopuff says:

    Does your boyfriend still like the vacuum? Does he actually use it? If so, he is the best boyfriend EVER.

  22. Tim S says:

    When Joanna’s beau was a boy,
    He didn’t want any ol’ toy,
    So they got him a Hoover,
    A new smoother mover!
    And he posed with it with sincere joy.

  23. Betty says:

    Ths picture is absolutely cute! I’ve heard of this kind of fascination…unusual but not odd…. I’d guess it was the motor that made it neat to the kid & suppose it’s just a notch up (or down) from being fascinated by how airplanes fly, how bicycles work, etc.

  24. David says:

    I hate to admit it, but as a little boy I LOVED vacuum cleaners too, was fascinated by them and washing machines. I hope this little boy grew up to be less of a dork than I am!

  25. KatieB says:

    My mother-in-law told me that my husband also had a vacuum cleaner obsession when he was little. It’s nice to finally find out he wasn’t the only one! I mean, he was so young that he doesn’t even remember it. Either that, or he’s in denial!

  26. Jen says:

    Aww, love the story behind this one lol.

  27. Betty Maros says:

    Ummm…I’m not quite buying the story on this one. She says the photographers found a vacuum in a broom closet but it is obvious that it is a shiny, sparkling clean vacuum. How many stores have you been in that just happen to have a pristine vacuum in the broom closet? Strange photo, yes. Just not buying the story.

    • Powers says:

      Maybe they just got a new vacuum? Maybe the resolution of the photo is not sufficient to see the dust on the vacuum? Sheesh.

    • shootah says:

      I agree, Betty. There is clearly something more SINISTER behind this PHOTO. They just HAPPENED to have a nice looking vacuum laying around in their closet!? A likely story! I know EXACTLY why she lied to us ALL. JOANNA and her “boyfriend” pray to The Dark Lord Vacuumara. A vacuum in the broom closet?? NO NO NO NO NO. There’s a reason “broom” is in the name. They. Slipped. Up. There would be NO vacuum in a BROOM CLOSET. What appears to be a red Hoover in this photo is actually VACUUMARA HIMSELF. Look at Joanna’s boyfriend with that sly smile. He’s not happy because he’s posing with any old vacuum — he’s happy because he has summoned The Dark Lord Vacuumara and thinks he has pulled one over on us all. But Betty, you were on to something. You were on to something no one else could have even began to dream of. I fear for everyone besides Betty and myself who are unable to see the truth.

    • Patricia Butler says:

      Not for nothing, Betty, but when you bring home a new vacuum cleaner, does it suddenly age when you first put it in the broom closet? Vacuums aren’t made old and dirty. And I would imagine a store vacuum doesn’t get anywhere near the use a home vacuum would. While it’s certainly feasible that this boy and vacuum may have conspired to shoot JFK and are now posing for congratulatory photos, I’m thinking that, in this case at least, a vacuum is just a vacuum.

  28. David says:

    Caption should read: Me & Edgar

  29. Al says:

    This photo sucks! Sorry, bad pun.

  30. Jenny says:

    This is a kid I want to know more about!

  31. Minda says:

    I saw a news story a few years back about a little boy who could name the brand and model of ANY vacuum just by hearing it run. Any chance they’re related? ;)

  32. Tim says:

    That is one of the best stories and cutest pictures ever on this site.

  33. Paul says:

    His best friend really sucks.

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