Who would have thought so much would go into buying a vacuum cleaner? Once upon a time, if you wanted a vacuum cleaner, you went to the vacuum cleaner store (I’m assuming), and made one Tim the Toolman Taylor-esque decision: how much power can I afford.

Not anymore. HEPA? Cyclonic? HEPA *and* cyclonic? Bagged or bagless? Upright or canister? I felt like I was buying a car, except it was more complicated.

Well, I haven’t gotten one yet, because we perused through Wal-Mart, Sears and Lowes and couldn’t find what I decided would be best: a bagless canister cyclonic with a HEPA filter. Phew. I think I’ll probably just wind up buying online, if I can even afford it.

We went to Big Lots to check out their selection, and they had a $300 Dyson. Too rich for my blood. However, I did get this:

Donald Rumsfeld Doll

That’s right. It’s a talking Donald Rumsfeld doll. Best $5 I ever spent. I also got a George Bush (the elder) doll, but he wasn’t as photogenic, because I didn’t take him out of the box yet. So the day wasn’t entirely a bust.