It’s official… it’s not just a river in Brazil.

The other day, while I was vacuuming my apartment, I realized that I really need to clean out my vacuum’s dirt collection tray.  Not only that, but the HEPA filter inside looked like it had picked up Chewbacca and a couple of Tribbles.  Urgh.

Now normally, I would schlep to Walmart or to Target or some other big box outlet store, try to remember what type of filter I need for my vacuum, invariably buy the wrong one, drive home, get pissed because I bought the wrong one, and either store the filter someplace in case I do buy the correct filter, or just keep using the HEPA filter until I need a HIPAA notice from my hospital.

I looked at the old filter.  There’s a make and model number on it.  Geez, I’m suspecting this filter is the same one that came with the vacuum cleaner when I bought it, oh, how many years ago?

I don’t even know if Walmart or Target or any of the big box stores carry this specific filter.  I know they carry filters of all sizes and shapes…

Screw it.  I punched the filter identification code into my computer’s search engine.

Boom.  A two-pack of that specific filter at Amazon for $20 and shipping.

And the minute I hit CHECKOUT on that shopping cart icon…

it happened.

I used Amazon to buy a specific part for a household item.

And you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, Chuck, you’ve finally entered the 21st century.  What’s next, you going to discover this website called Pinterest?”

Hear me out.

I’ve shopped at Amazon before – at first for books, then for DVD’s and other treasures.  I’ve also used Amazon to buy holiday gifts for people – they’ll wrap the package in some sort of holiday coverings and ship it away.

But this was the first time I ever used Amazon to purchase some sort of utilitarian household item – and not only that, I used it to purchase a filter for a vacuum cleaner.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I can see it now.  Once you’ve purchased a vacuum cleaner filter, it’s all downhill from there.  What’s to stop me from purchasing bottles of Pine-Sol or Mr. Clean to scrub my kitchen floor?  Or maybe some soft two-ply Charmin bathroom tissues for that extra-soothing feeling after I’ve cosplayed Rodan’s The Thinker statue?

Geez, the possibilities are endless.  Should I get a new set of flannel sheets from Amazon – maybe I can get the twin size that fit my foldout bed so nicely.  Heck, I hope I can get extra-soft, extra-snuggly sheets so I can stay warm on those cold Capital District nights…

Perhaps I can invest in some of those “Dash” buttons – the kind where you simply press the button when you’re out of something, and two days later, the item magically appears at your doorstep.  And of course, the money magically disappears from your wallet.  All this magic.  All I need is a white tiger named Monticore and I can play the Mirage in Las Vegas.

Of course, we now run into an ethical dilemma.  Why didn’t I source out a vacuum cleaner store in the Capital District and purchase the filters directly?  Buy local, they say.  Don’t send your money to Wally World or to Tarjay or to Amazon.  Keep your money in the community.  Fight the big box mentality.  For God’s sake, Chuck, that $20 you spent on Amazon could have helped a local businessman, and you sent your money to Jeff Bezos … and for what?  Vacuum cleaner filters?  Have you no shame, sir?  Have you no shame?

Listen, I’ve got plenty of shame.  I also have a dirty rug.  And my current vacuum cleaner filter just ain’t cutting it.  And unless you want me back in the hospital with some sort of respiratory problem because my current vacuum can’t get the damn dirt and dust and gungus out of my carpet… then I’d be spending THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS at St. Peter’s Hospital while the doctors try to determine what type of respiratory failure I’m dealing with.

But hey, those thousands of dollars are going back to the community, right? 😉

I look at it this way.  Yeah, I spent $20 with Amazon.  And last night, before I went out for a late night movie, I vacuumed the carpet in my apartment.

And I gotta tell you, that new filter on my vacuum makes a tremendous amount of difference.

Hey, listen … at least I have a clean carpet.

In that case, certainly the ends justify the means.  And the cleans.  See what I means?