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One of my favorite stories is about Chippie the parakeet. Chippie was a happy little bird, content every day to sit on his perch, swinging and singing to his little heart’s content. One day Chippie’s owner took the initiative to clean out his cage. She took off the attachment from the end of the vacuum hose and stuck it in the cage to remove the sediment from the bottom. Just then the phone rang. She turned to pick it up and had barely said hello when "ssopp!" Chippie got sucked in!

As you can imagine, the bird owner gasped, dropped the phone, turned off the vacuum and ripped open the bag. Inside, there lay Chippie, still alive but stunned by the trauma. The bird was covered with all the terrible grit and grime that fills vacuum bags, so the owner did the only thing she could think to do. She grabbed him up, raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under running water. Then realizing poor little Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any good bird owner would do, she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the little guy with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

A couple of days after the experience the reporter who first wrote about ...

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