TelevisionJanuary 22, 2018

Where were you when Suzanne Paul lifted a truck with a vacuum cleaner?


Tara Ward witnesses Suzanne Paul do something extraordinary — not for the first time and not for the last time. 

Someone alert the authorities because there’s a genius in my living room and her name is Suzanne Paul.

I thought I’d seen it all when Suzanne Paul sold a clip that could jazz up your outfit by attaching it to either your scarf or your shoe, depending on your mood. Now the shining gem in our advertorial crown is back, standing in a car park with an extension cord in each hand, ready to simultaneously suck and blow our minds.

Suzanne Paul is about to lift a two-tonne truck off the ground, using only a vacuum cleaner.

I know, friends. I hear you and I see you and I feel your pain. What the living end? How can a tiny, compact triple action HEPA filtration system lift that beast of a machine off the ground? What is this, the future?

Like the time I tried to fold a fitted sheet, I have my doubts. Thankfully Suzanne Paul is like a miracle bra made out of bamboo — yet to let me down — so I’m here to be shocked, stunned, and completely amazed by the next two minutes of pure, unadulterated suction power.

Suzanne’s team begin by attaching the Floor Wiz to two enormous suction cups, much like how I used to express breast milk. The cups attach to the SUV, the vacuum cleaner turns on, and by the power invested in Suzanne Paul, the truck will magically lift off the ground.

If she’s is trying to blind me with science, then stand down, level achieved. A clever little blueprint animation explains it all, but the finer details are a blur. Hi-vis vests and a fancy cartoon on grid paper? You’ve basically split the atom in my eyes, Suzanne. Prepare to suck my world off its axis.

“That would be quite impressive!” Suzanne says, before pausing and adding “…if it’s true.”

If it’s true? IF IT’S TRUE?!

“It could be a total disaster!” she warns. Hold on, Suzanne, hold on for one more day. Was Natural Glow a total disaster? Not on your nelly. Was your vibrating massage cushion a total disaster? Ask someone with sciatica, they’ll tell you straight, that thing was pure symphony.

But Suzanne’s doubt is contagious. I hear the annoying voice in my brain that pipes up while I’m busy clearing out the supermarket wine aisle when I actually came for bread and milk. “There’s no way this will work,” it says.

“THERE’S A BLUEPRINT!” I scream back.

“Our vacuum can’t even suck up tiny pieces of Lego,” it says.


It’s hard for me to argue with me, and I’m distracted by a sudden influx of people wearing high-vis vests. “Standing by,” a voice says. Was that God speaking? Jesus, take the wheel, because I’m standing by, Suzanne’s standing by, suction cups around the world are holding their breath in nervous anticipation.

Like God’s creation of Adam, Suzanne connects the electrical cords. The power is unleashed, the crane begins to lift, and the two-tonne SUV moves slowly off the ground. The suction holds. Suzanne Paul is defying gravity and I am as shook as that time she dropped a bowling ball onto a bamboo pillow without breaking any of the eggs underneath.

“Look at that!” she screams. “It’s actually working!”

The SUV hangs in the air with all my hopes and dreams. This is an incredible moment in New Zealand television, and when someone asks me “where were you when you first saw Suzanne Paul lift a truck into the air with a vacuum”, I’ll be proud to say I was at home in my pyjamas, eating hot chips and thinking there is no better time to be alive.

Alas, like a good night’s sleep on a Bambillo, it’s over too soon. Suzanne’s a busy woman; she yanks the power cords apart and sends the SUV plummeting to the ground. It lands with a heavy thump, pieces of the truck flying off like a thousand luminous spheres.

“Oh, my giddy aunt!” Suzanne shouts, rapturous with success. “That is vacuum history!” It’s history, it’s her story, this is all our story. We came, we sucked, we conquered, and it was a beautiful thing.

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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