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The Roto-Router was a MONSTROUS home vacuum cleaner made by Mattel, Inc. between the years 1966 and 1985. It featured 12 pedals for adjusting speed and direction for its automatic cleaning process. To help consumers remember which pedal does what, they were conveniently labeled A5, D56, AiE572, h, 11, [, Fast, Slow, Round, k, Yaw and WVUM.
edit Health Hazards & Issues
In 1972 controversies were raised regarding the alleged presence of Radium within the Roto-Rooter's frame. Radium was found to indeed exist in the Roto-Rooter, and, in an effort to assuage these concerns, the CPSC responded by prompty lifting the ban on products containing significant amounts of Radium. In a curious twist, however, the law against products containing severe amounts of Radium was reinstated in 1985, shortly after the Roto-Rooter was discontinued. Conspiracy theorists have pointed to a connection in the fact that the head of the CPSC at the time, Niccolò Machiavelli, was also CEO of Mattel at the time. Though the matter is still debated to the day, one thing is clear: significant amounts of Radium are not harmful to human beings; otherwise the CPSC could never have allowed it. And neither is Aspartame.
As the Roto-Rooter was fully gasoline-powered, concerns were raised about the possibility of its releasing unhealthy quantities of carbon monoxide into the home. This was even demonstrated in a popular documentary at the time called Super Size Me, an exposé on society's increasing need for Bigger, Better, Faster products. Mattel, Inc. defended themselves against these allegations by proving that they did not actually intend for customers to use Roto-Rooters every single day.
edit In the Media
Roto-Rooters have been depicted as UFOs in popular films for decades. Such films include Independence Day, Jurassic Park, Hancock and Short Circuit. In reality, however, all but 5 of the 17 Roto-Rooter models issued could not actually fly.
edit Derived Works
The roto-router is also famous for being the inspiration for several other modern-day contraptions. These include the laser mosquito killer for fighting Malaria, the diaphragm, the Mark IX amphibious tank, 3D HDTV and the walk-in freezer
edit Moon Units
Early 1970's versions included a Moon Unit for communicating with a logistics satellite on the moon for help in vacuum navigation. (Don't even try telling me there are no satellites on the moon. I know what I'm talking about. I have a PhD in immaculation from Durham University. In today's information age, a PhD is the equivalent of an 18" cock. 18" cocks are evolutionarily disadvantageous anyway. Go read a book or something.) This helped to off-load some of the intensive computing power required for automatic nagivation, back in the days when the fastest home computing chip available was about the speed of a modern-day birthday card. These moon units could not be controlled directly, but using the right sequence of pedal activations, it was sometimes possible to deduce current lunar weather information from the satellite. (Weather on the moon, you ask? Yes, we've been through this already. STFU.) This was an unending source of general amusement and courting for thousands of academics across the globe -- or at least spanning from Hawaii to Alaska -- or it was until then Chairman of the House of Representatives Rush Limbaugh successfully passed a bill banning the moon in 1980.
edit Miscellany & Trivia
Cell-phones do not work inside Roto-Routers. Don't even bother trying.
There was an early 1930's hair salon hair dryer also known by the name Roto-Rooter.
The following is an image of a Roto-Rooter with her 4-week-old pups in 1970.
The father can also be seen here: here.