Next we considered hiring the machine ourselves from the local supermarket. The cost was $40 for 24 hours, plus the cleaning liquid.
Then I remembered we have a vacuum which I was sure the bloke said could be used to clean carpets.
Now our vacuum is one of those fancy smancy ones - it's a Kirby. I remember when I was 22 and had my first encounter with Kirby vacuums. An English backpacker come to my house to show my ex-wife and me what it could do - we vacuumed with our existing machine and then he went over the same carpet with his Kirby. He got up heaps more dirt. My ex-wife was in love, although part of me thinks it was just the accent.
Trouble was the Kirby cost more than my car. Not that the backpacker thought that was a problem - "this'll be with you long after that car is scrap" he told us. Unfortunately I had to decline, though ironically two months later his prediction would have been proven correct as my ex-wife embedded the nose of my classic red Holden Torana into a ditch after spending the night at her boyfriend's place. Ah, young love.
Ten years later the wonders of Kirby were again being explained to me, only this time by a bloke from Brisbane with no accent at all. Again it was love. Again it was worth more than my car.
The difference this time was we had discovered eBay. While he was showing Tracey why we should hock our car for a vacuum I was in the next room bidding on the previous model. We ended up saving over two and a half thousand dollars - we picked it up, with all the accessories, for $700 delivered.
So the very long and not so short of it is, today I purchased a $12 bottle of carpet cleaning liquid and did the damn carpets myself. I had no idea it was such a noisy process - Miss2 screamed the whole time - but it only took an hour for the whole lot.
Sure, the professional probably would have done a better job (have to say that, he's a mate) but this way we got to keep our money in the bank where we need it for important things, like beer.