A real sucker for crumbs

IDON'T know, maybe I'm nuts or maybe I'm just a little wary of anything new, but it seems to take me ages to catch on to the simple things that everyone else has figured out.

Maybe I'm like my father. When colour television first appeared on the scene, my dad took one look and said: ''Hmmm, something else to break down.'' He wanted to wait until they'd worked out all the kinks. My husband might offer that it is because I am extremely stubborn and more like Frank Sinatra than I am like my dad. Once I've decided that there is a way to do something, I have decided that there is only one way - My Way.

It has taken me 37 years to acknowledge that if you put those multi-coloured rubber rings around the base of your keys it actually does save you having to try the rest of the annoyingly similar looking keys in the front door. I should also add that I have recently been forced to admit that if you remove from the ring the keys that don't seem to fit any lock at all you can save yourself more than a little time, aggravation and usage of the ''F'' word when trying to get inside the flat to that ringing telephone. I put the extra keys on one of the over 3,957 ''Dan Ryan's'' key rings we have managed to amass and then I give them to the kids so that they can make believe they are mommy and swear at the front door.

I'll let you in on another revelation of mine. It look me a while to actually take the plunge, but I am now helplessly and hopelessly attached to an electrical appliance (and no, it's not that electrical appliance). My latest discovery is a handy-dandy little household device which is usually advertised on television in tandem with a free telephone number and the phrase ''Now what would you pay?'' Plugged into the elephantine plastic appendage, laughingly called an electrical adaptor in this part of the world, recharging its powerful little motor is my Dust Buster.

I am pretty sure it was first designed to be used as a car vacuum cleaner, able to get into nooks and crannies unfettered by an electrical cord. It is a simple and practical device. For years I have passed vendors on the way to my chiropodist's office (that's another column) demonstrating the wonders of this battery-operated beauty as it sucks up buttons and peanut shells and uncooked rice. And I was never once tempted to have it suck up the stuff in my own home. Well, I am here to tell you that I have seen the light! On a whim (I am a compulsively impulsive shopper but that too is another column).

I walked into a Mannings store in search of something completely unrelated to dust or busts and on my way to the checkout counter I saw a veritable mountain of little crumb suckers. I paid my money and took the first step on the road to a fun-filled, vacuum packed life.

I am certain that I am driving the other members of my household mad. I can spot a spilled bit of breakfast cereal at 40 paces and within seconds D.B. and I are making minced meat of those cornflakes (ah, that's a recipe column). No more dried bits of pasta or Play Dough in this family's rug. And all this manic spill sucking aside, I think I am also getting on everyone's nerves because I can't resist running through the litany of virtues my new possession possesses. ''Why would anyone drag out a bulky oldbroom and dustpan to sweep up this bit of navel lint, when the Dust Buster is so much more convenient,'' I squeal over the whine of its .0005 horsepower engine.

This obsessive behaviour on my part is not isolated to carpet sweepers and key-ring organisers. I pooh-poohed alternative medicine in clarion tones until, in a last-ditch effort to get my son off a running prescription for antibiotics, I took him to see a naturopath. He was cured of bronchitis and I started handing out this guy's business card at cocktail parties.

I would really like to believe that I am like my father, I admire him so - open to new ideas but just waiting till they get the kinks out. It is true that my folks now have a colour television, but they manage to turn it off now and then. I, on the otherhand, was munching on crackers while I wrote this and . . .