Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The appliance wars

I think it is kind of freaky that, just as we are finding out the horror of various appliances and their inevitable demises, the Yarn Harlot is for the first time actually having appliance problems too. I think there may be a large appliance curse going around.

I will call it Appliance Swine Flu, or the Appliance H1N1 Virus.

Because then people will be filled with the paralyzing fear that causes many parents I see every day to walk around with their arms full of books and also the alcohol gel germ killer stuff that gives me a headache.

I don't think there is germ killer for the appliance virus. I'll have to check.

On the day before my college graduation party, the dishwasher heaved a great sigh and spewed foul, nasty water all over the kitchen carpet. Yes, carpet. Thank you, thank you Grandma Beutler. Only you would think that was a good idea.

I am half convinced that by suggesting kitchen carpet to my impressionable mother, she was trying to cause marital strife/divorce between her daughter-in-law and son. Anything could happen.

At any rate, Mom, struggling with a dishwasher, its spew, and a malfunctioning carpet cleaner, rented a different carpet cleaner which then also poured water all over our carpets, this time just because she didn't get how to fill it up without turning it upside down and pouring the water she had just put inside the machine out of the machine through a different hole.

So the dishwasher was then ruled by the family to be out of commission until such a time as we got around to getting someone to come fix it, or got the money to pay for such repairs, or until Mom decided she was tired of waiting and decided to fix it herself because she'd seen someone do it before and was pretty sure she could do it too.

She pulled a penny out of the dishwasher's spinner mechanism (the thing that sprays the water) and called it a day.

Then it overflowed again.

So it wasn't fixed, and Mom decided the best next move to make would be to detach the spinner deal entirely and then find out what was clogging it. In doing so, she found a little bit of some kind of metal thing, and wondered what the heck it could be. Removing the spinner, she saw it was a chunk of the spinner's innards.

Then she told me she could glue it together. And she fiddled with a little rubber washer, which disintegrated in her hands, appliance style.

The dishwasher was then rendered unfixable by non-professional hands and we gave up. We then spent the following ten months thinking about how nice it would be to get the thing fixed. That and the refrigerator door that opens itself, and the oven door that doesn't open or close because the hinge has broken free.

But that's a normal week in our family. We have a lot of places to spend money, like car repair and groceries, or even the occasional meal, so we don't fix the big stuff if we can live without it. We can push on the top and bottom of the fridge door to close it well. We can lift the oven door as we close it to make sure it actually closes and keeps the heat in. I can endure a car that clicks (or now, bangs) when I turn left. It's what I call living on the edge. Roughing it. If people live in a world without clean water, I can live in a world where I have to push hard on the fridge door and use my fancy indoor hot and cold running water to wash my dishes after I eat a meal with fresh, healthsome food.

Then the unthinkable happened, the washing machine, always a disappointment, finally began to rock along the floor. And emit a grinding noise.

The Sears repairman was called. He stated the washing machine would live. Then he pulled out many, many coins because it's too hard to take change out of pockets (or Irish Whistles, or tie clips, or whatever).

That was good news.

Then he went upstairs and proclaimed the engine blown in the dishwasher. Time of death was called. A certificate was issued, funeral arrangements are pending.

Mom asked if he had heard the horrible noises issued from our spinning washing machine. He said he would listen just to be sure.

That was when the kind, pensive look on the repair guy's face turned to an ominous look of dread.

"The bearings are shot. The spinning something inside the something that does the something that makes the bin turn in circles really fast and magically clean all the grime from clothes isn't spinning right anymore, because God cursed this machine since that is how these things break, usually," he said. Or at least, that is what I heard when his mouth was moving, and words were coming out.

The washing machine was proclaimed dead. A certificate was also issued.

Because the repair guy was a merciful sort of person and because he wasn't sure how long Sears was going to keep employing all the people in the area that they employed or that he would be one of the few they kept, he decided to be extra nice and just charge us for the call, not for all the diagnoses of death he made. He told us this was because he knew we would have to buy some new appliances.

He told us, also, what sort of appliances would live longer than others, and to always, always get the repair package because you need a five year warranty minimum, since things are dying in only two years and not twenty like they used to.

So yesterday Mom went to Lowes. Notice, not the Sears, since everything we have bought at Sears in the past decade has not lived beyond five years after purchase, if that.

She came home, telling us that there would soon be a new dishwasher, and in a week or so, the new washing machine. They will not come soon enough.

We lost this round (meaning the appliances got to fail, and we had to replace them by spending tons of money and not getting a new floor for the kitchen as we had intended but now cannot afford), but the battle continues with the fridge, the oven, and goodness knows what else.

1 comment:

  1. There's always the option to do what my aunt and uncle did (although, they didn't do it intentionally). They decided on a new countertop for the kitchen, which involves two 90-degree angles, so they got the professionals (I think from Lowe's) to do it. It had to be measured and custom-put-together by a company in Ohio. Took 4 tries for them to get a countertop. Needless to say, they got the thing for free, which means that next winter they now have money to put a wood floor in their kitchen.

    Also, will I see you at Salomon Farms tomorrow? Ravelry event page