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When Good Appliances Go Bad
My dishwasher died.
I had no idea how disruptive this would be.
It happened the other night when I had a full load of dirty tableware ready to be Sanitized For My Protection. Actually, it was probably closer to a load-and-a-half, come to think of it. I’m almost as good at loading a dishwasher as I am at packing a car trunk, which is to say amazing, if I do say so myself.
A lot of men are like this. We learned it from our fathers, who learned it from their fathers, and so on back to the days when great-great-great-great-grandpa was standing on a street somewhere with a house’s worth of possessions, looking into the back of a Conestoga wagon and saying, “Oh, for crying out loud, stop worrying. All this stuff will fit just fine if you know how to pack it in there.”
Of course, half the stuff fell off before the wagon got out of Pennsylvania, but that’s beside the point. Everything was in place – smashed, crumpled and held there by rope, but in place just the same -- when the wagon started moving west, and that’s what counts. Besides… oh, wait a minute. I was complaining about my dishwasher, wasn’t I? Sorry about that.
Well, it gagged and coughed and belched smoke through the garbage disposal, and then sighed and died.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I had too many dishes in the dishwasher and the poor thing croaked while trying to clean them all. Well, you’re wrong. That was the dishwasher before this one.
No, this dishwasher, the “new” dishwasher that’s only about four years old, the “reliable” dishwasher built by the company with the great reputation for “dependability,” took a powder because its electronic brain fried a circuit or two.
This, of course, makes it like so many other tools that wreak havoc upon the household because there’s something wrong with the brain. However, in those cases the brain tends to be situated in a human being, customarily of the male variety (see above under “Great-great-great-great-grandpa” and “What do you mean the dishes were in that box?”)
Ordinarily, a failed electronic brain in a dishwasher would be an easy fix. The service man comes, pulls the old one out and plugs the new one in. You give the service man a check for about half what you paid for the dishwasher in the first place, and you’re good to go.
But my serviceman, Larry (they’re all named Larry; I think it’s a union rule) says this particular electronic brain is on backorder.
“How long?” I asked.
“Well, the guy I talked to at the distributor said he’s been waiting on one for about six months.”
Well. Doesn’t THAT just chap your … uh, knuckles. It does mine, anyway, because now I have dishpan hands while trying to decide just how long I’m going to wait on this electronic brain -- knowing full well that the day I throw in the (dish)towel and buy a new dishwasher, I’ll get a call from Larry telling me my part’s in.
Oh well. As I keep reminding myself, this is a disruption, but that’s all it is. And a lot of people are facing far greater problems, life and death stuff, every day of their lives. Compared to them, this is just sinkful of dishes.
Which I had better go wash.
© 2007 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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