Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday funnies

Things fall apart, sometimes all at once, sometimes randomly.

The door to our microwave broke. Craig, the cheerful appliance repairman, rigged it up so that it works, but you have to use two hands to open the broken latch. I can’t replace the microwave only, because it is in the same unit as the oven. It would be difficult, and costly, to replace the whole unit, so we make do. I did manage to grow up without a microwave, but at this point it seems like a must-have. I use it a lot…to reheat my coffee.

I call Craig so often that he finally gave me his cell phone number so he’d be easier to track down. He seems to get a kick out of appliances. He understands them, forgiving their finnicky behavior. When he is done fixing something, he says, “She’s good to go. She shouldn’t give you any more trouble.”

More than once, he’s dealt with my stove. The electric ignitors on the burners need to be filed occasionally, and if you don’t get it just right, one or another burner won’t go on and it will click like crazy when the others are lit. I yell at it. I pound the stove. I try my nail file on it. Finally I call Craig. He cleans them up and they’re good to go. Finally it occurred to me to ask him to leave me a piece of his magic sandpaper.

Our kitchen cabinets (yes, I know, these are not appliances) have, over the years, fallen apart one at a time with no provocation. Turns out that when we redid the kitchen 16 years ago, they used a bad batch of glue. The kitchen supply people sent a carpenter to try to figure out which ones to re-glue, without much success. At least when I call to report another broken door, they fix it free of charge.

But back to appliances. The other day my dishwasher broke, and Craig came to fix it. As he was about to leave, I remembered something. Sometimes, odd horseshoe-shaped pieces of thin wire turn up in my washing machine. I’ve been saving them to show him, figuring that they signal my washing machine’s slow deterioration. But also figuring that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” I have forgotten to ask him about it.

“Oh,” Craig said, with a grin.

Then I thought I heard him say, “Those are brunderwires.”

Huh? Was that some esoteric appliance part?

“Bra underwires,” he said. “I see it all the time. One customer really wrecked her washing machine with them.”

Ohhhhhhhh. What do you know about that?

Sometimes you just have to laugh.


Susan C said...

Brunderwire - that is hilarious.

I'm trying to picture those little metal pieces.

Seems like everything is going kaput around here too - had to replace the dish washer, vacuum, pump on the outdoor fountain all within two months. We live in a time where it's often cheaper to replace than repair. I hate that.

I need a Craig in my life.

Nelle said...

This is why years ago I didn't buy the stove with the microwave on top of it. I got two traditional ovens and a separate microwave. In this house I have a regular oven and a microwave overtop. I hope Craig figures frequent fixer miles in your bills. I am lucky that I have a neighbor who is a plumber who can also fix heat and is pretty handy.

PJ said...

It's good to laugh about appliance wreckage, or else you'd cry. I once had a combination washer dryer (very bad idea), and like your microwave + oven, half of the unit broke down and this pretty much sucked.

Diane said...

I knew that you weren't supposed to put bras in the dryer (even though I always do out of laziness) but I thought it was for the benefit of the bra, not the dryer!

It's funny how things break down in patterns. We hardly have appliance problems (knock on wood), but instead seem to have been plagued with a series of live invaders. Several bats (including one at midnight when you were in the hospital and I was here alone!), a rat a couple of years ago, and this year a hornets nest that had to be removed. So we've had the 'bat man', the 'rat man' and now the 'bee man' who was nice enough to leave us some lovely honey. At the moment we seem to be just inhabited by humans and their dirty socks. Let's hope the dryer holds up.