Fire In The Hole, Fire In The Kitchen, Fire, Fire Everywhere
I should listen to my boyfriend the fire captain, at least about a couple of things.Mostly, that one should never leave major appliances running while out of the house.I have told him and told him and told him that The Laundry of America won’t get done if I embrace this tactic but he thinks that the house not burning down is more than fair compensation for a few late nights of folding and putting away towels.
I actually don’t leave the dryer on any longer when I’m out of the house but that has far more to do with the fact that the house around the corner burnt to a blackened shell a few years back because of a fire in an old dryer the owners had left on and I was a witness first hand to flames shooting all the way across the street.It was a site to behold and that single, acrid visual did for me what Bob could not; I stopped leaving my dryer on when I left the house that very day.
And then there is my dishwasher.I think it should have lasted 25 to 30 years but it is only about 15 years old and in the throes of Dishwasher Death.The other day it would not empty water completely without me hitting the rinse button a couple of times.Clearly, my dishwasher wanted to drown its sorrows.I didn’t think much of it and so I left it on to run again after baking up a storm of dirty dishes.I went to my daughter’s house for Easter Sunday, returning home late that same day.
I entered my house and smelled burning…stuff.Unsure where this was, my inept nose finally led me to the kitchen. I touched the dishwasher, it was very hot (on the outside and to the touch).I jumped back in alarm but opened it anyway.Somehow it had gotten stuck on the dry cycle with no water.Even the dishwasher detergent packet was still intact.The plastic containers had mostly melted, the dishes were burning hot. Even I knew that the water pump had sung the major appliance equivalent of a Swan Song. I turned everything off and waited for the smell to disperse and for everything to cool down. As I gingerly touched the scalding hot cutlery and dishes, it became blazingly clear that the dishwasher had burned everything clean, not a drop of water in sight.
The dishwasher had been ready to ignite my dishes.Like a protesting Tibetan monk, my dishwasher had progressed from hoping to drown to trying to light itself on fire.I used pot holders to put everything in the sink and to wash and cool off everything, even the now dead, melted plastic.
The very next morning, I ordered a new dishwasher. I am not telling anyone in my family or circle of friends about this because my friends and family give me such grief about my attitude toward major appliances.I firmly believe that they should all last 30 years, not three.Because of this strongly held belief, I actually continue to stand in front of my very pricy washing machine and push the start button eight times to start (the start button defaults over and over because of a badly designed motherboard) and then again three times at precisely at the 20 minute mark. This drives my boyfriend crazy. He keeps telling me to buy a new washing machine for goodness sake.I have thus far refrained from reminding him that it was HIS insistence and choice in brand and make of said faulty washing machine that put me in this predicament in the first place. I know, I am the model of girlfriend restraint.
When the service repairman told me that my washing machine had but a few weeks to live and that I’d have to replace it because the make was simply such a lemon with an impossibly high repair rate, I decided to run it into the ground.To use it until it truly died. He gave it three weeks.
That was nearly three long years ago and with the exception of having to push the button a couple of million times, the washer does a decent job of cleaning clothes.The dishwasher, however, has caused me no end of grief what with first not draining and then trying to light my dishes on fire.
I think my dishwasher is suicidal whereas the washing machine is simply being petulant and downright rebellious.
I bought one of the most inexpensive dishwashers and I did so on the advice on the washing machine repairman who had advised me to buy the simplest, least computer-loaded major appliances possible.
“They last much longer,” he explained.Duh.
So, fewest buttons and features, minimum computer circuitry, least complex machinery and I am good to go.And happily enough, the simplest appliances are most often the cheapest. This works for me as a cancer survivor because less is more, simple is better and the least amount of effort, always welcome in my ever-complicated world.
Plus, I cannot wait to see how long it takes my friends and family to notice the new dishwasher whom I think I shall christen Broom Hilda.
As long as she’s not petulant of course.
Meanwhile, the burnt hand really does teach best and until delivery day, I’m taking no chances and washing everything by hand.