Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Washing Machine Opera: Act III

So.   The washing machine doesn't work as well as it used to, now that it looks like this.

Welcome back to Act II the Washing Machine Opera -- a tragic opera, I might add -- in three acts.
  • Act I:  the Agony of deciding to get a new machine,  
  • Act II: Miser Mom goes to Mall, 
and . . . 
  • Act III: Farewell to the Former Machine.
We'd decided to replace the old washing machine.  We'd purchased a new one (with no warranty, but with "free delivery").  Now we just had to wait for the new machine to come and the old one to leave.

The guys who brought our new machine had obviously had a lot of experience.  They measured the doorway to our basement and clucked their heads:  "not gonna fit".  We pointed out that there was already a washing machine in the basement that did  fit, so they reluctantly tried anyway.  Nope, the machine stuck in the doorway.

They started heading back out to the truck, but I pleaded with them:  Let me take off the door frame.  "No, we don't have the time to wait. We'll come back another day."  Please, I asked.  Give me five minutes.  If I don't have the door frame off in five minutes, you can go.  They agreed to wait, with Guy1 looking impatiently at his watch.

Hooray for flat-head screwdrivers and hammers!  Three minutes later, Guy1 and Guy2 were easing the washing machine through the barely-big-enough doorway and down the narrow stairs to the basement.

A few minutes later, we saw Guy1 heading back up the stairs with his empty hand-truck.  My husband asked me, "Weren't they supposed to take the old machine away?"  I don't know what they're doing, I told him.  I'll go downstairs and find out.

I went downstairs to schmooze up Guy2.  He was from the Dominican Republic, I found out.  (I'm so glad I speak Spanish).  We talked about places I'd visited in Mexico, places in Puerto Rico he'd been to and that I'd nearly been to.  While he hooked up the new machine, I asked him about the old one standing right next to him.  "Oh, we're not supposed to take that.  We have 13 minutes to make a delivery, 30 minutes if we're also taking away the old one.  Our manifest says we have 13 minutes at your house."

Oh.  I was all-of-a-sudden even more grateful for the 5 minutes they'd granted me on my door frame removal.

We waved good-bye to Guy2, and my husband got on the phone with the department store:  What about the free delivery you promised us when we got the department store credit card?   It turns out, that doesn't come with free pick-up.  Pick-up costs . . . well, it costs as much delivery + pick-up. So if we wanted them to take our old machine away, we'd essentially be paying the delivery fee anyway.  (What a bait and switch!  Man, but I truly hate the Mall.)

But, as Joseph noted to his brothers when they visited him in Egypt:  "You might have meant this for evil, but God intended it for good".  (I don't meant to imply that hidden pick-up charges are as evil as selling your brother into slavery, of course, even if while we were in the thick of things it felt just as vile).

So I turned my back on the department store.  I got busy with wrenches and screwdrivers.  The inside of a washing machine is an interesting new world:  the drum is held on, not with nuts and bolts, but with giant springs!  (Makes sense, now that I think about it).  The machine is so danged heavy because the drum is balanced with giant concrete blocks that keep everything from bungee jumping all over the basement.  Wonder and mystery.

Once I'd disassembled the machine -- a therapeutic process for me, not unlike taking apart the elephant-mother-chair -- we hauled the pieces upstairs one by one, and placed them in the driveway.  We called Paul D., now unfortunately a widower, who recycles scrap metal to bring in some extra money.   Giving him our scrap metal -- turning our steel into his gold -- wasn't exactly the Amazingly Good Act of saving the Egyptians and the Israelites from seven years of famine, but it still felt like a redemptive way to bring this opera to an end.  

No comments:

Post a Comment