The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jun 16, 2010

Minor Catastrophes

If you are like me, inept with things mechanical and too lazy or incompetent even to hang up pictures on the wall, then you do exactly as I do when the dishwasher goes on the blink. You curse fluently for several minutes, thereby vastly improving your five year old's vocabulary (and, at a day's lag, that of his classmates). You kick the dishwasher. You scratch your head. You then look for the instruction manual.

If you are like me, disorganised and uncoordinated, you won't find the manual. You will then look for the phone number to call for an engineer, and, after scrambling around for half an hour in the study, find a reminder to extend the warranty, and recall that you never really did fill it out and send it off. You curse some more to your son's everlasting awe and your wife's eternal disgust.

You look for your home insurance, and possibly even find it, only to realise that, as there's been no flood in the apartment, you are not covered. You then look for your appliance protection cover, and possibly even find it. In my case, you don't find it, because you haven't bought it.

You are now resigned to calling out the engineer, and possibly postponing that austerity drive you've been planning for the past six months but something always crops up, and you know that this will cost at least a hundred quid.

But wait! Did you forget the fuses? Perhaps a fuse has blown? You extract the dishwasher's personal fuse and it looks like no fuse you've seen before, and you have no idea whether it's, well, fused or not. So you replace it with the washing machine's fuse, and still the dishwasher doesn't turn on.

Is the mains fuse blown? Clearly not, because, well, the washing machine worked, didn't it?

Then a brief light goes on in your head, and you decide to browse the internet for a solution. Surely others have had similar problems?

With a little bit of effort, you locate a forum in which the keywords 'does not switch on' appear, and you read on with bated breath, and you realise that it's the anti-flood device that has disabled your dishwasher.

The forum suggests that you suck out the water from the salt tank, and you realise you don't have a rubber tube. What you have, though, is a vacuum cleaner and you wield it to great effect, except now your hardwood floor is soaked, and the vacuum cleaner is whining something awful.

Then you realise you have a 5 millilitre syringe you use to give your boy the occasional dose of paracetamol, and you thrust it into the salt tank, and syringe out little spurts of gunky water, and each time you thrust it into the tank, your cuticles scratch against its edge, and soon you are bleeding.

Being mathematically inclined, you ponder how many times more you'll need to stick the syringe in. You arrive at the estimate of - about 200.

And you drop the syringe into the tank.

And your wife points out that you could have used a turkey baster, except that she is a vegetarian, and you don't have a turkey baster. You go to the hardware store and get one and come back, and empty the salt tank, and baste away, and suddenly the dishwasher turns on, and you exult, and load the dishes back in (and, naturally, it's a particularly heavily soiled load), and you choose the washing cycle, and you hear the water rush in, and the detergent drops, and all is well with the world.

And five minutes later, the dishwasher dies again.


Singaporean in London said...

Wife couldn't stop giggling when I read (aloud) to the turkey baster bit. Did you call for the engineer in the end?

Fëanor said...

Glad the missis is enjoying my trials! :-) We called the engineer, but the dishwasher seems to have recovered, so we'll run it a couple more times, and if it works, then we'll cancel the appointment.

Maddy said...

man - mechanical devices work logically. so a systematic approach always works. problem is the human reaction to the problem, which is usually far from systematic!! as you aptly described..was fun reading this

Guru said...

cheery article even if it is at yur expense! Clearly you enjoyed writing it too!

Fëanor said...

Maddy, Guru: you guys are having fun at my expense and the dishwasher has completely conked. I've been washing dishes till my fingers bleed. Woe is me.

Post a Comment