Saturday, January 21, 2006


This will be a fast-moving post, so stay with me. You ready? Okay, here goes.

Remember the appliance conspiracy? AKA the “Duke of Earle Electronic Domino theory?” (That last was Kenju’s name for it which, as I predicted, has now cause ME to suffer mightily of its many and far-flung consequences!)

What happened, you ask? Well, my 14 year old Kitchen Aid dishwasher cratered. A major part was broken, and given the machine’s age Carol and I decided to replace it.

We shopped. We compared. We checked online retailers for free shipping (found it!) and low prices with no state sales tax (found all that, too!). We ordered. We waited for a shipping notice with a tracking number. Time passed.

I called the place and asked about my order (after, of course, listening to Mozart while I held for at least 30 minutes waiting for a Customer Service rep). He, sounding blithe, told us that we had cancelled that order by email. I, sounding very UN-blithe, informed him that no, we had not!

He said, in a somewhat superior tone, “I have your email on my screen, sir.”

I asked, “What is the email address it came from?” He read off some weird address I’ve never heard of. “That’s NOT my email, and I did NOT cancel that order. Someone made a mistake!”

Mr. Customer Service Rep then became a bit less superior, and asked if I would like to re-order. Yes, I would. But for the same discounted price and free shipping that had been in effect at the time of the ORIGINAL order!

“I’ll have to check with my supervisor,” he claimed.

“Please do,” I replied. Then I listened to the same Mozart melodies for another 30 minutes until he came back on the line. He said he would be happy to extend the same offer as before.

But do you see what happened here? The curse conspiracy was already working against me! The computers of cyberspace obviously sent that retailer a spurious email cancelling my order! But the forces of evil arrayed against me seemed to let down their guard a bit, because not only did I re-instate the order (I think it’s because I did so via the telephone, and the computers couldn’t interfere between the two humans in the transaction), but the new dishwasher actually arrived this past Thursday undamaged! (The freight company is NOT part of the conspiracy! Hallelujah!)

So, on Friday night I unhooked the old, broken dishwasher and dragged it out to the curb for the garbage pick-up folks to either haul away or salvage for parts. Today I installed the shiny new appliance.

And it fought me every step of the way! Oh, I followed the written instructions to the letter, but that helped me not in the least.

First, the hot water connection would not thread into place properly. I had the dishwasher in and out of its space under the kitchen counter 3 times, fighting the supply line problem. Then came the drain connections. Then the wiring.

WHY do they design these things with only about two inches of space underneath them, and then expect humans to reach way back into that space with wrenches or other tools and actually connect and tighten things? And just for your information, cursing may make the installer FEEL better, but it does not actually help with the installation. That’s from personal experience!

But I was overcoming these problems, and doing quite well, thank you, until I bent down to adjust something and ZING!!! My lower back! I wasn’t even touching anything, let alone straining. I just bent over and twisted slightly.

The air in the kitchen still has a hint of the blue streak that I then created, and that was hours ago.

Well, we had a golf tee time today but I wasn’t able to play. Couldn’t bend at the waist to address the ball. But walking usually helps when I have back pain, so I walked the 18 holes while Carol and our good friend Ruth played. They played pretty well, too.

Once we got home this afternoon I finished up the installation and turned on the electricity. Thus far the water supply fittings have not leaked, but we haven’t actually run a load of dishes through it to see if the drain hoses leak or not. In my experience, SOMETHING’S got to leak.

Or maybe it will wait until 2 a.m. and flood the whole house while we sleep.

That’s IF I can sleep, with my back hurting.



Hale McKay said...

Your story sounds like fodder my HOney-Do series this past summer. Murphy, when he wrote his laws, must have been a home-owner.

kenju said...

Okay, John, I take it all back! Obviously the universe is punishing you for what I said - so I'm sorry and I'll ask forgiveness of both you and the universe.

About the bad back: bending slightly and then twisting is the bane of my existence. Trust me, if you are careful, it will be gone in a week; meantime, use a hot tub if you have access to one, sleep with your knees raised by a pillow or two and don't strain anything else!

Candace said...

Tomcat tells me that whenever I hear a bluestreak from him while he's fixing something, it just means he's having fun. It doesn't sound like you were having fun, though. Hmmm. I wonder what's up with that...

Duke_of_Earle said...


My opinion? Tomcat is LYING!!
Or maybe he DOES create a blue streak when he's having fun. Weird, but...


r.e.wolf said...

Have you considered an appliance installation business in your spare time?


Michelle said...

I just KNEW that Kenju was tempting fate when she wrote her blog. LOL. Just teasing Kenju.

You were so luck to change the appliance conspiracy around and eventually get your new dishwasher but ...... at the expense of twisting your back ..... I somehow don't think you were all that successful.

As for your back, that is what I keep on doing on a regular basis. I just bend down to pick up something off the floor and voila, out she goes. Its a damn nuisance and yes I agree with you, damn painful. I hope it heals quickly. Lots of massaging and keeping the back heated does the trick for me and maybe it will work for you too.

Miss Cellania said...

I so feel for you. But I was still laughing through the story! I think someone put a hoodoo on your dishwasher.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Miss C.

Little do you know. You evidently have not read all the previous posts about the conspiracy of various so-called "inanimate" objects that threatens our very existence. And now they are attacking my physical body as well!! Compared to this, Global Warming is no threat at all!

But your "hoodoo" comment is pretty close. I just hope it stops with the dishwasher. We'll see!


Nankin said...

Having installed a new dishwasher about 6 months ago, I understand EVERYTHING in today's post. I also discovered that the old one had never been properly secured so it sounded like a dump truck.

It's so nice having really clean dishes AND not having to leave the house for a bit of peace and quiet. And I can say, I did it myself.