Raymond L. Atkins 0000-00-00 00:00:00
One of the first things you notice when you walk into my kitchen is a notepad hanging on the wall next to the sink. The following words are written on it: rice, spaghetti, grits, celery, chili, popcorn, potatoes, slaw, and socks. If I asked you what this was, chances are you’d say a grocery list. And that would be a good guess in most homes, socks notwithstanding. In my house, however, it is the ever-expanding catalog of substances that will not go down the garbage disposal without stopping up the drain. Each one of the foodstuffs was a lesson learned the hard way, and I am so gun-shy with the disposal now that about all I will run through it is water — and not much of that. As for the socks, I don’t want to talk about it. I live in the Kingdom of Imperfect Machines. My house is where healthy contraptions go to get sick, and where ailing mechanical devices linger indefinitely at a point just shy of breaking down completely. For instance: I have three toilets, which means I have three handles to jiggle. I also have three showers and four sinks in the house, and if I ever get all of those leaks stopped, Memphis’s aquifers will be saved, and we will not have to invade Mississippi. My television remote has to be rapped sharply on the windowsill before being aimed at the TV, or it will not change a channel. And our DVD player takes so long to eject, we get overdue notices from the video store before I can get the discs out of the tray. I have a doorbell that rings exactly 50 percent of the time — I have documentation. The dishwasher cleans glasses but not plates; the weather radio won’t pick up the local forecast; and I have to smack the pool filter with a hammer while backwashing the pool. Well, that’s not quite true. I had to do that with the old filter. The new one has to be smacked in order to clean it. My freezer has an opening in the door that is supposed to produce ice cubes whenever you put your cup under it. Supposed to. Oh, there is plenty of ice in the hopper, and if you don’t mind sticking your hand in the freezer, you can grab all you want. But it will not come down the chute. We first noticed this problem the day after we bought the freezer, and we had the repairman out so many times that we finally just moved him into one of the kids’ old rooms upstairs. As a matter of fact, he’s in the kitchen right now with his hand stuck in the freezer, getting some ice cubes. Two years ago, I purchased and installed a brand-new, digitally controlled, top-of-the-line convection double oven. It was a bit expensive, but it had an unconditional one-year warranty, so I didn’t see how I could get hurt in the deal. So 366 days later, it quit working, and “F7” came up on the keypad. The owners’ manual informed me that F7 meant something was wrong with the oven. I swear on the heads of my children, that’s what it said. So I called the manufacturer, and after a lengthy hold on a non-toll-free line during which I had the opportunity to listen to “The Boy from Ipanema” 17 times, my customer service technician joined me. Me: I have an F7 code on my 366-day-old, digitally controlled, top-of-the-line convection double oven. CST: That means something is wrong with the oven. Me: Can you narrow that down? CST: Well, I could send out a repairman. Me: I’ve already got one of those. What I need is an oven. CST: See that blank space on the keypad to the left of the clock on your oven’s control panel? Hit that spot hard with the ball of your hand. Me: Beg your pardon? CST: Do you want supper tonight or not? I wanted supper, so I hit the designated area with my fist, and the F7 warning went away. F7 has not been back since that day, and I am not quite sure what is going on with that. Maybe it’s time to take another crack at that ice-maker.
Published by Downtowner Magazine. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://bluetoad.com/article/So+It+Goes/330639/32611/article.html.