M. Giant's
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010  

Christmas Wipe Out

On Christmas Day, after we'd spent a few hours battling the snow in our driveway and sidewalk instead of battling the snow on the freeway between here and my parents' house, we came inside. Trash was busy straightening the kitchen while I was in the basement throwing some snowy wet clothes in the washing machine. Suddenly I heard a loud crash and a startled shout of pain from upstairs.

I dropped what I was doing and ran upstairs, as my training dictated, and beheld a frightening scene.

Our new dishwasher, the one we bought less than a year ago and had professionally installed, had its door open almost all the way to the floor. It looked the way our old, horrible dishwasher used to look when the hinge springs broke, as they did periodically, and reminded us just how a heavy the door of an automatic dishwasher really is. It also looked the way my jaw did.

Oh, also, Trash was splayed out on the linoleum.

Apparently her wet socks had slipped on the linoleum floor and she'd gone pitching forward toward the dishwasher, which she had open for some reason with the bottom rack out. Now, she's not a big girl, but if you drop a sack of groceries on an open dishwasher door hard enough, it's going to knock it out of true. And I don't think she would object to my revealing that she's heavier than your average sack of groceries. She might even be heavier than Under the Dome. Hence the condition of our dishwasher. And her leg, or something.

She gave me kind of a hard time about my priorities during that first moment of horror, while she sat there with sunbursts of pain radiating from her newly-bashed knee and the fresh memory of the steak knife points seeming to rush up to meet her face. But as I told her later, humans heal. Whereas dishwashers don't, which meant I was going to be stuck with another busted-ass leaky piece-of-shit Joad dishwasher in my kitchen for another twelve years.

So while M. Edium helped her into the living room and onto the love seat, iced her knee, and got her a few old leftover narcotic pain pills, I examined the more permanent damage. And I realized that as much as I hated our old dishwasher, it had done one thing for me: it had taught me how to fix broken dishwashers.

After rolling the lower rack away from where it had crashed into the center island and closing the door, I saw that it was even worse than I feared: the door didn't close properly. It was hitting the edge of the dishwasher socket, like our old one had. It was like our hateful old appliance had risen from the dead to possess the body of our new one.

But from what I could tell, Trash had only bent the two l-shaped hinge brackets that hold the door. Could I bend them straight again? I could not, because they had started out with a crimp in them and I didn't know exactly what they'd looked like to begin with. So I got online, ordered the replacement parts (less than $40 with shipping, which is significantly less than an entire dishwasher, even if you install it yourself), and waited for them to arrive.

And when they did, I fixed it. Yes, I had to take a couple of pieces off our kitchen cabinets, and mess up the floor in front of the dishwasher a little more than it's already been messed over the years, and I had to make a special trip to the hardware store to get a screwdriver with a point shaped like a Star of David for some reason, but I got it fixed. The door opens exactly to where it's supposed to and no further, it doesn't leak, and the dishes come out clean every time, provided we do what we're supposed to do. Namely, don't overload it and scrape off the gack beforehand and remember to actually press the start button. The door even closes properly again without hitting the edge of the socket. Literally, it's good as new.

Plus Trash can walk again, so that's good news too. Told her she'd heal.

posted by M. Giant 7:23 AM 0 comments


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