It should be noted that what I lack in mechanical ability, I make up for with a complete lack of common sense.
I tend to hold the notion that if something is already broken, I can’t possibly cause it any more harm now can I? This, of course, is purely crazy but I find it comforting somehow.
On the case. Take the case of the mysteriously drippy dishwasher. It takes me a while to catch on to things, yes, but once the third tile cracked under my feet in the kitchen, well I just knew something was amiss!
My eagle eye immediately spotted that the tile, when stepped on, went “squish.” Now, a self-cleaning oven is one thing, but a kitchen floor that self-rinses is quite another. I don’t have to be a design diva to know that something was very, very wrong.
Just the teensiest bit of investigation on my part, namely, calling my lovely spouse to come look at it, soon showed the problem. The dishwasher was dripping and the water was running under the tile.
We now have ample proof that ceramic tile doesn’t like water very much and will, quite literally, crack under the aquatic pressure.
You want me to what? Thus, my spouse, with what I have come to know as an all too common complete disregard for his personal safety said blithely “well I guess you’ll just have to hand wash the dishes.”
Honestly, he’s so cute when he’s insane. I reacted as if he had told me that the washing machine was malfunctioning and I would henceforth have to beat all my laundry on a rock. In fact, I used those exact words.
Look, I’m no princess, well, OK I am. I just see no reason to accept such lackluster performance from an appliance that is taking up space in my midst without even attempting to get to the bottom of things.
In this case, the bottom was the problem. The leak was most certainly at the bottom. The bottom of the dishwasher is, as you may guess, located near the floor.
Don’t tell on me. Now, I cannot possibly be the only person who doesn’t routinely yank out my dishwasher to clean underneath it can I? Go ahead and call Martha and Heloise and the rest of the clean-team on me, but suffice to say it was deep down ugly under there.
Honestly, you’d think all the dust bunnies would have more than adequately soaked up any drips!
Now, this is where my complete lack of mechanical aptitude – what is, in fact, my mechanical ineptitude – ran afoul of my legendary impatience. Meaning: I will not wait.
A dripping war. It was between me and the drip. The drip was going to cause me to have to actually hand wash my dishes. This drip was winning. This drip was war.
As I lay prone on the floor peering into the grime filled gloom under the dishwasher one glaring fact became painfully obvious: I had no earthly idea what I was looking at.
Had the errant, drippy part dropped off at that moment and rolled out and bumped me square on the nose, I would have been none the wiser. Fortunately, I did have the dog standing by to assist me. Sadly, he had about as much a chance as I did of cracking the case.
As it turns out, there are a lot of wires underneath a dishwasher. That I wasn’t expecting. I don’t know what I thought made dishwashers run, but it definitely wasn’t so science-projecty in my mind.
Now, I see wires, I think “electricity.” I’m no science major, but imagining electricity as I’m lying in a puddle well, let’s just say my mother didn’t raise a complete fool. Just nearly so.
Part of my plan. At this point, my insistence on “getting the job done” despite my having no earthly capacity to do so had adequately alarmed my spouse to the point that he simply must get involved. This, after all, was my plan all along.
He glanced underneath the infernal machine and in what seemed to be a nano-second discovered that there is a switch underneath that, when pushed to one side, drips. It is, in essence, a drip switch.
What? A drip switch? My kitchen floor was reduced to rubble over a drip switch? Who installs a drip switch? What madness is this?
I tried to keep an open mind, but it’s not big enough to be a drain, and the switch seems to serve no other purpose. Other than to drip of course.
I believe I can now say with complete authority that I have seen “planned obsolecence.” It lives under my dishwasher. The drip is gone but the cracks in the floor are still very much there.
Let me at him. On the upside, I now know where my real skill lies. I may not know much about dishwashers, it’s true. But if I get my hands on the guy who invented the “drip switch” I’m going fix him real good.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt no longer has a drip. Just a lingering sense of damp. She welcomes comments c/o email@example.com; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or hhttp://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt.)
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