Friday, May 12, 2017

Clothes Dryers Point to Boats

Clothes Dryers Point to Boats

Jennifer E. Miller

I am a happy camper. My clothes dryer got repaired this week! Going a whole ten days without a dryer is much easier than going with out a wash machine (been there; done that, too), but it's still an inconvenience.

The dryer crapped out on while it was running a cycle. I happened to be walking by and zzzzzzztttttt! the drum stopped rolling. All the lights on the front were still on so I knew it wasn't a tripped circuit. After some basic troubleshooting, it wouldn't restart, which left me with no other option expect to call the repair company. The lady who answered the phone seemed to think it was a blown fuse. If she was correct, then the repairman would be able to fix it on site in one visit. She was not correct. Something melted on the circuit board and they had to special order a whole new board. Why must all these new machines have complicated electrical components anyway? Sure, they make the machines come with convenience and bells and whistles; but it's irritating that there wasn't anything mechanically wrong with the dryer. An electrical component halts the function of a clothes dryer.

Luckily, I was able to continue with laundry chores, except I had to hang dry everything. I don't use fabric softener in the wash because, in the past, it's gunked up the wash machine. Until the temporary demise of the dryer, I'd been using dryer sheets. Therefore, hang drying made our items stiff and crinkly. The towels were especially rough. T complained daily about how his towel assaulted him and his sensitive skin by raking it off layer by layer. I noticed this, too, when I took a hang-dried hand towel with me to the gym to dab off my sweat. Instead of gently wiping away perspiration, I got a deep exfoliation on my face! People noticed I appeared extra red which they chalked up to me working harder than usual, but it was the towel burning color into my epidermis. After calming our second-degree charred skin with a gallon of industrial strength aloe vera gel, I decided it was time to find another alternative: my trusty neighbors.

We have good people living around us and they allowed me to haul over a few loads. The wake of our unforeseen tragedy was a gift to them, too, because as the loads were drying they got to spend the entire time talking to me! Or was it the other way around? My point is that a perk of otherwise dealing with broken household appliances, is that it's an excuse to bother your neighbors and force them to visit with you. We caught up on family affairs or discovered more of each other's interests. After throwing in something like a fourth load next door, I noticed the owner across the street was outside working in her garden. Since I don't talk to her much, I started up a conversation, asking if she was planting pumpkins again, etc. etc.

The folks across the street, I'll call them Barb and Tony, are retired and own a boat similar to T's. Come to find out, their boat sank over the winter. Luckily it was moored (as opposed to occupants on it) when a hose burst, allowing water to enter the hull. They found it at the bottom of the icy river in the morning. I listened in disbelief and noted that their boat wasn't all that old and what a strange thing to have happen. Barb commented that T got a new boat recently, which I confirmed. I told her how this, being our third boat, is the most expensive, yet T insists it's "worth it." Furthermore, to determine the worth of this new money-sucking toy, I decided to keep track of the price per fish relative to the cost. I only tally the fish he keeps. Catch and release doesn't count; I can't eat those. I count the crappie as one fish each, but the trout/salmon/steelhead in pounds. For example: a ten pound salmonoid counts as ten fish; ten crappie count as ten fish regardless of size. I simply divide the cost of the boat by the new fish count total.

The maiden voyage yielded fish at $1571.43 each. After a summer, fall, winter, and part of this spring, the cost has now dropped to a more reasonable $358.70 per fish. My meticulous record-keeping had Barb in stitches. She said when their replacement boat finally arrived from the factory, she was going to start keeping track of Tony's fish, too.

So, you see, a busted appliance may cost a hefty dollar to fix, but it was a great excuse to annoy spend quality time with the people around us. Hmmm. Maybe I should add the cost of the appliance repair to the price of the boat. You know, make it "worth it."

Copyright 2017 Jennifer E. Miller

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