October 14, 2005

Jimbo and the Washing Machine.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:00 am

Teresa of Technicalities shares her problem with a new washing machine, which appears to be leaking. Her post reminds me of something that proves, beyond peradventure, my utter dumbshittery when it comes to things mechanical, like washing machines.

Being an accomplished Laundry Guy, I spend a good deal of time with the washing machine in the basement of the House by the Parkway. I know the correct water temperature for each of the wash and rinse cycles for everything from dainties to grubby whites. I can look at a pile of stuff and know whether I need the low, medium, high or mondo high water level. Extra rinse? I have that wired too. Normal or ass-kicking wash cycle? No problem. However, just because I can operate the washing machine with the ease of playing my set of Ludwigs or my beloved Gibson, it doesn’t mean that I have a clue as to how the damned thing works.

A few years ago, I was in the basement working on the piles of dirty (or deemed, by convention, to be dirty) laundry (properly sorted, of course), when I noticed that there was a puddle near the washing machine. Behaving, as the mechanically feckless must, I ignored the puddle on the floor, hoping that the puddle was some kind of a weird aberration – perhaps Maytag’s version of a water fart. It was a case of Broken Appliance Denial.

Unfortunately, with each passing load, the puddle re-appeared. I had to face the truth. Mr. Washing Machine was sick and possibly dying.

I looked, but I was unable to find the source of the leak, which led me to conclude that the leak must be coming from somewhere in the bowels of the machine, a mysterious place where I dare not go.

The conclusion was inescapable. The machine was too old to spend the money that would surely be necessary to have it fixed. It was time for a new washing machine.

We went out to Big Store on Route 22 and picked out a new Maytag.

“No thanks, Jitendra, I don’t need the one with the electric ass-wipes. I just wanna wash dirty clothes is all.

“Do I want the ‘Super Guarantee’ – The one where you if you ever, EVER have a problem, just call Big Store, and Big Store will immediately make it right? And, I don’t have to deal with the manufacturer?

“Sounds good.” I said. “Sign me up.”

The next day, two burly guys came to the house and delivered the brand-new Maytag. Pursuant to the terms of my Agreement, they dragged the old washer up the cellar stairs and loaded it onto their truck, presumably, to be deposited in some place where old, leaky washing machines go.

I eagerly read the instructions for the new washer, and I was ready to rock. For the machine’s maiden voyage, I tossed in a load of cold-water colors and pushed all the right buttons. Sweet.

Forty minutes later, I returned to the cellar to remove the clothes.


There was a puddle on the floor! This can’t be.

I was seriously pissed. I immediately called the Super Guarantee number provided by Big Store and reported the problem. The person on the other end of the line gave me the Maytag “800” number, explaining that the Super Guarantee didn’t kick in for ninety days. So much for Big Store’s bullshit Super Guarantee.

I called the Maytag “800” number, and the person must have thought she was dealing with Charles Manson. Of course, she didn’t know anything about the Super Guarantee I purchased at Big Store. Rather, she suggested that I try to locate exactly where the leak was coming from and call her back.

By this time, I was pissed beyond description.

Still, I decided that I would play along and do my best to locate the source of the leak. I also planned to take pictures, because I wanted to carefully preserve the evidence that I would use to sue the shit out of Maytag for making a shitty product (breach of warranty) and Big Store for its bullshit Super Guarantee (breach of warranty, consumer fraud and anything else I could think of). The crowning glory of my lawsuit against Maytag and Big Store was to be a photo of the exact place from which the brand-new machine was leaking.

I told myself, “These sons-a-bitches screwed with the wrong guy. They have no idea that they are messing with a Laundry Guy, who also happens to be a Lawyer Guy.

I loaded up the machine and fired her up. I pulled the machine away from the wall and armed myself with a serious flashlight and camera. I fixed my eyes on the machine while it ran through the cycles, just waiting for the first sign of water.

No leak WTF??

I took my eyes off the machine and looked slightly left. There was a new puddle on the floor, which was wending its way toward the machine.

Oh shit.

Once the puddle reached the machine, it looked just like the puddle I saw with old machine.

Turns out that what was leaking was the tub into which the washer drained.

The tub???

Yes, the tub, asshole – not the machine.

Bottom line: I had thrown away a perfectly good washing machine and spent a couple hundred bucks on a washing machine I did not need.

As for the tub, a bit of duct tape did the trick.

Laundry Guy? Yes.

Lawyer Guy? Yes.

Sometimes Seriously Stooopid Guy? Unfortunately, yes.

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