Rise of the Machines, Part II
'Member when, about a year ago, I bitched and moaned that appliances and electric doodads were conspiring against me, and that all I had to do was merely PASS BY something with a plug, and it would immediately start the Beeping of Death, followed by smoke and/or fire, and then die in a painful, shuddering heap? Remember that? Well, good people, THAT TIME IS UPON US AGAIN.
It started with the washing machine and dryer. They had worked so faithfully for me for so long, even moving from Athens to Atlanta with no complaint, existing in peaceful harmony even though one was white and one was bisque and they clearly did not match, THIS DID NOT MATTER, they provided nothing but love and spring-scented clothing anyway, for they were FAITHFUL APPLIANCES. Until they turned on me.
The dryer was the first to go, but it was followed quickly by the washer, who died a sympathy death much like the second dog in Where the Red Fern Grows (OH I HATE THAT BOOK). And even though this was maybe a little sad on an sentimental level, I wasn't too upset, because I purchased a BRAND NEW, FANCY ASS European washer and dryer several weeks ago, which had been donated to a charity-used-things-sale, and which I had bought, in anticipation of THIS VERY DAY.
So I was feeling smart, and also smug, because I knew I had two brand new, top of the line European machines just sitting outside in the garage, waiting patiently for their opportunity to European-ly permanent press the daylights out of something. I imagined that while they waited, they talked to each other in stereotypically German accents, saying things like:
Washer: I can't VAIT to start the voshing. I vill vosh EVERYSINK zat she has, and it vill be so CLEAN and VONDERFUL like days of Spring.
Dryer: I vill dry like the engine of zee jet. I vill be so fast she vill vonder, where has time gone? Poof!
So, anyway. I called Dig and Dukay and my father, and everyone came over to participate in the Great Switching of Washers and Dryers, and it involved a dolly AND a hand truck and lots of rippling muscles, and I pretty much just stood there, smugly, watching and offering to wash everyone's clothes, and their families' clothes, and anyone else's clothes, pretty much, because...new washer! And dryer! Yay!
Y'all, I even went out (wait, correction. Had Dukay go out) and buy the industrial-sized jug of Tide, which contains enough detergent to wash the whole entire wardrobe of a family of seventeen. And DRYER SHEETS. A WORLD of dryer sheets. I was ready to WASH, y'all!
Wait, hold on. Is it...sad that I was so excited about doing laundry? It's...it's sad, isn't it? Awesome! I officially suck now. Don't tell anyone.
But ANYWAY. So the moving was completed, and Dad started hooking up the European washer. And then he turned it on, and all these buttons started blinking, and I said, "Oh, let's WASH something! Let's wash THIS!" and happily grabbed a towel, and threw it in the basin, and added soap, and pushed some blinking lights, and sat back and waited, BREATH BATED, for water to fill the machine.
And this is what happened.
Machine: (Gurgle. Splurt. WATER! Stop. Gurgle.)
Machine: VOT IS HAPPENING.
Machine: WATER! Stop. Gurgle. Splurt. Beep?
Machine: Vosher is feeling...so...wrong...
Self: Look! It's energy efficient! Or...something!
Dad: Yeah, I guess...
Machine: Beep! WATER! Splurt. Gurgle. Blaaaaah.
Machine: VOT IS HAPPENING TO VOSHER?
Dad: Is it supposed to do that?
Self: Um. I don't actually know what classifies as "European," and what classifies as just..."broken."
Dad: I think we're in the second camp.
Machine: Ding! All done!
Machine: Good bye, vorld.
Machine: (Turns off.)
Self: Aw, shit.
So, the washer? Broken. And us, with no manual of any kind, because I bought it from a thrift sale thingy, thinking I was the most brilliant and economical individual on the planet. Ha ha, good intentions!
And naturally, that was just the beginning, because at that point, at least we could install the dryer, but NOT SO MUCH, when Dad turned to me and said, "Wait, are these European?"
And I said yes, indeedy. In fact, they are German, with stereotypically German accents.
And he said, "Well, what is FUNNY, is that the plugs ARE ALSO EUROPEAN."
And I said, "..."
And SO, Dig and Dukay and Dad had the sheer pleasure of REMOVING the new European washer and dryer, placing them BACK into the garage, where they are sitting next to the OTHER two dead machines, and the inside of my garage is now riddled with dead appliances.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
Because the NEXT DAY, while sleeping, a major thunderstorm hit. And apparently, the fucker hit MY HOUSE, because I woke up as the entire room flashed white and there was the kind of crash that indicates that maybe GOD IS PISSED AT YOU.
(Dukay, naturally, slept through the whole Biblical thing. No wonder I feel so safe when he's around! It's like being protected by a doberman. Who happens to be dead.)
So, I figure that whoa, that's...loud, but seeing as I'm still alive, and Dukay is still snoring, I guess all is well and I'll just go back to sleep.
And all WAS well, until the following afternoon, when I tried to watch a DVD that I had in the DVD player, and the damn thing would not turn on. Nor would the VCR. Because they were FRIED, like EGGS, like YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS, and like many other examples of things that are similarly fried, and as a direct consequence, WILL NOT WORK ANYMORE.
The realization that the DVD player was fried, and that it contained a disk that I was not going to lose, OH NO, because it was a bootlegged and possibly slightly illegal copy of a television show which you can find NOWHERE, and I NEED THAT, put me in the novel position of having to try to figure out how, exactly, one extracts a DVD from a player that will not turn on, no matter how nicely you ask. Ultimately, the question was solved by using:
Two steak knives
A gallon of gasoline
(No, not really. But it was CLOSE. Still, isn't that very MacGuyver of me? I called all kinds of people and announced "I just got a DVD out of my DVD player all by myself!", only it was sad because nobody is ever impressed by what I do. There is no pleasing some people.)
But. ANYWAY. SO, so far, casualties include TWO washers, TWO dryers, a DVD player, and a VCR. I'm glad the TV and laptop haven't been struck (although...matter of time, possibly), but I am now eyeing all of my appliances suspiciously, wondering who is going to turn next.
And frankly, I've got my money on the dishwasher.