Saturday, September 02, 2006

Past Due, Day 2, Friday- Father of the Year

My wife is hard on appliances. It started when we first became an item, and it hasn’t gotten any better since.

When we were the young, childless, dual-income family, we decided to build the ultimate hamster house. So my new bride went to second hand stores and purchased every piece of hamster habitat she could find. I assembled these pieces into a truly ridiculous, completely impractical, and rather massive structure that spanned half of a room.

Seriously, there were tubes and wheels everywhere. We drank a lot in those days.

At any rate, we bought a couple of hamsters and set them loose in this new Malibu dream hamster house. It literally took a week for the hamsters to find each other.

Now, if you know anything about hamsters, you know what happened next. If not, let me summarize: Hamster Thunderdome. Three went in, one came out.

Hamsters, much like IT professionals, are not social creatures.

After a series of hamster burials, we decided to dismantle the hamster structure of doom and have a single cage for the winner (I wanted to name it Mad Max, but noooooo).

Shortly thereafter, the dishwasher broke. Odd. This was the machine that could eat a cake on the commercials. I saw it myself, and that’s why I bought it.

So, with the help of an appliance repairman friend, we tore into the guts of the dishwasher to find:


Ew. Gross. I turned to my wife.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Nothing.” She turned on the cute looks.

“Why is there sawdust in the dishwasher?”

“I don’t know, you’re the wood guy. What did you put in there?”

“Dishes. This sawdust is green.”

“Maybe it is old.” She was smiling and flipping her hair.

“This looks like hamster house shavings.”

“Am I cute?” She asked.

My friend piped up “Yeah, that what this is. Did you wash some kind of animal cage in here?” We both stared at her, slightly in shock.

“Yes, fine, I’m sorry.” She answered. She did the cute stomp and turn thing and marched away in a cloud of long blonde hair.

“Dude, gross. You’ve been eating hamster poop on your dishes.” My friends are so helpful.

“Shut up,” was all I could manage. I was feeling slightly ill.

There it was. My lovely new bride had washed the extra hamster house pieces in the DISHWASHER, clogging and destroying the pump.

It was three months before we got a new dishwasher (I was pissed), and even then, we had “what to and what not to put inside” classes.

She has not killed another dishwasher in almost fifteen years.

Washing machines, however, she goes through like Paris Hilton goes through men. A washer lasts, on average, two years. I don’t even bother to buy them new anymore.

Our last washer had it transmission shredded by a load a queen size comforter, two pairs of jeans, and about half a pound of split-shot fishing washers.

She should have checked my pants pockets.

We were in the process of purchasing the house, so I figured I buy another $150 sacrifice to gods of laundry after we moved in. Used washers do not like to be moved.

That’s when she saw it on the side of the road. A washing machine with a “Free, I work” sign on it. We loaded up the van and headed over.

Sure enough. A free washer. On the side of the road. What the hell, if it doesn’t work, I’ll bring it back under cover of darkness.

So I lug this monster to the side of the van. It wont fit through the side door.

At this point, I did what any father of the year candidate would do. I tossed the kids out on the side of the road.

“Everybody out.” I said.

“But dad, it’s hot out there, and we’re tired. We’ve been at the park all day and it is a long way to…” whined my oldest.

“Rule number two.” I answered. See, we have three rules for life in our family:
  1. Life is not fair.
  2. It is not all about you.
  3. Do the right thing.
Everything can be filed under one of those three rules.

“Fine. Not fair.” She paused, then quietly, “Rule one.”

I folded down the seats and loaded the washing machine in the back of the van and gleefully left my wife and two daughters on the side of the road. Free washer! This thing must be worth like $50!

I drove the quarter mile straight uphill in the 80+ degree heat (in Astoria, that’s sweltering) to the time sink, and had some ice cream while I waited for my wife to arrive.

Just kidding. I drug the machine up into the laundry room, hooked it up, and….

It works. Really well. Ran a hot water / bleach cycle on it and everything is good.

Too bad the poor thing only has a year to live.

Total costs: $2,465


At 10:19 AM, Blogger Oregon Coast said...

Dude, that was like FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, and I was WASTED! Geez. You remember everything. I hate that.

I am sure you've done some heinous stuff, too, but being as I have sacrificed my brain cells to the fruit of your loins while they gestated, I will be back later after the two living cells I have left have rubbed together for warmth and come up with something.


At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Wende said...

90--the weather was 90! :) I should have thrown a party--it was over 80 degrees at 8 pm last night!

Thanks for all the linkage below. I've had a dozen hits from you--none of them stayed because I don't have a Penis or a Hammer--but they visited none the less. :)

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a rule in our house:
"He who wears the pants checks the pockets before the pants hit the laundry pile." This after at least three dozen tubes of Kid#2's chapstick/lip gloss inflitrated Dad's work pants, each in separate events.

You wear the pants, you check the pockets. Woe to the person that turns Dad's pants pink.

(can't publish under my own name)
Lindsey @

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous abbienormal said...

So, Lindz, you are telling us that your Dad had pink pants and also some infused with chapstick????
Too funny.

$5 for any good photos of him.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Lindsey said...

Dad does not own any pink pants. He had some infused with chapstick, but I believe those are long gone... sorry, no pictures of him in them. :( Hehehe, maybe I'll have to work on that. ;)


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