I know a man who, upon occasion, uses the phrase “it is a truth”. Curious phrase but it serves to give credence to whatever will be said next. And so, it is a truth that household appliances and to some degree farm machinery possess some sort of inanimate sense of humour and a desire to make humans look stupid. Someone should do a study, a trial to bear this out. It would show this is a true story.
Farm machinery humour
I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan where, starting well before the legal driving age, you were operating farm machinery. This included all manner of tractors and machinery that hooked on behind-seeders, cultivators and rodweeders, swathers and combines. I remember clearly on more than one occasion where something would break down when I was operating it. A sudden grinding sound or a gauge that showed over-heating and I would stop things in their tracks and wait for my father to show up so we could fix things. Eventually he would come to check on me (this is pre-cellphone days of course) and when I explained what was wrong he’d do a test drive and there would be no sign of any trouble. It’s my belief that when the machinery sat out in their little commune on the edge of the field they would speak amongst themselves and say “let’s make Barb look as if she doesn’t know what she’s doing”. And they were very successful.
Home appliances scheme
In our married lives we have had about three sets of home appliances. I mean large appliances, as in fridge, stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer. When you buy things at the same time, some say they wear out at the same time. That’s not really the way it happens. The appliances speak amongst themselves too.
If one appliance has an ailment and a repair person is called then the other appliances think that they might need some pampering and attention too and soon they break down. We once had a repairman in to fix our stove. While there he noticed the make and model of our dishwasher and he said he was surprised to see it was still working for the model was a lemon. That dishwasher heard that and within a month it broke down. We have learned through that experience you should never speak ill of an appliance while in its presence.
Over the last year or more our geriatric washing machine seemed to be making louder and louder sounds while it continued to work very well. About three weeks ago, over morning coffee, my husband said it might be time to think about replacing the washer. I told him he shouldn’t say things like that-the washer could hear him and think it was time to break down. My husband said there was no chance the washer heard him-there was too much other noise in the house at the time and the door to the laundry room was closed. It was less than two weeks later the motor on the washing machine seized up, the breaker blew and it was time for a replacement. Here we are now, ten days later and today a new washer and dryer were installed. We’ve done our first loads of laundry. The machines beep and whir and chime. At this point we need to stand there with the instruction book in order to operate the washer and dryer. The book says if you are having trouble with the dryer you can call the repair service and hold the phone up to the dryer and it will transmit information on its malady! Seems to me with this new generation of appliances we really will not be able to speak about their health in front of them-they might just call the repair service and lodge a complaint of maltreatment!