Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Crocodile and the Washing Machine.

Living half way up a mountain in North Wales has its advantages; having a new washing machine delivered is not one of them. Getting it into my flat required the strength of ten men. We settled on two old farts and a ta… er, my nice landlady. Blood, sweat and tears were updated to, ‘Fuck, shit, and I need a beer.’

The new machine is very smart. Looking, that is. As for being smart, as in clever, I personally believe computer chips shouldn’t dictate how your shit filled underpants should be cleaned. But first I had to unpack it. If I had been evicted, I could easily have used the packing to create a shanty tent and a double mattress out of the polystyrene. Gordon Brown might then come by and say, ‘Poverty on holiday.’

I read the instructions, which were extremely baffling. Washing machine instructions are designed for woman to get so confused, that in they end, they pay huge amounts for it to be installed by ‘experts’. This is a fallacy, proved when my girlfriend last year insisted on these so called experts, install and run her new machine. Laugh? I filled my pants due to these monkeys. Oh, they installed it alright, but when asked to run a program to see if it functions within known parameters, they replied that they didn’t know how this model worked (hundreds of green LEDs glowing evilly away), and that wasn’t their job. That will be an extra £55 for connecting the water and waste. Thank you very much.

Super, hey! Well guess what? The wankers didn’t tighten the cold enough and three days later the ceiling in the room below was flooded and partially collapsed. Captain Chaos (me) to the rescue as usual. So when my generous and kindly landlady delivered my super-dooper machine this weekend (a very sexy shade of metallic grey), I insisted I was more than qualified to connect three hoses and an electric plug.

Things went rapidly downhill as fast as she and her husband exited. After exhausting myself with the packing, I realised that I needed to unlock some bolts at the back. Of course, I, along with every other member of the British Isles, carry constantly a No 10 mm ratchet spanner in the back pocket. Actually, I have a whole box of them, just lying around, waiting for a new washing machine. That problem eliminated, it seemed pure simplicity connecting the hot and cold pipes (saved from the deceased last machine, that had inexplicably decided never to stop, until I pulled the plug on it), when, amazingly the instructions said I needed a ‘Y’ type connection. Huh! I want to wash my Y fronts, not standing around asking why all of a sudden I need a pipe with a Y.

Why me? Why can’t this be simple? Why it say, ‘Do not connect to hot.’ Just the cold and then it must have a Y and go into two holes in the machine. Well, obviously, I didn’t have such an adapter amongst my Y fronts. So I had to reluctantly drag my sorry arse down the hill to the local DIY shop.

You know that secret desire of what we want to do with a celebrity of choice, should we win such a lottery. I will tell you mine. I would want Kate Bush. I would make her go up the hill to my pad, and when she gets there, I would say, ‘Now fucking sing your running up that hill with no problem!’
All beside the point – I am just pointing out that I have been forced to exert myself, when I could have quite happily insisted on the landlady vomiting up a quick pony for a Barmouth idiot to install the washing machine for me. Hah-hah, such is my life.

Meanwhile…down at the DIY, I am greeted by the owner. This bloke makes Bryan Ferry’s hair style look non-greasy.
‘I say, dear chap, you wouldn’t have a moment to hear of my complicated issues with my new washing machine by any chance.’

Obviously not. His body language pointed out he has DIY 1 as a number plate on his AUDI and didn’t get that by wasting time with riff-raff. As he so nicely put it, ‘Ask my attendant.’

Attendant was extremely helpful and after waiting for fifteen minutes, whilst he rummaged in the warehouse for the mysterious ‘Y’ adapter, what I then nearly purchased would have been as useful as a shuttlecock in a Wimbledon tennis final. It certainly had the Y factor, but it would have been easier connecting it to the space shuttle than what I wanted it for. The attendant concurred and asked if I had not been supplied with such an intricate and complicated piece of piping; as in his knowledgeable history in such matters, they usually do.

Hah-hah. This country makes me weep.
‘No, actually you are totally correct young man. I am simply here to see if I can clone a few and sell them on Ebay.’
‘Maybe they are inside the machine.’ That was his next piece of sound advice.
‘Certainly. Why not? I will simply dismantle the entire back of the machine to see if they have been inadvertently popped in there by some bored minimum wage worker.’
Actually, I didn’t say that. I had a ghastly feeling that the stupid pipes were most probably in the drum. Still, on my side, I could point out the instructions didn’t say, ‘Missing pipe is in drum.’ All was not in vain because I did need some fancy adapter to make the small waste pipe fit into a large hole in the sink’s drainage pipes.

After running up that hill (not), I staggered in and having found the missing pipes, plumbed up 78.5kgs of shiny new toy, and loaded it up with smelly soils. Looking at the ‘instructions’, it appeared that the machine had an extra crap cleaner program that boils all the bacteria to death. I wasn’t sure about that. Back in Rhodesia, the locals washed in the river using ‘Cold Power’ powder, and after thrashing their rags on the boulders, seemed to get them shiny and very smaaart clean. Oddly enough, the crocodiles down stream were voted in 1977 as the leanest, meanest, and cleanest killing machines in Africa. The farmers in the area always laughed about the effect the crocs consumption of Lever Brother’s soap suds had. One common quip –
‘Ag Man, poor old Phineas. He was doing some fishing, the poaching bastard, and fuck-me, if a flatdog didn’t just take his leg ‘clean’ off.’ That never failed to raise a drunken laugh out of the future farm evictees.

With that in mind, I like to keep my clobber rather cool. After a few beers to help me get my head around the various programs, I settled on the one marked ‘idiots’ and hit the power button.

About 45 mins later, its merry chirping turned into frantic coughing, reminiscent of a throat cancer patient and promptly lit up like a Christmas tree. It had more flashing lights than the town’s only disco. Frantic checks in the trouble shooting section pointed out that something was not quite right. Well, that was obvious. I was advised to switch it off from the mains for a minute and then try again. High Tech all this. I would have to re-boot the WM. That meant dragging the thing out from under the counter. Reset, and go baby go, and baby not go far before the same happened all over again.

As a great detective once said, ‘If all possible explanations have been eliminated, call a Polish plumber.’ I have had lots of experience with Polish plumbers: I wouldn’t let them near a watering can. Further look at the notes hinted that perhaps there was a blockage. A quick go at the ‘Pump’ setting concluded the only pumping up going on was the volume of its torturous screams.

Dragging it out once again, I disconnected everything bit by piping bit, huffing and puffing down pipes and tubes, to no avail. I stripped down the recently bought adapter connected to the waste, thinking that I had been sold a sabotaged one. Finally, more in desperation than divine inspiration, I had a cursory peep down the end of the outlet pipe. Well, well, well - looky here what I found in the pipe, and not in the instruction manual. A dark blue plastic stop-plug shoved about an inch inside it. Now who would have guessed on that!

Happily for me, lying around was a set of long, super thin, electricians crocodile nosed pliers that extracted my problem with ease. Amazingly this was the tumour and I had successfully cut the cancerous lump out. The patient recovered immediately and my wash came out smelling of …dunno, but at least it was clean.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see others suffer!
But suffering aside............... brilliant!

Anonymous said...

AS a member of the Polish Washing Machine Installation Association I feel sympathetic to your struggles.

Anonymous said...

Well written, love your style, glad I was not involved, I have done similar but with worse repercussions. Keep it up.

sarudzayi barnes said...

I just love the way you blend humour with history and yet you still manage to send that powerful message behind this humour. when I saw the title of the post,I thought Lore is now into modern African folktales.

I like your posts,and often find myself wandering to your blog when I miss a grin or a good laugh. Keep it up Lore.

John said...

Let us know when you get your tumble dryer in...

billibaldi said...

In regard to poor Phineas losing his leg, I am surprised you did not add the comment,

So a crocodile took Phineas' leg, which one?

I don't know, all these crocodiles look the same.

Anonymous said...

Thanks on your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you will
be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your
blog and may come back sometime soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great
work, have a nice morning!

Look into my webpage :: transport