Another Landlord Story: Appliances

While the stacked washer/dryer unit—which never manages to empty itself of water and has ominous signs of mold in its interior—seemed certain to be the first to fail, it was the ice-maker which had to be replaced not long after we moved in. Its replacement was necessitated by the formation of a glacier in the freezer, and if ever I find a glacier has formed inside my freezer again, I will know not to try to pry the thing open. The oven quit the Monday of Thanksgiving week, requiring a new burner unit, and creating the kind of household emergency so mundane it would barely be worthy of a sit-com, though it was pretty scary for me. In general the hot water situation is like an ancient polytheist religion: quaint, unnecessarily complex, incomprehensible, and frustrating. There is a toilet that flushes with a startling violence.  The room above the furnace/hot-water heater is a consistent 82˚F, perfect for rising bread dough. Most showers are equipped with two separate shower heads, controlled by individual levers, capable of spraying at the same time without overlapping the same sprayed body (unless the person is triple the width of any person in this family).  It’s a rental. It’s fine.
New dishwasher is
different from old
in one respect:
red light on floor
shows it’s on
Before it stopped pumping water out, the dishwasher had been making loud, unhappy-pump noises for a few weeks. Its demise was not unexpected from our point of view. I called the Landlords and She and I discovered that the unit would need replacing since it was not worth a repair.  She and I had two separate conversations where I assured her that ten years is a reasonable life-span for a dishwasher.  A replacement was arranged for, and being an updated version of the same model it would fit perfectly, as would the decorative front panel.
The following Monday we had an appointment for a new unit to be delivered and installed. The Landlord had paid in advance. Two guys arrived and got to work, and I did the sensible thing and stayed the hell out of their way.  It was at this point that I heard vigorous, fast-tempo, insistent knocking on the front door, and though I was only a few feet away I was unable to open the door before it burst open.
There is a sit-com scene where the landlord walks in to the apartment right after delivering his quick, signature knock, and the studio audience (or laugh-track) lets you know that he does it all the time. In the sit-com, this drop-in character will be wacky, and a reliable source for laughs.  While our Landlord is wacky, you do not really laugh at him; you might miss something.
First, he wanted to know if everything was going to be okay. He had to shout to get the attention of the two guys, and they did not really understand his question. Next, he asked if ten years was a reasonable life-span for a dishwasher. Again, he had to shout and ask the question several times. The two guys assured the Landlord that ten years was a reasonable life-span for a dishwasher, and got back to work. Lastly, he asked them if there were spare parts that we should keep from the old unit.  At this point the two guys did not answer even after being shouted at.
The Landlord turned to me and with a twinkle in his eye informed me that his dishwasher is 81 years old. He continued and said that he heats the water for dishes on his wood stove and washes everything by hand, because he has an abhorrence of chipping dishes. He may have actually gone on to tell me about brain scans, the strength of his fingernails, and how he had been a sharpshooter as a lad, but I was in such a hurry to have something else to do that I might have stopped listening.  When you don’t like the wacky landlord character on TV, you just change the channel.

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