Sunday, June 28, 2009

Listen up, dish washer

I gave my major appliances a long pep talk this morning, but I’m not sure I got through. The TV and washer seemed particularly apathetic, as if they’ve resigned themselves to a final resting place in the garage. They're not even trying, dammit. Clearly they don’t understand what a blow it can be to an unemployed person when a trusted device gives a final shudder and works no more.

I found out how tough that can be this weekend. Last Thursday, I’d laid a hand on my IMac screen to slide it back a few inches. I must’ve used too much force, because I heard a SNAP!, and the screen went haywire. It was clear I’d crunched the LCD screen of my 18-month-old, much-beloved machine.

My wife managed to snag an appointment at the Apple store’s Genius Bar, where you can consult for free with a technician. So at least we got the bad news quickly: A repair would’ve run over $1,000, or two-thirds the cost of a comparable new unit. “Just buy another monitor and look at that instead,” said my genius. He wasn't wearing robes, and lacked a long, white beard. But I'm sure he meditates daily.

Best Buy had a monitor on sale for a mere $200. So far, not so bad.

But then we decided to do something about my phone, which is falling apart faster than Britney Spears' career. $125 later, I had a new Blackberry.

Then disaster struck: We came home to find a house where you could’ve baked bread in the living room. The dogs were panting, the room actually looked steamy, and the air intake for the central air conditioning system was making a horrible noise. Clearly the system had broken and, on the first truly hot weekend of the summer, had decided not to do its job.

We managed to find a technician who could come take a look on Sunday (I thought about my genius from Apple, figuring he could do anything, but had failed to get his superhero contact info. I was going to shine a spotlight on the clouds with a silhouette of an IMac, a la Batman, but didn't have a spotlight handy).

As I described the symptoms over the phone, the technician loud out a “Oh, no.” Clearly this was not going to be good.

It’s not. We’ll probably be hit with a cost in four figures. It won’t kill us, but there will be considerable bleeding.

Hence my pep talk. I think the toaster’s shaping up, and the frig is clearly doing its part. But I worry about the others, including the gas grill.

Oh, well. Time to have a stern heart-to-heart with the car.

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