For a number of years, I prided myself in being able to "fix" my own appliances whenever they were uncooperative. I'd whip out my Reader's Digest "How To Repair..." manual, read over whatever chapter was pertinent to the disaster at hand, grab my toolbox, and TA-DAAHH!! It appeared that the Goddess' luck triumphed over skill... for awhile.
That luck apparently ran out a few years ago, just after Child Number Three (and all of her laundry) appeared on the family scene. One awful day, my washing machine "KA-CHUNKED" to a standstill, and all of the dirty water within leaked out the bottom, completely flooding my laundry room floor. I stood in disbelief for a moment, three crying children at my feet, then officially surrendered and reached for my Yellow Pages.
Enter Kurt, from Oh's Appliance Repair.
Kurt, in my mind today, is right up there with Mr. Clean in the lineup of Top Ten Household Deities. We've been through a lot together. Washing machine floods. Smoking clothes dryers. Microwaves spitting venom. Total freeze-ups of refrigerator units. And today, Kurt spent nearly two frustrating hours fixing my dishwasher.
Last weekend, as you might remember, was the big Third Birthday Party. It was quite the shin-dig, with little people screamin' all over the house and garden, scattering toys and all manner of food particles in their wake. It was a serious challenge to keep up with them-- the dishwasher was loaded, run, and unloaded no less than three times in the duration, and on that last, fatal load... a tiny, pink Arco-Roc juice glass was apparently perilously mis-loaded in the top rack.
Remember Arco-Roc? The "indestructible" glass material, marketed towards housewives that needed product durability, but didn't want to sink to the level of purchasing Tupperware? Well, my mother was One Of Those Housewives. She gifted me an entire set. Turns out, Arco-Roc is NOT indestructible-- just about, but not quite. The trade off IS, that when it DOES destruct, it does so in an explosive fashion, not unlike a fluorescent tube lightbulb.
So, this little Arco-Roc juice glass shattered in the final load of dishwashing, and the tiny, razor-like particles produced in the accident had to be meticulously picked out of the machine by me later that night, using a long pair of tweezers... the painstaking process took until about two o'clock in the morning.
I honestly thought I had gotten it all. I swear to God. I even used a flashlight.
But, the next day, no sooner had I turned on the dishwasher, TERRIBLE GRINDING SOUNDS ensued... And I knew that I was in deep, deep trouble. Because the only thing that my kids produce on a massive scale, besides laundry... are dirty dishes.
Kurt arrived this morning, early for the appointment we had set. Good thing, too, because it took him the first half hour to pick MORE glass out of the food grinder of the dishwasher, once he had taken the whole thing apart. He figured that that was it, put the sucker back together again, and pushed the "start" button, to show me the miracle he had wrought.
More monster noises ensued from the machine.
Kurt rolled up his sleeves again.
This time, I asked if he could SHOW me how to take the dishwasher apart. Smiling, he replied NO, because he figured that if he showed me the tricks of the trade, he'd be out of a job (suffice to say that since the birth of Child Number Three and the vaporization of all my "spare time" during which I used to try to fix things, Kurt has been put on the speed-dial of our telephone).
I got to hold the flashlight.
This time, he was able to remove about half a dozen juice-box straws from the mechanism BELOW the food grinder. He solemnly handed them to me. I laughed nervously, as he put everything back together a second time.
And yet, the sounds of a gargoyle being slowly strangled rang out, as soon as the dishwasher was turned on.
Round three. This time, he went venturing into the dishwasher pump. As he struggled with his ratchet tool, I jokingly asked him what the weirdest thing he had ever pulled out of a dishwasher was.
Kurt: (holding up a tiny, white object between his thumb and first finger) Well, I'd say that THIS pretty much tops the list.
It was a human tooth. A baby molar, if you all must know.
I was dumbstruck. Dumbstruck and MORTIFIED. Dumbstruck, mortified with MORE than a touch of cold, blinding panic mixed in... because discarded body parts are NEVER good things to let tradespeople discover in the bowels of your major household appliances.
Kurt just about bust a gut laughing at the look on my face. Between his guffaws, he put the machine back together one last time, and promised not to sick the authorities on me. I paid his bill, saw him to the door, and he saluted me on the way out with a jaunty call of, "See ya next time!!"
Oh. My. God.
Somewhere in my memory there is a vague recollection of one of Child Number One's baby teeth going missing before the Tooth Fairy got a chance to get her little mitts on it... I'm pretty sure we had to write a note, explaining the situation. What MUST have happened was, the tooth was put up for safe-keeping in a Very Special Place until bedtime... and that Special Place was so Special, WE forgot where it was.
I WONDER... if perhaps, it was plonked into a little pink Arco-Roc juice glass, and inadvertently shoved to the back of the kitchen cabinet??
Talk about something coming back to bite you...