Saturday, June 22, 2013

Only Good Things Come in Threes?

This is a tale of woe. It is not without its humour, from a certain point of view, but mainly it struggles to be even ironic. Bear with me.

It all began, I suppose, a year or two back when The Wife broke the kitchen. The fitted units are laminated and over the years the cooker hood cover has begun to peel away from its carcass. As it became worse, it also became apparent that the kitchen would have to be replaced sooner or later, but because of the expense I wanted to delay the event for as long as possible. The Wife then had a mishap with a cupboard door, resulting in a large(ish) bubble of the laminate which burst, revealing the wood beneath and really sealing the kitchen's fate, but still I prevaricated. Then the dishwasher packed up and I found that it was cheaper to replace it than to fix it. The Wife pounced like a Cheshire cat, all smiles and ingratiating, mysterious ways, dragging me off to local kitchen designers. At this point I discovered that she had been seriously planning a new kitchen with sketches, researched appliances and everything! I capitulated and the new kitchen is to be installed during August.

In order to pay for the new kitchen I need to liquidate some investments, so made an appointment with my financial adviser for a particular Friday morning. Friday is the day when we do our weekly shop. Since the event is a bit of a chore, we try to soften the boredom by having breakfast at the supermarket beforehand, and did so on the appointment day, planning to arrive home a good 40 minutes before Mr Adviser. Within half a mile of the house there is a right-turn. Positioned in the middle of the road awaiting oncoming traffic to clear, the car's master cylinder burst its seals so that I cold no longer select gear and the car was immovable. Fortunately a very kind man in a sports car stopped and he, together with a couple of passing postmen pushed the car onto the grass verge. While I waited for the local garage to turn out, The Wife had to hotfoot it to the house to keep the appointment, arriving simultaneously with The Adviser. The situation was explained and he valiantly offered to collect me (and the weekly shopping) from the garage before getting down to the purpose of the appointment. That was 5 weeks ago.

A symptom of the master cylinder failure was the virtual disappearance of the clutch pedal (in fact it was flat to the floor but higher than I could see from the driver's seat.) So when the symptom reappeared, this time at home, I called the garage expecting to pay for the tow and to have the master cylinder replaced under warranty. I needn't have worried, the situation was a lot worse than that! Diagnosis revealed that the car manufacturer had installed in this model a rubberized flywheel assembly. Mine had begun to break up, and although it was possible to reset the mechanism by pulling the clutch pedal upwards, nothing was going to last long. Reluctantly, and after much thought I gave the OK for the work to be done. They've now had the car for three days!

On day two another disaster struck.Our aged, trusted, taken-for-granted washing machine ground to a halt. Not only that but in the process it has managed to coat everything within in tiny white flecks (as though from a tissue left inadvertently in a pocket) of some material which is clearly not paper. We now have underwear and T-shirts prettily polka-dotted. The rotating drum which is the soul of such machines now doesn't rotate, and is not even suspended within its housing. Repair is unlikely, and anyway the machine owes us nothing. So this morning, and using The Wife's ancient car, we trundled forth to buy a new washing machine. Surely to God nothing else can go wrong, Can it?

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