Saturday, 6 February 2010

Hostage to Fortune

The problem with having a child who leaks is the inevitable laundry mountain. Daily drips require frequent school uniform changes, and nocturnal emanations contribute to damp bed linen filling the large laundry basket with alarming frequency. The only course of action for a relentless laundry pile is a reliable, out-sized capacity washing machine. I recently (and now in hindsight I realise - somewhat foolishly) openly commended the loyalty of my trusty Zanussi. 'The best thing ever to come into the house' I pontificated to a friend over coffee. Clearly, these were the proud words of a desperate housewife heading for a fall.

The following morning, I innocently went to release the previous night's bedding from the Zanussi's cavernous 8kg drum. I was met by a resolute 'Error 666' message and a door which had been seized shut in protest; my bed linen taken hostage and my wits tested. Being rather slow of a morning, it took me a few foggy moments to work out what was happening. The reality of life without a washing machine was too terrible to contemplate.

At first the repair man seemed positive, there were some signs of life "she's a lovely model alright and the motor looks like it was installed yesterday, when d'ya buy her love?" I thought, initially anyway, this was grounds for hope. With the elastic quality of time playing tricks on me again, I was unable to pinpoint the date of purchase with any degree of accuracy. However, I did remember that I had paid for it in Punts. With this, his brow furrowed and his left eyebrow twitched vertically " I see, so she's a pre-Euro model then is she? That might make the parts hard to come by" Optimism was ebbing from my every pore at this stage. We were facing yet again, another agonising wait on a transplant list. Our only chance was a fruitful harvest from some other household's now deceased pre-Euro model, with the extra large drum and the 1200 spin. He showed me the burn marks on the circuit board, the last load of heavy sheets apparently dealing the coup de grace to this once noble appliance of science.

And so we waited - and though God knows we had experience, it didn't make it any easier. I calculated the exact tipping point where my expensive trips to the launderette were going to exceed the cost of a new machine. Boy wonder was leaking just as fast as my wallet, this couldn't go on. I was on first name terms with the staff in three local launderettes - not a good sign.

Last Wednesday, we bit the bullet, and coughed up 420 Euro for a replacement. It's the large drum you see, you pay through the nose for the extra capacity. I may have to put a claim on boy wonder's future earnings, perhaps a small dividend from his Communion money in 2013?