I hoped, when I retired, that my opportunities to behave stupidly would decrease. As I hung upside down behind my dryer which sat atop my newly-installed washer, my head approximately four feet from the ground, I realized that that was not the case. Punctuating this realization, was the fact that I was stuck. Sadly, this isn’t even the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, and yes, I did this to myself.
Last week, my washer, that has been squealing as if in severe pain for months (and which I believed would continue to do so for many more months while adequately extracting the dirt from our clothing), let out one last ear-piercing squeal, and then joined me in retirement. This necessitated another unexpected withdrawal from our retirement savings to replace the washer. Happily, Memorial Day appliance sales were still in effect. Life is good.
We purchased a washer online, and awaited its “free shipping” delivery. Frankly, I’m surprised there are still so many trucks on the streets. This whole “free shipping” thing is practically negating the need for individuals to own trucks. We do own a truck, but we don’t possess the muscles needed to lift heavy items on to and then off of the truck so we take advantage of “free shipping” when available.
Speaking of muscles, we had the delivery men put the newly-purchased washer in the garage until our son, Zachary (who does possess muscles) could help us with the exchange of the working washer for the non-working washer. The washer purchased was a different brand from the one that retired (after only three and a half years, which is why we went with a different brand), so we thought the whole dryer stacking thing, necessitated by the space available, would be a challenge. We were right.
Zachary manipulated the washer and dryer so as to unscrew the brackets holding the two appliances together, lifted the dryer off of the washer, moved the old (that’s a sad adjective for an appliance that was only three and a half years old) washer out of the tiny space that serves as our laundry room. The door to the room had to be removed in order to accomplish these tasks. I scrubbed up the disgusting mess of lint, liquid laundry soap, and deceased insects that we found beneath the washer while Zachary loaded up the new washer. He brought the new washer in, hooked it up, and put the dryer vent hose on the dryer in preparation for mounting it atop the washer. The brackets previously used would not work with the new washer, so we went with industrial-strength Velcro (thank you George de Mestral). They don’t sell it in the box anymore, so it must have permanently attached things that were not supposed to be permanently attached and was then taken off of the market (we took this as a good sign as to its dryer/washer coupling capability). Zach lifted the dryer on to the washer, squeezed behind the washer to connect the dryer vent to the outside outlet, pushed it back, climbed on top of the newly-erected laundry-handling structure to peer behind it ensuring that all connections were in place. All of this had taken much longer than I had estimated when requesting his assistance. His family rushed off to a Little League end-of-season celebration, armed with our sincerest appreciation. I popped a load of laundry into the washer, which was washed with no appliance-emitted squeals of protest. I then transferred the load to the dryer, and this is when the excitement began.
Within a few moments of putting the clothes in the dryer, I noticed steam on the laundry room window. I suspected that the dryer vent had been blown off of my blow-hearty dryer. I brought in a ladder, climbed it, with the top of my head briefly colliding with the top of the door jam, continued on to the top of the dryer, peered down the narrow space between the back of the dryer, and the wall, and confirmed that the dryer vent had come off of the dryer. My first thought was, “DRAT.”
I was as determined not to bother my son, as I was to finish my laundry (a second load in the washer, awaited its turn in the dryer). I climbed off of the dryer, grabbed a flashlight, a roll of duct tape, and climbed back on to the dryer, leaving whatever little bit of sense I had behind. With the flashlight hanging from one wrist, and the roll of duct tape around the other, I wrapped my foot around the previously combative door jam, and squeezed my head, arms and torso – head first – behind the dryer. After unsuccessfully trying to attach the vent hose to the dryer, the top of my head throbbing as the blood rushed to the door jam inflicted knot, I attempted to remove myself from behind the dryer. This is when I realized, that my propensity for doing stupid things had accompanied me into retirement. I was able to dislodge myself by performing a semi-Spiderman-like wall climb combined with a spastic-snake-like slither.
Before attempting to hang upside down behind the dryer again, I used the dolly to move it a few inches further from the wall into the room to provide a wider dryer-vent-attaching work space. After three more tries (bungy cords, industrial-strength Velcro, and back to duct tape) it appeared that I was successful (the ol’ duct-tape-on-the-end-of-the-vent-with-slotted-overhang-rolled-back-on-one-edge-of-each-tab-all-the-way-around-allowing-it-to-be-pushed-up-to-the-dryer-surface-without-gathering-in-upon-itself technique). I have had to reschedule a mammogram, due to multiple painful bruises across my chest, but I promise you, that I was never so happy to be small-breasted as I was while wedged upside down behind the dryer.
I’m drying a load of clothes right now. I think there’s steam building up on the laundry room window.