The washer would be going along, merrily agitating away, when suddenly, you could feel the vibrations from the other side of the house.
"What the hell?" asked sushirob at one point, whilst he and banshree were over participating in Bad Movie Friday.*
"Spin cycle," remarked Charlie, with his usual eloquence.
And so it was. Truly, the noise and movement from the spin cycle were an awesome thing to behold. Not only did it sound like the washer would, at any moment, achieve escape velocity, but it felt that way as well. And when I say "other side of the house," you must understand that it's an almost-5,000-square-foot house. So "other side" is really about a city block away.
Recently, our former houseguest returned for a weekend visit, and, like the conscientious person he is, attempted to wash the linens from the guestroom along with a few items of his own. Soon, as usual, the cheerful sound of badumpbaDUMPBADUMPBADUMPBADUMPBADUMPBADUMP could be heard throughout our happy home.
Of course, I didn't think anything of it, until later, wandering by, I noticed said houseguest looking perplexedly at a sopping wet mass of cloth lying in the washer.
"I think there's something wrong with the washer," he said, holding up a dripping pillowcase.
"Hm," said I, and checked the settings for potential user-error, knowing that "slow" spin tended to leave laundry in just that condition.
(Hey, man, get off my back! I work for an Internet provider -- user-error is the most common problem!)
Settings checked out, I attempted to set the machine for another spin cycle, but very little was accomplished besides noise. Moreover, upon quickly opening the machine, it was apparent that no spin was going on.
The next business day, I finally called an appliance repair man, and negotiated for Mr. Miyagi to come out to the house to check on the poor washer.
Mr. Miyagi was a somewhat diminutive gentleman of Japanese extraction. He showed up promptly, bustled into the house, turned the washer on, and after a few "ba-dumpBADUMPs" observed sagely, "That should not sound like that." After taking bits and pieces of the washer apart, alternately Hming and Ohing, he stood up, put the washer back together, brushed his hands on his overalls, and turned to me.
"Get a new washer," he said simply.
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"You need a new washer. This one's shot. Cheaper to buy a new one," he said.
"And next time, just get a cheap one. You don't need all these fancy settings." His contemptuous hand wave simultaneously expressed his extreme displeasure with the "extra rinse," "handwash," and "gentle" settings on the washer. "You never use them," he followed up.
I paid the man, and showed him to the door.
So this left us with a dilemma: no washing machine. Luckily, sushirob has connections, and could hook a sister up, yo!
Today, our lovely new washer was finally delivered. Thanks to the aforementioned connections, it's a bang-up, front-loading, super-cool-o, washer-o-rama. I am assured that it is capable of washing 16 pairs of blue jeans at one go. (Sadly, I only own about three pairs, so I'll have to take their word on that.) It has cycles for gentle, active wear, whites, and all sorts of things. It even heats its own water and has a "sanitize" setting!
At this very moment, it is washing a king-size down comforter.
Look upon me, ye mighty, and despair.**
Um ... and don't tell Mr. Miyagi what I got, okay?
*It was at this point that I realized that I had too many German penpals, since I started to write "Schlechte Filme Freitag," managed "Bad Movie," and then attempted to spell "Friday" as both "Freiday" and "Fryday."
**Is it sad that this is, so far, the most exciting thing in my life this week?