Sunday, January 22, 2012


Lately, I've noticed that my dryer takes for-ev-er to ddddrrrr...rrrr..r.rrrrr.....y?yy...yyy?yyyyyyyyy things. 

"Ughhh," my dryer seems to be saying.  "Do I have to?  Do I have to dry your clothes?  But I'm so disinterested."

Today, I was finally all-- LOOK HERE, dryer.  If you don't want to dry my clothes, you really should have thought about that before you became a dryer.  I am going to figure out what your deal is!  I stuck my head all the way in the dryer and peeped around.  In the back, I saw something I hadn't ever noticed before.  Curious, I looked more closely and read:

"Pull to clean lint screen"

Huh, I thought.
I guess I haven't really cleaned the lint thing in...well, how long have I lived here?
Five months?

That could be the problem, I thought.  (Because, you see-- I catch on quickly.)

I opened the lint trap, and sure enough, five months worth of lint was barely contained:

Don't most dryers, like, make a noise or something?  Don't dryers typically alert you to the presence of fire-hazard amounts of lint buildup?  Not the Frankendryer though-- he's never made a peep.  

I cleaned out the lint as thoroughly as I could.  The dryer is still a bit slow though- it still takes two full cycles to dry a load.  I wonder if there's some other maintenance step I'm missing?  Or, maybe the Frankendryer just always had other aspirations and is tired of his life heating the moisture out of my laundered clothes.  Maybe he'd rather be dressed up like a million dollar trooper?  Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper?  Maybe he'd just rather be puttin' on the ritz, Frankenstein style.  


The Iliad, a story about a brave homeowner's battle to install new windows in her old house in Troy, does not have a coda in the original Greek verse.  Here, however, a coda will serve our purposes of picking up where we left Achillesita and bringing the action to a close.

When we last tuned in, Mr. Petrov had just informed Achillesita that one side of her house was built by Dionysus, and so the walls were not even.  This meant that three window openings would have to be re-framed in order for the windows to stay in place.  What followed was a kind of electronic dance-barter, back and forth, over e-mail:

Mr. Petrov: Re-framing the windows would normally cost $2300, but since you are special and we like you, we will only charge you $1700.

Achillesita:  @$*&#!  Are you kidding me?  ARE YOU?  You're seriously going to add nearly 20% of the entire project cost on at the last minute?  Just like that?  There is no way it should cost that much, and I'm gong to get a second estimate for the work.

Mr. Petrov: You're free to get another estimate, but if you have someone else do the re-framing, we can't be held responsible for their work and thus we can't guarantee the installation.  Also, we're the only company authorized to work on the current city permit.  Just sayin'.

Achillesita:  HOW DARE YOU!  How dare you use the expression "just sayin'?!"  Ohhh, if there's one thing I hate more than hiring contractors, it's the expression 'just sayin'.  I am also not thrilled with this passive-agressive scare-me nonsense you are pulling.  I am *definitely* getting another contractor out here for the estimate.  How do you expect me to ever recommend your company to anyone?  I stick my tongue out in your general direction.

Achillesita did get a second contractor to come look at the windows.  They did need to be re-framed, he agreed.  He said he could do it for...


Heaving a heavy sigh, Achillesita pondered her next move.  She talked with her parents.

"Well," her mom said, "how about you go back to Mr. Petrov, and tell him you'll split the original amount?  That way, you split the cost of this with him 50-50.  He should have seen this, but you have to pay for some of it."

And that, as it turned out, worked like a charm.  Mr. Petrov agreed to the split, the openings were re-framed, and the new windows were finally installed.

And there was much rejoicing.  A small victory indeed.