Parts Is Parts

I am a highly intelligent, worldly man, who does not succumb to the rhetoric of paranoid conspiracy theorists. I read, and research, every fact to exhaustion, so that I can understand the issue to the fullest. When trouble rears its ugly head, I remain calm, and never get flustered in the least. If you need rock-solid proof of all these simple facts, why just ask me and I will confirm them at any time. (You believe all this? Right?)

Now that we have gotten the preliminaries out of the way, I have to state categorically that I, Mr.  No-Nonsense, Highly Intelligent, Straight-And-Narrow, (wow, that’s a long name) have uncovered a true conspiracy. It’s not one of those, ‘stay at home, live in fear’ plots to take over the world kind of thing. It’s more of a mind control, Brave New World, everyone must consume, subversions that we all should try to avoid in our daily lives. Sadly, Big Brother has long tentacles.

Now before I continue, the most paranoid among you might want to go and hide under the bed. I wouldn’t want to upset your sensibilities, and would never willingly be the cause of anyone failing to bathe, eating large amounts of chocolate, or in some other way harming themselves. La, la, la. Are they gone yet? (dum dum dum dum) Okay how about now? Yes? Good, we fearless seekers of the truth can continue. However, before I enlighten you about the heinous scheme, I must give you all some background information.

It all started, several years ago when I purchased my dishwasher. It was a very nice model and was on sale for $399 from $649.  Let me add of course, everything at an appliance store is always on sale. Sometimes the percentages differ, and sometimes the savings happen in free add-ons, such as set-up, delivery, or some cute, curvy woman smiling at you. I’ve even seen the savings take the form of a certificate for dinner at a high-class restaurant. No, the curvy woman is not included in that one. (DRAT!) See, I told you I do my research. Anyway I procured the dishwasher for $399 plus tax and delivery, and went home happy.

Fast forward eight years. My brand-new dishwasher has now seen a lot of use, and is no longer in the pristine condition in which I purchased it. This element of my story should surprise no one. If this does somehow surprise you, then we must assume that you live in a museum where things are kept vacuum sealed and dust-free for centuries. I however, have children, I can assure you my house is not anything like that. So, moving on, my appliance is no longer brand new. In fact, it needs some minor repairs. Two things, really: the soap door will not stay closed and the bottom rack has lost a couple of wheels.  No big deal. I called my local appliance parts store, and asked for prices on these two minor parts and found out some interesting things. (This is where it gets good.)

First I learned the soap door is not a door. It is, and I quote, “a controlled unit.” Apparently this highly technical ‘door’ has two independent features. It must remain sealed, yet have an electrical way of being operated so the dishwasher can open it at the correct time. It also must control the flow of the drying agent. What the heck is a drying agent? Nobody told me about that! Is that anything like a secret agent? Am I supposed to call James Bond to get this thing fixed? The whole ‘drying agent’ thing is probably a conspiracy in itself, but I’m getting off topic. Suffice it to say, due to the highly technical nature of the ‘soap door,’ the cost on the device is $205.

Secondly, wheels on the bottom rack are not a part of the dishwasher. Silly me! I thought that since they fell off of the machine they must be part of it. I was wrong. Wheels are part of the bottom rack assembly, and parts are not available for the assembly. You must purchase the assembly. Now, before I tell you the price of the assembly, let me say I have a friend who knows a bit about manufacturing. I showed him the wheel, and he said it contained about three-cents-worth of high-temp plastic. Now the assembly costs $164, consequently, I am being asked to pay that outrageous price because I need about nine cents worth of high-temp plastic. Are they nuts? Lo, the plot thickens.

To add insult to injury, if we add the two prices we come up with $369! Now I only paid $399 to begin with. So they’re trying to tell me, the entire rest of the machine costs only thirty dollars. I guess I’m just so unlucky that the two parts which broke are the expensive ones. I thought about this for a second and asked for the cost of the top rack. It couldn’t be more than a buck when you consider everything else in that machine. Right? Not so much. The top rack is more expensive than the bottom because of something called runners. They’re part of the assembly. More scheming from the great appliance powers.

Those powers want me to think I’m just the luckiest guy on earth. I bought the upper and lower racks of a dishwasher and got the rest for free, including an expensive ‘soap door unit’. If you believe that, then I have some land in Florida you might be interested in. The truth is far more sinister. The governments of the world have gotten together and are trying to stop us from buying parts. They seek to destroy the middle class by forcing them to either continue to use defective broken products, or buy new ones and therefore prevent them from raising their status. This cannot be denied. You must admit my research is sound.

Well, I will not go quietly into the night! Not as long as there is a brain in my head and a roll or duct tape in my hand. Yes, I did exactly what you think I did. I fixed both problems myself and purchased no parts. Now I feel as empowered as MacGyver. Ready to take on the world and all of those villains who tread on the downcast of society. I’ll do it too, right after my nap.

If you have comments, want to discuss computer coding in the 16th century, or have me take a sideways view at your favorite topic. Send me an E-Mail at I’d love to hear from you!


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