Well, It’s Official. The universe has a sense of humor and it likes to laugh at me. I don’t know why I have been selected for this honor. I guess I should be thankful that I’m so special. Hey, I like a good joke as much as anyone. However, as everything has its ups and downs, being set upon as a fall guy by the universe does have some very distinct drawbacks. Take the internet for example.
I am told that people shop and purchase millions of items on the internet every day. I am further told the process is easy, and modern man is just a click away from having anything he desires. The thing is, no one ever mentioned that said click was the drywall snapping as I punched a hole in the wall in frustration. Well it appears I am going to have a lot of time on my hands as I sit in the hospital waiting for my next dose of Demerol and for the swelling to go down. So have a seat with me and I shall regale the tale.
It started a week ago when my thirty-one-year-old, cream colored, refrigerator-freezer with no ice maker started making a funny noise and leaking water. My brother-in-law, Frank, happened to be over at the time. He has no experience with home appliances at all, which in his mind, makes him imminently qualified to check it out. Surprises never cease to occur; he found a broken tube. We went to four appliance parts places before one of the guys told us that no parts were available for my fridge, instead of just sending us someplace else. The universe had started sniggering. Well Frank had a small piece of copper tube and managed to put some fittings on it. So, with a little extra pressure on the wrench, a tube of sealant, and some duct tape we managed to fix it. The thing now stuck out like some kind of tumor, but no more leaks. Repair aside I knew it was time to purchase a new one.
I had cash saved up for a vacation that I couldn’t take because of Covid. The universe just guffawed as it ensured I wouldn’t take one next year either. My wife and I took out the money and went looking for a fridge. We found an excellent choice. It was the right size, the right color, and in our price range, but sadly this was the first place we looked. The universe wasn’t having any of that. We asked the saleslady about delivery, she told us it was eighty bucks to bring it the driveway, ninety and they would move it into the garage and unpack it. That’s when she stopped. I expected another twenty to get it into the kitchen, but no. Due to the virus, that’s all the further they go. Now where I live there are a lot of steps, and I don’t have the equipment to haul large appliances around. We said goodbye to the beautiful thing, because I couldn’t convince my wife that if we left it in the garage there would be more room in the kitchen. She wanted it all the way in the house. There’s just no pleasing that woman.
The next store had thirty-eight different models. They promised they would bring it inside, and hook it up. So, we looked, and looked, and looked some more. Of course, they didn’t carry the model we wanted. This we expected, but they also didn’t carry anything that fit into our space. It was either half the size and wouldn’t hold enough food or so big it wouldn’t fit through the kitchen door. When we spoke to the man about it, he said because of stimulus packages everyone was buying new appliances, and our size was long gone. He could get us one online but it would take about six months. Now I don’t how long a click is to you, but I just can’t see one click lasting six months. We left the store with a heavy heart, but the universe was smiling broadly.
We checked a few more stores with similar results, leaving all of them with long faces and a question. Why does a fridge need an internet connection and a twelve-inch television screen on the door? I admit I’m a little old fashioned, but I don’t think I want any federal government health agency knowing if I’m sneaking an ice-cream sandwich. Nor do I want video evidence if I take the last piece of pie. At this point I have plausible deniability. I can just see one of my children asking for the last piece, me saying it’s gone, and them tapping into the video link to accuse me of taking the pie the last seventeen times. It’s not that I’m innocent, it’s just that I don’t want to have to admit guilt. Also, I don’t want the fridge taking responsibility for putting those slimy, nasty, ultra-hot peppers my daughter likes, back on the shopping list every week. I secretly throw them out for a very good reason. Yuck!
It became apparent we were going to have to go online to find what we wanted. Let me tell you, buying an appliance on-line is like having a friend chew gum and trying to get some satisfaction out of it. I guess it’s possible but it ain’t gonna to be easy. We went to the first site and they had two-hundred-forty-eight models to choose from. Now, I’m not against selection but how do you narrow it down from that many? The site had what they called filters. Those supposedly could narrow the search down. The thing is, my main concern was the size and would it fit in my space. There was no filtering for that. The universe was having the time of its life.
I searched by color. Would you like to know how many shades of silver there are? Six, and you need to know exactly which shade you want. Then you can search by door style. It’s a door for crying out loud. It opens and closes. It does not wear fancy shoes and read GQ magazine. How can it have any style? I filtered by price and actually did narrow it down a little. Then I made my grave mistake. I screamed, “HA!” to the cosmos. Never do that.
The universe took my challenge and upped the ante. It allowed me to find the perfect fridge. It was even on sale for six-hundred off with free delivery. I moved to purchase it. It asked me about accessories and I did what was needed. I clicked Checkout. Nothing happened. At the bottom of the screen it said there was an error. I checked everything I could and found nothing. I called the help center and was informed that this fridge was not available in my area. Other places yes, but not where I live. The universe must have been rolling on the floor.
You know, I bet I can get a few more years out of the old one, and the sloppy repair makes it look like an abstract sculpture.
Thank you for laughing
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