Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dryer Wars - Round 3

For those of you who are new to the blog, our dryer is named Fred. Fred is a fighter! (He's also ghetto-tastic!) He doesn't like the extra work load a wife brings to the picture so he's in the midst of an active revolt. We win the occassional battle (Fred wins more) and I'm starting to think we are losing the war. We're ever optimistic, however! One day... One day we will be victorious! We will either beat Fred into submission or haul him to the recycling company and earn some cash for all that metal. In the mean time, I think Fred is deteremined to fight every time I attempt to dry clothes! Here's a recap and a running score of our Dryer War...

Battle #1: After a truly bad October day, Fred stops working. He moaned and groaned his way to a screaching hault. D.J. had to finish the laundry at a laundromat that night.
Score: Fred - 1, D.J. - 0

Battle #2: D.J. figures out how to completely disassemble Fred. We clean him, oil him, and speak tender words of love and encouragment. This took about a week. We ran away to Waco for a few days to gather our wits about us and rest up for an attack on the dryer. When Fred is finally re-assembled, he works for 15 minutes at a time before over heating and refuses to tumble large loads or towels of any kind. The laundry process limps along each day, but does get done. A ghetto-tastic dryer is better than no dryer at all!
Score: Fred - 1, D.J. - 1 (Kind of...)

Battle #3: Some time after Christmas, Fred decides he'll dry an entire load without stopping, but then refuses to work without a two day rest. After that, he'll dry another whole load and lock up for two more days. Allison tells D.J. that this is an even more difficult method of doing laundry and he needs to give Fred some more love. D.J. scrounges up a motor from his dad's garage and moves it to our garage.
Score: Fred - 2, D.J. - 1

Battle #4: After a week or two of battle #3, Fred comes to a screaching and ear-splitting hault. Allison cries. (She's good at that.) During the "Biggest Loser" season premier, D.J. takes Fred apart once again and begins to clean and oil. No luck. Fred bites back and snaps the lid down on D.J.'s hand. D.J. screams and Allison runs.
Score: Fred - 3, D.J. - 1

Battle #5: D.J. takes Fred apart even further in an effort to replace the old motor with the one in the garage. Lots of banging ensues. Fred refuses to give up the ghost. D.J. gets very frustrated.
Score: Fred - 4, D.J. - 1

Battle #6: D.J. decides that the small plastic fan in the back of the dryer (the one that cools off the motor and moves the lint out of the dryer) needs to be removed. More banging and a few grunts. Fred bites again - this time drawing a large amount of blood. Allison misses the end of the Biggest Loser premire while doctoring the wound.
Score: Fred - 5, D.J. - 1

Battle #7: Allison gets involved now. Sticks and screwdrivers are shoved in the fan blades in an effort to unscrew it from the motor. Sticks break. The fan breaks. Twice. Screwdrives shoot out of the dryer like Fred is throwing them. Allison gives up and leaves the battle. Both sets of parents are called. Allison's parents agree to bring them the dryer sitting in storage. Fred gets completely ignored for several days.
Score: Fred - 6, D.J. - 1, Allison - 0

Battle #8: D.J.'s dad calls with hope. He stops by and removes the fan in 3.2 seconds. D.J. is flabbergasted. D.J. is able to remove the old motor and put the new one in place, despite the fact that it was every so slightly bigger than the original. However, we have the derndest time getting the front cover back on. D.J. slices his wrist in the process.
Score: Fred - 7, Duke - 1, D.J. - 1

Battle #9: After about an hour of struggle with the door and about 15 mistakes, we get it all put back together. Fred runs again but makes a horrible racket. He rumbles and shakes and makes noises that cause the dogs to bark and run in circles. We decide the back panel didn't get screwed on tightly and choose to ignore the sound to the best of our ability. Fred now dries clothes quickly and lasts for several cycles without overheating. A noisy dryer is better than no dryer at all.
Score: Fred - 7, D.J. - 2 (kind of)

Battle #10: While we were making dinner last night, Fred had the biggest temper tantrum yet. (He puts three year olds to shame!) He began shaking and banging like the drum had come loose and a racoon was loose inside. He actually walked several inches across the laundry room floor. It was bad folks! While Allison went to work, D.J. took Fred apart. There were no words of love and encouragement this time. D.J. was mad at Fred and refused to speak to him. (He's still mad.) The new motor had shredded the clamp that held it down to the bottom of the dryer and the sound we heard was actually the motor bouncing and dancing around inside the dryer. Our only set of sheets sat hopeless in the washer. The blanket for our bed was imprisioned in the dryer. Things were looking grim!
Score: Fred - 8, D.J. - 2 (sort of, but not really)

Battle #11: After a desperate phone call, D.J.'s dad suggested that he drill holes in the bottom of the dryer, thread a hose clamp through it, and tighten it around the motor to hold that sucker in place. So D.J. took our sheets next door to put in our neighbor's dryer and went to Lowe's to purchase the hose clamp. (Praise the Lord we'd sold several items the day before!!!!) After much more banging, a bit of drilling, and more dirt on my freshly vacuumed floor, D.J. decides that the clamp he purchased is a quarter of an inch too small. Fred's not going down without a fight!
Score: Fred - 9, D.J. - 2

Battle #12: On her way home from work, Allison meets D.J. at Lowe's to return the clamp and purchase a new one. Once home, D.J. immediately begins to battle Fred. There was grunting and banging and some frustration as he attempted to tighten the clamp that was now a little too big. (Allison stayed out of the way. This struggle had gone from an annoyance, to amusing, to a flat out war - complete with name calling on both sides.) Once Fred was finally re-assembled and pushed back into the laundry room, D.J. plugged him back in. Fred moaned and groaned and produced a new rattle - louder than the first. You can no longer run the dryer and hear the television in the living room or the bedroom. But, clothes do get dry and we were able to put all the sheets back on our bed in time for us to crash. It's clear that D.J. kind of won this battle, but Fred isn't done yet! When will the next battle take place? Only Fred can tell - and he's too busy shaking and rattling to speak.
Score: Fred - 9, D.J. - 3 (kind of)

Footnote from Allison: D.J. is my hero! No one else would endure the cuts, bruises and frustrations as nobly as he has. He has the patience of a saint and has done a fabulous job fighting Fred every day! I'm so very proud to call him MINE!


DJ said...

Fred seems to be a war veteran and I am a simple, humble worker. I will not give up...I will not surrender. I may continue to be cut and bruised, but eventually I will win. Don't count me out yet even though the score is 9-3. I will be victorious.

PS. My wife is amazing and I'm so thankful that she is so patient in our dryer wars. Who knows...maybe one day we will have a working and quiet dryer.

Anonymous said...

I vote for a clothesline. Save some pennies from the electric bill, and put into jar in anticipation of Fred's replacement. Yes. We live in Texas, and can use a clothesline year round.

Not to be discouraging - I'd like to share our washer/dryer story. When my husband and I got married, we inherited my parents' old washer, and a dryer of questionable origin. We were saving for new ones, then kids came along, we needed a larger vehicle, mother in law needed money for dental work, the refridgerator died, hail storms hit and we needed a new roof on the was always one thing or another pushing the new appliances to the back burner. It got to the point where the dryer door was being held shut with a piece of cord, the washing machine had a screwdriver stuck down into the little hole to fool it into believing that the lid was shut, I had to siphon the water out of the washer with a hose through the laundry room window for every load, and THEN remove all the wet clothing and spin only one or two items at a time. How long did this go on? Twenty years. Yes, you read that right. TWENTY YEARS - and four kids! My parents were visiting around that time, took great pity on us and gave us a new washer for our 20th wedding anniversary. We scraped together the balance for a new dryer to go with.

Trust me - by the time you get those new appliances, you will appreciate them so much!!

DJ sounds like a keeper. :)