ode to an old field-plowing ox

My dishwasher and I share a special bond.

 That may sound silly to most people, but if you have ever been lulled to sleep by the swish-swish of a dishwasher, you may know what I’m talking about.

It’s an old dishwasher, and generally it’s too loud to run during the day while I’m in my apartment.  But at night it’s perfect, like running a fan, and the gentle swishing carries down the hallway from the kitchen to my bedroom.  It’s most likely a model from the early 90s.  This photo is of a similar-looking model.  I assume it’s terribly inefficient by today’s energy standards. 

I suppose that’s something we have in common; I’m not always energy efficient either…by any standards.

Like an old field-plowing ox, my dishwasher gave out this week.  The dishes were being washed, no water was leaking, but  it was LOUD!  Swish swish grrrrraaaa swish grrrrrrrraaaaa!

It kept me awake.

I turned on the lights and shuffled out in my pj’s to visit the dishwasher.  I pushed it.  I pulled it.  I tapped it lightly.  I tapped it hard.  No change.  Swish grrrraaaaaaaaa swish!  I laid on the floor, closer to where the nose originated.  I listened closely to the engine, as if I could diagnose the problem.  (I give myself too much credit because I fixed an old fashioned typewriter once.  See photo below of actual aforementioned feather in cap.) 


 I went back to bed.  It was like listening to a wimpering dog and not being able to help.

I called my landlord the next day.  She seemed sincerely concerned.  Over-the-top concerned.  “Oh my goodness, that’s horrible!  It shouldn’t be making that kind of noise!”  My attempts to diffuse her intensity were met with more we’re-gonna-get-this-looked-at determination.

When I came home from work, there was a note from the maintenance man.  He had grabbed a napkin off my table and scribbled in crazy handwriting:


Until I read that note, I had always considered the dishwasher mine.  Even though I rent my apartment, it was still my dishwasher.  But to have someone from the property management company come in and deem it ‘out of order’ made it such a corporate entity, like a vending machine.  The wimpering dog was now a silent vending machine.

It’s the ball bearings.  There is something wrong with them and apparently too expensive to fix.  They’re going to replace my dishwasher, and they’ll probably do it while I’m at work some day.  That’ll save me an emotional moment.  Take it away whilst I am unaware! 

I am eating dinner at Panera tonight because I don’t want to hand-wash dishes.  How energy ineffecient is that? 


2 Responses to “ode to an old field-plowing ox”

  1. 1 Becca
    January 31, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Ha! Welcome to my world. [Dishwasher? DISHWASHER?! Oh….you’re lookin’ at her.]
    But I’m bummed that the .jpg photo of your famous napkin isn’t showing up on my computer screen! I wanted to get a look at the out-of-control handwriting.

    Really great blog entry, Kar! Did the new dishwasher come today?

  2. 2 Kari Stiansen
    January 31, 2008 at 4:34 am

    fixed it! sorry

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