The parting words of Bill, the refrigeration specialist, were: “I wouldn’t trust that refrigerator, if I were you.” Bill was a friend of my work-mate Vickie, and had kindly agreed to drop by and have a look at my ‘fridge which simply wouldn’t stop running.
“So, what do you think he meant by that?” Vickie asked the next day at the office.
“Dunno. How can you not trust your refrigerator? I mean, it’s not going to come murder me in my bed, is it? It’s a refrigerator, for pity sake.”
“Beats me — it’s odd. But did he find out what was wrong?”
“Oh, yeah. Did you know that there are air-intake vents inside your freezer and that if you block them with, say, a stack of Marie Callendar’s frozen pot pies, it can’t get air so it just runs all the time?”
“Didn’t know that. It’s probably in the owner’s manual somewhere.”
“Probably. Whoever reads the owner’s manual?”
We were sorting through a list of witnesses for a trial next week.
“You know, I was thinking,” Vickie said as she made a note next to a witness’ name. “You have self-cleaning ovens, but you never hear of a self-cleaning refrigerator.”
“Huh. That’s a great idea. How would it work, though?”
“I’ve thought about this — I’m thinking a little piggy. You get a little piggy and put it in there and then it goes through and eats all the stuff you don’t want.”
“So how would it know the difference? It might eat stuff you want.”
“If you wanted it, you would’ve already eaten it. It would just eat what’s left. Like, for instance, liquid vegetables. You ever had those in your ‘fridge?”
“Oh, gross. But yeah, a couple of times. Once I had a head of cabbage that had turned completely black by the time I found it at the back of the crisper. Do you think the pig would eat that?”
“It’s a pig. It would eat anything. And hey,” she continued, “does your refrigerator make noise? Mine clunks and bangs. I have no idea what it’s doing.”
“That’s be the pig,” I told her, “clumping and munching.”
“No, seriously. It makes all kinds of noises, mostly in the middle of the night.”
“Don’t have one.”
“Then I don’t know. But if I were you,” I added. “I wouldn’t trust that refrigerator.”
This all came back the other day as I was catching up with Vickie. I have a new refrigerator now — well, not new anymore, but a replacement for the one I’d had. “You won’t believe this,” I told her. “Remember the trouble I had with my refrigerator that time and Bill came out and solved it?”
“Well, the ‘fridge I have now — about a year after I got it — the ice maker stopped working. I called my home service people and they sent a guy out. He pulled out the ‘fridge, he checked the lines, he scratched his head — and a couple of other places — and finally threw up his hands and said he couldn’t find anything wrong. I still had to pay him the $75 ‘service fee’ though. A total rip-off.”
“Yeah, so what’ happening now?”
“Well, I had a clogged sink, and Chris, the handy man who takes care of my house, came out and replaced some of the pipes under the sink and then as he was finishing up, he said, “So, would you like me to turn on your ice maker?”
“It hasn’t worked for years,” I told him.
“That’s because it’s turned off.”
“You mean, there wasn’t anything wrong with it at all? Just somehow had gotten turned off?” Vickie asked.
“Yep, exactly. Just a matter of turning the switch from ‘off’ to ‘on.’ And now it works just fine. Dratted refrigerator.”
Vickie started laughing and I almost couldn’t understand her. Finally, when she got her breath she said, “Just goes to show — you can never trust a refrigerator.”
Words to live by.