I love modern conveniences -- except when they aren’t.
The first week I was in Oregon, I threw a light load of laundry into my washing machine. When I pulled out the clothes, they were as wet as pool cleanup towels. Sopping.
I have been around washing machines long enough to diagnose the problem. Something was amiss with the spin cycle -- either a belt, a clutch or a gear. I felt smug in my acquired knowledge.
Until the repairman arrived.
I had forgotten this was the computer age. The repairman informed me the equivalent of the washer’s motherboard was dead. Maytag seems to have an engineering defect. So much for the lonely repairman image.
He installed a used board, ordered a new one, and I was ready to finish up my laundry. A few days later, he returned to install the new part.
$425.95 (US) later, I was back in the laundry business.
Having lived in Mexico for the past three years, the bill astounded me. For one-tenth of that, a local repairman in Melaque would fully overhaul the washer. Of course, the washing machine would operate on pure mechanical power rather than enough computer memory to run the Apollo program.
The comparison is a bit academic, though. I do not use the washing machine at my duplex in Melaque. I rely on the services of my local laundress with her own bank of washing machines and dryers.
And for what it cost me to repair my washer in Oregon, I could have Anita wash about 106 loads. Almost nine years of dirty shirts that she returns to me folded, bagged, and smelling like my grandmother’s sachet drawer.
That is a modern convenience I can live with.