Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Oven Door Repair

It shouldn’t take me so long to make these famous Southern repairs and it shouldn’t take me as long as it takes to tell about them. God knows which is worse. I’m just a time-murdering wretch, no matter what I attempt, that’s what I’ve concluded. If time can be wasted, I’m your man. If you want your time wasted now, stick around.

The Oven Door Handle

Monday the oven door handle fell off. Halfway off. The nut and other hardware that held the right side of the handle onto the door were still there, which seemed a sort of minor miracle. The nut, smaller than a dime, though fatter, should by all rights have rolled or skittered into the furthest and most inaccessible recess of the kitchen. But it didn’t. Will miracles never cease?

Well, yeah, that’s right about where they did cease. A while back when I was first aware of the nut being loose and couldn’t tighten it, I’d been vaguely suspicious that, since there was no bolt head visible on the inside of the oven door, the oven door must have to come apart. That turned out to be correct. I sat on the floor in front of the oven and pulled the door down to study the side that faces into the oven. I didn’t much see the Big Picture, but I knew these nearby screws had to come out, so, shucks, folks, I took ‘em out.

When the last screw came out, the spring-loaded top half of the door sprang away from me toward the oven and made a mighty Wham! The bottom half of the door, being heavy and now held up by nothing at all, fell forward with an enormous weight onto the toes of my left foot. I didn’t feel much, though, since I had on my steel-toe work shoes. The double-glass oven window came loose from both sides and made a pretty terrible noise by itself as it bounced, then clattered back down onto the bottom half from which it had just separated. Screws spun in various directions, expletives were flying.

Will I Ever Make A Repair Without
Doing Something Dead Stupid?

Then I just stared at everything, as amazed as if a skunk with a top hat had come out of the oven and started dancing and singing “S'wanee, how I love ya, how I love ya!”


Well, Praise Jesus, I had the Big Picture at last—it was sitting in my lap. You were supposed to remove the oven door from its hinges and do all this deconstruction of the door with it lying flat on the floor! Had there been a few lighter parts and a little more tension, I guess I might have cut my head off.

There were other tricks and surprises and delays remaining, of course. After I put it together once, I saw there was a part left over. Now where the Hell does this go?! I found another one just like it and then I knew where to put the loose one. With the door together again, I tried to ease it all back onto its hinges, but that would not quite work. It seems the bottom halves of the door had to go together a certain way before the top halves would fit together. By now, I’d been crawling around on the floor about as long as a fat man could stand. My knees were on fire.

My Kingdom For A Table!

Very red in the face again, I brought workhorses and a worktable top from the garage so that I could get the door off the floor and see all around its edges at once. I got the bottom straight. I got the sides straight. I got the top straight. I lined up the glass, I got the screws lined up and tightened them. This had damn well better work, I thought! After half a dozen tries, I wiggled it onto those hinges and it worked as good as it previously did, which was not very well because it’s old.

Praise be! Another nit-witted half-assed repair of a wretched creaky household item so antique that it should go not only to the junkyard, but to hell directly thereafter, for all the torture it’s inflicted on me and others before me over the past 30 years. But I suppose that, as there is reputedly no heaven for dogs, there may be no hell for cruel appliances. Too bad, in both cases, I say!

You are hereby directed by a nameless but very forceful branch of the U.S. Government to read a poem called YOUR OBSESSION in JUDY GARLAND BLUES, my arthritic old Poetry Blog for new & used poems. It’ll be good for you.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.” — Abbie Hoffman

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