Fridge Or Dare, An Agon

Yeah, I went there. Sue me.

It occurred to me that I had never brought the saga of the fridge to a close. To be fair, this is partly because for a while it appeared that the failed repairs would become a sustained cycle, to be observed eventually with incantations and rituals whose symbolism was lost in time.

When last we saw our heroine, she had been told to wait for a call from the manufacturer of the recreant appliance, which three days after delivery had begun building up frost inside the freezer drawer faster than snow falling in Wisconsin. Unsurprisingly, this did not happen.

What followed was a numbing epic of diagnostic calls by the retailer’s service department (“yup, that gasket’s not sealing, I’ll place an order”), return visits with the replacement part, the dreary routine of setting up air filters, opening windows and asking the repairmen to please wear this fucking face mask, waving bye-bye as one and then another announced it was All Fixed, and eyeballing the new gasket two hours later to find it had pulled away from the freezer door again. My remarks during each successive phone call and visit that there seemed to be something wrong with the way the drawer hung on the rails fell on deaf ears; they just kept replacing gaskets. At one point a stalagmite the size of my fist formed on the roof of the compartment. Along about *checks calendar* August the fourth repairman showed up, exhibited some signs of intellectual curiosity (to wit, he wanted to know all about my Corsi-Rosenthal boxes), and after sizing up the problem said “Hey, it’s the rails! It’s not mounted right. I’ll order a part.”

No shit.

Eventually another repairman appeared, and after a good deal of whirring from a power screwdriver and yet another ceremonial heating of a new rubber gasket on the scorching asphalt out front, the drawer actually moved smoothly on its rails and shut cleanly. It looked as if the long nightmare were over.

Two days later the new gasket was just as deformed as the first three, and clumps of ice had begun to accumulate on the freezer door again.

The salesman didn’t even put up a fight when I asked for a replacement in the same general design and price point from a different manufacturer (“clearly this company does not know how to build an appliance or manufacture a part”). (There’s something to be said for buying from a local retailer small enough to give a damn about your business and large enough to have its own service department.) Along about the beginning of November — remember, I bought this sucker in April — an e-mail informed me that the next day between noon and four, a team would arrive to haul away the carcass and replace it with…

…the identical make and model of refrigerator.

I have never heard a salesperson say “Oh Jesus Christ!” on the phone with a customer before. I have never actually heard the blood rushing out of someone’s face over the phone before.

It took until the week after Thanksgiving. The sky had opened. The air was raw. Lo, the year which had opened with tender buds and passed through the punishing heat of summer to autumn’s bracing breeze was descending towards winter’s sleep, and the long agon of my refrigerator came to a close as the heavens wept.

Saxon alliterative verse, Homeric hexameters or terza rima? I’ll take all suggestions.


7 thoughts on “Fridge Or Dare, An Agon

  1. Can you enlighten us faithful readers as to the demon refrigerator’s make and model so that we never repeat your mistake?

  2. Cafe French Door by GE (which I couldn’t tell from the online description and only found out from the paperwork at delivery, or I wouldn’t have bought a GE). Not only was the freezer drawer incorrectly installed and the succession of gaskets defective but the overall interior construction was as rickety and cheap as I’ve ever seen in a fridge. The analogous Fisher and Paykel replacement, which is a little smaller but otherwise almost identical at first look, is sturdier and makes better use of the interior space.

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