Tag Archives: gaffers and sattler dishwasher

Shock Therapy

Et tu, Waste King? I thought you were the one appliance in the house I could count on not to betray me. You are, after all, the only one that was purchased after the Eisenhower era.

But there I was tonight, washing dishes. I reached out to flick on the garbage disposal, then screamed dramatically–how else can you scream?–when I realized I was being shocked. Quickly whipping my hand back, I shook it hard to lessen the numbing buzz that was traveling up my arm.

“What happened?” asked Mike from the dining room table. He was surrounded by a laptop, papers and files. He’s the treasurer of MJ’s preschool now. My little Bartelby the Scrivener. Minus the tall hat.

“I think I just got shocked by the garbage disposal!”

He didn’t look up from his Quickbooks. “Ouch.”

Ouch? That’s it?”

Now he looked up. And stared at me blankly.

“Aren’t you surprised?”

“Not particularly,” he said calmly.

“Why?”

“I don’t know,” he said, leaning back. Placing his palms on the table: “Were your hands wet?”

I looked down at them. “Yes.”

“Was the switch?”

Oh. Yes. “So that’s, like, normal?” I asked, rubbing my arm gingerly.

“I’m not sure it’s normal. But you probably completed the circuit with all that water.”

Great. I’m an eighth-grade science experiment. “Am I going to have nerve damage?

He smiled as he turned back to his screen. “Not likely. An AC current is surprisingly weak. I once got shocked by a fallen wire while standing in a rain puddle. My friend had to knock me out of there with a stick. But I was fine.”

I stared at him, agape. “A stick? Why?”

“I was immobilized.”

My eyes widened further. “That’s–a terrible story.”

“It was no big deal.”

“You’re crazy.”

He shrugged.

Finishing the last few dishes, I dried my hands thoroughly and walked out of the kitchen. My last words to Mike before I went?

“I will never touch that thing again.”

Scraping the dishes is no big deal. Being a human Tesla coil? I’ll leave it to my more sanguine husband. And remember to keep a stick handy.

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(Sis)turmeric Love

Little sisters. Such copycats.

Abigail, whom you may remember from her infamous chicken foot stew, has now jumped on the turmeric bandwagon. And, as usual, one-upped me–by mixing her turmeric into a kale-and-almond-butter-based smoothie. Will I follow suit? Most likely not. Yes, it looks delicious. Yes, it packs a bigger nutritional wallop than my simple “yellow milk.” But I’d have to get the blender dirty. This is an insurmountable obstacle for one such as me.

My other sister Lily has also joined in the turmeric craze. She’s on day three of drinking it every day. That the both of them are now imbibing the “magic yellow” (and not the urinary kind) makes me very happy. I get to credit myself with improving the health of 75% of my siblings. Or is it 63%?

Anyway. I have three. Two are drinking turmeric. You get the point.

Now if I can just get my brother on board I will ensure the longevity of my entire family line. Our blood–tinged slightly golden–will flow through the ages.

I will also ease my mathematical struggles. Statistics were never my thing,

As for me? I actually stopped drinking the stuff a few days ago. I know. I have no willpower. I have no consistency. I have no dishwasher! I hate washing the pot. That yellow scum is a bitch to get off! If I hadn’t killed my Gaffers and Sattler with the wrong kind of soap back in October we might be having a different conversation right now. As it is, I think I’m back to just taking a multivitamin.

And saving up for a Bosch. That’ll really improve my health.

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Soap Opera

Dishwasher soap should look totally different from the regular, hand washing kind. If it did, I wouldn’t have accidentally poured the latter into my Gaffers & Sattler a couple of nights ago. Poor old appliance. As if being ancient and obsolete wasn’t enough, it’s now stuck midway through a cycle, filled with semi-washed dishes, and clogged with suds.

Fortunately Mike caught my mistake before the entire kitchen floor was flooded.

I looked online for how to deal with this. Turns out there are eight steps! Eight! Four more and I’d be in AA. De-soaping a dishwasher involves towels, a bucket, white vinegar, salt, and God knows what else. I stopped reading after step three. Because who has the time for this?

Still, I bought salt at Fresh and Easy. We needed it anyway. They only had the non-iodized kind. The regular stuff was on sale, and had been cleared out completely. Who waits to buy salt on sale? Is seventy-nine cents really too much to ask? Also, what’s up with the non-iodized thing? Who buys that? Why do they make it?

Most importantly, will it work on a soap-clogged dishwasher? If not, I guess I can always use it to make play dough, since Myra-Jean cannot master the art of re-sealing tupperware. Ergo, every new batch we make dries out in less than 24 hours.

There’s a cup of salt in every batch.

Maybe I’m the one who should be looking for it on sale.

Back to the dishwasher. Here’s what I do know: I have to take all those dishes out and hand wash them. This is depressing, since I’ve already psychologically placed them in the “clean” category. This mental change in status will require major brain rewiring, and probably several extra cups of tea.

And of course I’ll eventually take the eight steps. What choice do I have? I’ll break out the towels, the salt, the eye of newt, whatever. Probably baking soda, too. Everything calls for that. We still have plenty, fortunately–we keep a lot in stock for when Mina attacks a skunk.

The other option is we just stop using the dishwasher.

I’m a genius.

I’m also excessively lazy. Is there a twelve-step program for that?

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Rack to the Future

I was standing in the kitchen this morning loading my dishwasher when it came to me. Like a bolt of lightning. A visitation from cherubim. An Annunciation.

“You have the oldest working dishwasher in the world.”

Just like that. The voice resounded and shook, a subterranean train pulling into the crumbling, elevated station of my brain. As I thought it, moreover, I knew that–unlike so many other of my fantastical and hyperbolic thoughts–it was true. The voice was speaking the Gospel. Of appliances, at any rate. I had finally, finally excelled at something.

We have the oldest working dishwasher. In. The. World.

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I know. I’ve remarked upon our old appliances before. But I don’t think I really stopped to acknowledge the utterly antediluvian state  of this one in particular.

It’s made by Gaffers and Sattler. Notice there’s no link to their website. That’s because they don’t exist anymore. And they didn’t go out of business a year ago, folks. Try forty-three. Forty-three years ago. Or that’s when, according to this quite interesting and totally random website, they were subsumed by Magic Chef. (Who was acquired by Maytag in 1986). So this dishwasher is at least 43 years old. But it could be more. Much more. I’m guessing, by the graphics in its owners manual, (which, thanks to the OCD of the previous owner of this house, we still have), that it came out in the fifties.

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At which point, of course, it represented the apex of domestic accomplishment. Or so it seems:

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And look at these fingernails. They scream fifties!

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The G&S uses — wait for it — sixteen gallons of water per wash. If, that is, you’re using the “Hygienic Super Wash,” (otherwise known as “the only one that has any effect.”) My dad recently bought a Bosch dishwasher. I think it was $1500. It uses four gallons of water per wash. It “likes” food to be encrusted on the plates. This makes it work better. It holds the silverware in gentle plastic fingers, caressing each fork and spoon individually with filtered, temperature-controlled, ultrasonic jets. It hums at a decibel level so low it is indiscernible to the dog. Who, to be fair, died several years back. My dad’s dog, that is. Still.

Our dog is not dead. And she hears our dishwasher just fine. As does the dog fourteen houses down. And his owners. And the dog fourteen houses down from them. The G&S is so loud it can be heard back in the fifties, by the man who first designed it. Who is also dead. Even so…

All I know is, I want a Bosch. I want to “put my home in the modern picture.” Hell, I want fingernails like the lady’s in the manual. But I don’t have any of it. Certainly not the nails. And with the amount of time I spend scraping ossified, super-hygienically heated food from my “clean” dinner plates, I’m not gonna have them any time soon.