John Winters

End of an era

I came home the other day to a rather high stack of dishes, glasses, bowls and other eating utensils.

We all knew this day would come. I just kept putting it off.

I guess I hoped some appliance genie would show us grace a while longer. It was not to be. The dishwasher is dead. Long live the dishwasher.

It was well past its prime. Heck, it was well past the 20-year mark. In other words, it would cost more to fix it – if parts could even be found – than to replace it. And that says a lot, I think. In today’s society, it’s easier, and usually cheaper, to just throw something away and get a new one.

I hate new appliances. Our old one had a “normal cycle” and a “heavy cycle.” I think you could also select heat or air dry.

Now I’m going to have to get a replacement only the SONS of Thunder can operate. I know this because our ancient washing machine recently gave out. We got one of those “high-efficiency” models that uses a tablespoon of soap. It has more buttons and dials and lights and action than I can handle. I just want to push a button and wash clothes. I have to call them every time to do even that.

But back to the current crisis. The aforementioned dishes/plates/bowls/etc. needed to be cleaned, so I did what any self-respecting dad would do: I called the SONS down.

“The dishwasher is broken,” they all pointed out in unison. No duh.

“We will hand-wash them,” I reply, followed quickly by a “don’t give me that look. Just say ‘yes sir.’”

They are all Boy Scouts. Somehow they have no problem washing dishes and plates out on a backpacking trip with Leave No Trace principles, but a modern kitchen with a sink and running water somehow has them perplexed.

So I fill the left side of the sink with hot water and soap, pile all the dishes in there and then create an assembly line. One takes dishes out of said sink, hands to second, who washes off in the other sink, who hands to third, who dries. Simple, right?

Remember, we are talking about the SONS, so someone is going too fast or too slow or not wiping/drying/rinsing properly. I tell them they can’t speak to each other until they’re done.

The Little Black Dress comes down and I proudly point out my awesome assembly line and note we really don’t need a dishwasher – we have the SONS.

She gives me one of those looks. After 20 years of marriage, I know this one – “I love you but sometimes you have no concept of reality.”

So I point out that when we were first married we lived in a little brownstone in Washington, D.C., and it didn’t have a washing machine. We washed all the dishes by hand and had a cool, wooden drying rack.

“We were young and it was just the two of us,” she replied. “The SONS are like Hobbits, they eat six times a day.”

She then points to a sale on dishwashers in the newspaper. The one she wants raves about its minimal “decibel level.” Basically, you can’t hear it and there’s a little light on the front that lets you know it’s even on.

And I look at her and ask why we need a dishwasher we can’t hear. Plus, the thing had way too many buttons and dials and …

She just gives me another one of those looks. And I’m off to the store. So much for the SONS learning a trade.

(John A. Winters is general manager of The Newnan Times-Herald. Follow his adventures at justflipthedog.com. You can reach him at john@newnan.com )



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