Well, we got one of those new-fangled washing machines.
I got to thinking about it while I was waiting on a load of clothes.
It’s quiet back there in the utility room now, no sounds of sloshing water like there used to be with the old machine.
Yes, the old washing machine is no more. The Lady of the House had it since 1980. It was your basic Sears Kenmore model with one speed, one setting: WASH.
What a workhorse it was, 28 years with no real problems. From time to time though it did threaten to shake, rattle and roll its end of the house off into the street if the load got out of balance.
Yeah, it “went to south Florida.” Around our house that’s what we say when someone passes on: “They’ve gone to south Florida.”
The new washing machine sure is a quiet, futuristic thing. When we first got it I missed those sloppy water sounds of the old machine. We chose this particular unit because it’s miserly about its use of water and power.
The controls on the machine remind me of the front panel of a stereo. But instead of push here for power then touch here for stereo then punch here for CD player, turntable or cassette deck it’s all different.
Push one button for power. Then touch another button for “Favorite.”
Favorite what? Detergent? Color? Outfit?
Or touch the “Permanent Press” button. That’s not much use to me. I’m a drip and dry kinda guy.
Or I could push the button for “Wool Washables.” That reminds me of that $75 pair of wool pants I had to buy to work at a car dealership. I never wore them again.
Then there’s “Delicate,” “Heavy Duty” and “Regular.”
Because I’m an ordinary, regular guy I always choose “Regular.”
Then there’s an “Options” category. I don’t know what those are. I’d have to read the owner’s manual to figure it out. I don’t think I’ll have the time for that though. I’m already reading a book, Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men.”
The new washing machine lets us choose water temperature: hot, hot/warm, warm, warm/cold and cold.
Then there’s “Water Level,” “Spin Speed” and “Delay.”
“Delay?” Why would you want to delay?
And when you have made all your choices you finally push “START.”
The washing machine of the future uses a special detergent. It comes in little packets no bigger than half my thumb. Regular detergent would fill the utility room with bubbles. Hmm, that might be pretty cool. Or maybe not.
You hardly know the washing machine of the future is there except when it goes into the spin cycle. That’s when this odd, gentle whirring noise comes from the utility room. It sounds like a flying saucer is about to lift off, or maybe a time machine is kicking into gear or maybe Scotty is about to be beamed up from our utility room to the Starship Enterprise.
We can even leave the house while it’s washing, something we couldn’t do with the old machine for fear of an off-balance load making the thing “walk” through our stucco walls. This one stops and tries to correct itself three times. If that doesn’t do the trick it shuts down. It’s like it has a little brain of its own.
Now if it would just do some of my other chores around the house.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org