thankgiving goes out with a bang

On the morning of Thanksgiving, I allowed myself to crawl back under the covers for a few minutes. I was listening to a special edition of The Splendid Table on NPR. They were taking calls from people in turkey crisis.

A woman called in and explained that the people who agreed to host for Thanksgiving awoke to discover their oven was not working. So the caller had agreed to cook the turkey at her house, and then drive it to theirs. She wanted to know how to reheat it and how to transport it. I yelled, “Amateurs!” at the radio, as I got up again and headed to the kitchen.  You see, I have so been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

There was a Thanksgiving morning when I, too, awoke to discover that our oven had died. This was when we lived in Austin, and I had butter and ground sage all over my hands at the time. We ended up begging one of our two guests, who happened to be good at fixing things, to come early and have a look. He managed to get it working, and we had dinner around 9pm. He also seemed worried that the kitchen might catch fire because our oven was in such bad shape.

And there have also been times when it was requested that I bring the turkey to Uncle P’s house on the other side of the Valley, since I actually know how to cook a turkey. It actually works out quite well, as by the time you get to your destination, the bird has had plenty of time to rest, and the juices will be redistributed back into the turkey. The best way to do this is to put the pan with the turkey well wrapped in foil in a carton (like a case of bottled water comes in). It is probably a good idea to line the bottom of the carton with dish towels.  Also, you should make sure that everyone is ready to go at the same time as the bird. Just drive carefully to avoid the turkey falling over in the back seat. It isn’t necessary to make it wear a seat belt.

There was also the time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner on a sprained ankle. I had fallen down a flight of stairs at UCLA on my way to my Mom’s house. Thankfully a guy sitting at a bench at the bottom stopped my fall, or it would have been much worse. I thought I had paid my dues in Thanksgiving chaos, but it turns out that this year would not be without its tragedy. On the morning after Thanksgiving, our 16-month old dishwasher died.

As best we can tell, the mother board in the door went out – partially. The end result is that the start button does not work. And no start button means it is worthless. I spent most of Friday pearl diving.

B called the number on the door of the dishwasher, which turned out to be wrong. He got the right one and spoke with a representative who did a bit of troubleshooting with him. She also informed him since the dishwasher was over a year old, it was no longer under warranty. She did agree though to send us the part at no charge, but we would have to pay for the service call and installation. She gave B three contractors to choose from, and he scheduled an appointment for Monday.

Then on Saturday we got a call from the repairman that he had gone to pick up the part only to discover that the part was broken. He has ordered another one from Fresno, and will be here on Wednesday instead. It seems that this is a known issue with this model. I have gotten the attention of the brand, and we will see what they do to try and make this right. Not for anything, but this just feels wrong.

I really wasn’t trying to have a pity party. I am mostly stunned that a dishwasher just slightly over a year old would stop working without some sort of fault of the user. The calls you expect on the day after Thanksgiving are that someone didn’t rinse the plates and clogged the drain – not that the start button just stopped working because a part malfunctioned. It doesn’t help that the dishwasher that we replaced was 30-years old and still worked. It was just extremely loud, and yes, sometimes things didn’t get clean on the first go around. But it was THIRTY YEARS OLD!

Now, when we bought this model, I never had expectations that it would last that long, but I didn’t foresee this outcome either. And, of course, we didn’t buy the extended warranty.

Really though, I am just tired of the bad. I want the random bad things to stop. I am tired. I don’t know how much more of them I can take.

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