02:33:28 pm on
Monday 22 Jul 2024

Washing Machines
Matt Seinberg

About twenty-six years ago, when Marcy and I were living in our apartment in Westbury, before we bought our house, we were overwhelmed by laundry just from the two of us. Imagine how we felt five years later when Michelle was born. Babies go through clothes, as they go through diapers; that is, very quickly.

The solution was to buy a portable washer.

We went to our local appliance store and bought a Whirlpool portable washing machine; a washer built like a rock to last. It cost $400 and worth every penny. It beat having to walk from our building number three across the parking lost to building eight, especially in bad weather. We used dryer racks to hang up everything, but if we needed something dry quickly, then we would go over to the laundry room.

Here's the kicker to all this. The lease and coop regulations prohibited portable washers, such as ours. As I was very friendly with the superintendent and later on the Board of Directors, no one bothered me about it.

We had a neighbour, Eric, in building two, I used to be friends with, until his crazy girlfriend moved in and caused problems. He put an air conditioner (AC) in his second floor window, which didn't look very sturdy to me. I reported it to the super.

Eric wasn't too happy and figured he'd rat back on me about the washer. Since the super already knew about it, he just nodded his head and didn't do anything about it. He did make Eric take air conditioner out of the window. The coop had previously installed through the wall sleeves for ACs and Eric was too cheap to get the correct machine.

Eventually, I gave the portable washer to Irwin, a friend.

When we moved into the house, we no longer had the need for this portable washer. I gave it to my friend, Irwin, in trade for a couple of rather large floor speakers. He and his wife used it for a while and gave it back; he didn't want the speakers back either.

Then we gave it to Gary, a cousin of my wife, Marcy. We lost track of that portable washer from there. I sure hope that someone is still using it; probably.

Last year, one of my friends at work asked me if I wanted a portable air conditioner. I said sure. I could certainly use it in the basement. Now, in April 2017, I finally got it last week. This AC unit came to her from a former co-worker, but it was missing parts.

I was able to download the manual and figure out what I needed to install it. As this unit is so old, the parts I needed discontinued. The parts that are made are either on backorder or shown as discontinued.

I'm going to improvise. I have a piece of plastic corrugated display board, which I'm going to cut to size to fit into the window. Then cut a circular hole through that for the hose. I'll cover the hose with some netting so no creepy crawlies can get into it.

Our air conditioners are installed in windows.

We have three through the wall ACs in our house. The biggest one is in the living room and that monster will cool the entire house if all the doors are closed. In our room and Michelle's there are less powerful units that cool those rooms well enough.

In Melissa's room, we have to put the AC in the window every year. Annually, it becomes harder and harder because the side slide outs must be wrapped in plastic and taped to keep it weather tight and bug free. The AC works fine, but it's a pain in the butt to install.

You must be asking, why don't you install a central AC system? That’s a great question, with a two-part answer. First, we would have to upgrade the electrical box in the basement and the second is that the funds simply aren't there to buy the system. Our house has a basement and attic, so running ducts and such would be very easy.

Rich Trethewey, where are you when I need you?


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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