Sunday 04 Dec 2016

Home Improvement
Jennifer Flaten

A sound similar to a dinosaur trapped in a tar pit is emanating from the dryer. Such a sound, in case you didn't know, is never a good thing. It signals one thing and one thing only, the spending of money.

It was bound to happened, since the day that we shall not name okay, okay I'll name it, Tax Day, just passed. It makes perfect sense that some appliance or vehicle would choose this weekend to expire.

I have two options fix it or replace it. I go with option three, instead of calling the repair person, post haste, I figure why not venture out to the home improvement store and purchase an umbrella clothesline.

Yes, I am that cheap; I would rather schlep the clothes outside and hang them on the line then buy a new dryer. I would also like to point out that by using the clothesline I do earn the right to claim smugly that I am "green."

Besides, I don't need a repair person to tell me I need a new dryer. Let's face it; these days repair person don't actually repair anything. Please no angry letters from repair people.

Oh sure, they come to your house look at your appliance, then they shrug and tell you that the company no longer makes parts or for that matter even acknowledges they ever made your appliance-so you will need a new one.

After dropping that piece of happy news, they present you with a bill for an outrageous sum of money for the "service call," where after they tell you to "Have a nice day" and speed away.

I load everyone in the car and go to the "home improvement" center. Ah, someday I hope to actual come to a "home improvement" center to purchase items to improve my home, instead of trying to find the cheapest thing available to fix my immediate problem.

Once in the store, we play "if you were an umbrella clothesline, where would you be?"

Trust me; I have no desire to cruise up and down every aisle in the store looking for it, especially, with the kids chanting, "Ask someone, ask someone" as I trundle down the aisles.

I would gladly ask an employee where to find the elusive clothesline, if I could find one, but the entire store appears devoid of staff.

Finally, I stumble upon an employee hiding behind the potted plants and demand the location of the clothesline. I'll give you three guesses where it was located-No, No, and No.

Don't feel bad. How could you possibly know that the preferred storage spot for an umbrella clotheslines is at the top of the highest storage shelf in the hardware department? I certainly didn't.

I really only wanted to check the price and verify that it would fit in the existing post hole we have in the yard, but after I found out that he would have to practically scale Mount Everest to get the damn thing down I felt guilty about not buying it. Yes, I am sure that I have "sucker" tattooed on my forehead.

As the employee is attempting to hoist the rather awkwardly shaped clothesline down, I notice that the children are entirely too interested in the giant rolling ladder the sales clerk is using.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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