A Mrs. Ram’s Jams Tale: The Dishwasher’s Demise

Apparently, I’m a serial killer.

First I murdered my skinny jeans (A Mrs. Ram’s Jams Tale: Death of a Pair of Skinny Jeans). Now, my homicidal tendencies have migrated from trendy apparel to kitchen appliances.  

I know I’ve talked smack about my dishwasher previously (Poetry: An Unlikely Archnemesis), but I didn’t mean to kill him.

He was drawing near to the end of his life anyway; he would only run one cycle, his lights blinked haphazardly, and bits of his plastic prongs and wheels habitually would jump ship. He creaked and leaked (and peaked ages ago).  

Think I can argue it was assisted suicide?  

I just put him out of his misery a bit before his natural death.   

Last weekend, my husband went on a fishing trip and left Little Thing and me to our own devices. Still in an orthopedic walking boot due to my injured right foot, I promised myself I wouldn’t cause a catastrophe or be my normal disastrous self in his absence.

Two hours after he left, I blew the fuse to the master bedroom by simply flipping the light switch.


The next day, I cleaned out the refrigerator. No uneaten leftovers were safe. I shoveled old noodles, cabbage, and corned beef into the garbage disposal, turned the faucet on, and flipped the garbage disposal switch. Rumbling grinding pierced the air for five seconds and then a scary high-pitched rattling vibration jamming sound replaced it.

Oh shit. I thought. That didn’t sound good.

Terrified, I peered into the left sink. The pooled water, filling the sink about a quarter full, slowly drained. Whew, I thought. Then I glanced to my right. The draining water from the left was gurgling up into the right. Each time a bubble reached the surface, skunky boiled cabbage fumes assailed the air. The draining process seesawed until the standing water was level in both sinks.  

I could deal with a blown fuse until Goose’s return, but a nonfunctional kitchen sink I couldn’t handle.

I googled how to unclog a garbage disposal and kitchen sink. Based on several websites suggestions, I tipped table salt down the double sink, followed up with a pot of boiling water. It didn’t work.

I flipped the disposal to on again. No luck.  

Turning for my phone, I stepped down and heard a splash.  

I studied the kitchen floor.

Water, leaking from the dishwasher, encroached the kitchen, the grout acting as tributaries radiating foul cabbage water in every direction.

I snatched my phone off the counter, backed my boot and booty to safety, and dialed my sister-in-law. She’s pretty damn resourceful and a jack of all trades.  

“Let me get dressed, and I’ll be right over. Do you have any Draino? Why don’t you try that?” she suggested.

I hung up and threw towels on the tile to soak up the pond forming. I poured Draino down the drains and waited fifteen minutes, then flushed them with hot water. I ran the garbage disposal again; it regurgitated black crud from the pipes and agitated the Draino into bubbles.  

My eyes, flicking to the floor, registered that the pond had reached Lake Pontchartrain proportions and was bubbly to boot. The towels were breached dams. The kitchen had completely flooded.  

“Look, Mommy! Bubbles!” Little Thing said, delight evident in her tone.

“Stay out of the kitchen! Those are poison bubbles!” I replied. My brow wrinkling in frustration.  

My sister-in-law arrived and took in the scene. She helped me clean up the mess. She closed the dishwasher–who, possessed, started of his own volition and freaked the bejeebus out of us. I think he was trying to get his last hoorah in and refused to drain. So, she turned him off.

“I think I need a plumber.” Despair and defeat on my face.

“You’re probably right.” She wiped her hands wet hands on her shorts.  

Roto-Rooter rescued me, and my sister-in-law left, leaving a note to run white vinegar through the dishwasher before doing a load of dishes. You know, so I wouldn’t poison the entire family.

As soon as the plumber left, I poured half a gallon of white vinegar into my vengeful dishwasher and closed him up.

No lights came on. I pressed all of his buttons. Nothing.

I checked to make sure he was plugged in. He was.

He drizzled cabbage, Draino, and vinegar cocktail out his sides.

I googled resetting a dishwasher and tried that out.

Nada. Nilch.  

I actually killed my rival, my nemesis, my antagonist.  

I don’t know if I drowned him or poisoned him, maybe I “droisoned” him, but I will never duke it out with him again.  

But, boy, did he go down fighting.  

Hopefully, my shiny, new dishwasher isn’t the equivalent of a spiteful, cantankerous old man.  

RIP, you wicked, I mean poor, dishwasher.

Here he is in his funeral shroud . . .



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