New Refrigerator Door, Free to a Good Home

dam thoughts, barry currin, beaverdamusa.comWe pulled in the driveway, and there it sat. I knew it would come. I would’ve bet my last dime on it.

I let it sit there for a couple of days before I dragged it in the garage. It got rained on, but I didn’t care. It’s the size of a coffin but surprisingly light. We laughed at the irony and the predictability of its arrival, but now I need a solution for the question:

What on earth are we going to do with an extra refrigerator door? A big, black, ice dispensing refrigerator door.

A few weeks ago I told the story of buying a new refrigerator. But I left out the part where Skinny Pete and Badger from the delivery company rammed it against the door facing and transferred an inordinate amount of paint from the house to the fridge. “No problem,” Pete said. “It happens all the time. You’ll be getting a new door in 6 weeks, and when it arrives, call us and we’ll come put it on. By the way,” he added, “you’ll be getting a survey, and we’re gonna need all 5′s.”

Since it was going to be a month and a half, I thought I would at least see if I could make it look a little better. I got some rubbing alcohol and a rag, and in 3 minutes the door was perfect. It wasn’t scratched at all. It was like magic.

Hallelujah! Take that, universe. I win!

So I called the number for the delivery company to cancel the replacement door. The guy on the other end pulled up my file and confidently told me he would cancel it. It was so easy. I didn’t have to press 8 for English, enter a password, tell my mother’s maiden name or anything. A real person actually picked up a telephone and told me in our native language that he would take care of it.

But I knew better for two reasons. First, any company that would employ people who cannot deliver appliances without damaging them on a regular basis cannot have much on the ball in the efficiency department.

Second, history was not on my side.

A few years ago, we ordered a food dehydrator from one of those television shopping channels. I was somewhat excited at the prospect after Kim told me we could also use it to make our own beef jerky. (I’m an easily-excitable guy.) Anyway, instead of sending us one food dehydrator, they sent us seven. We came home that day to find six huge food dehydrator boxes shrink wrapped together with another sitting on top.

Even with the promise of beef jerky, most people don’t need a food dehydrator. No one needs seven.

So I called the company.

The woman on the other end laughed at me for trying to send them back.

Me: I didn’t order them.
Her: But we sent them to you.
Me: But you only charged me for one.
Her: Don’t you want them?
Me: I don’t need them.
Her: I don’t even know if UPS will pick them up, but I will see.

I left them in the driveway for pickup, and after a couple of days they were gone. They got rained on, but I figured they could dehydrate themselves.

Now I was left to deal with the fact that the woman on the other end of the line made me feel like an idiot for trying to send them back. Never again will I do that, I said. If someone sends me something, I’m keeping it.

End of chapter 1.

Now for chapter two, and this is where it gets hard to believe, but it happened. We ordered one of those half-sized combination pool, foosball, ping-pong tables from the same shopping channel.

They sent four.

We sold the three extras; and St. Peter had better not give me a hard time about it. Every man has his limits.

Those are the reasons I knew the refrigerator door would come. I guess I should be glad we didn’t get eight or nine.

I’m just glad I never had to get a mail-order bride. Of course, a busload of Ukrainian women in front of the house would make for much better neighborhood gossip than a driveway full of orphaned food dehydrators.

Buying a Refrigerator? Then Get Your Crowbar

dam thoughts, barry currin, beaverdamusa.comAfter 20 years, our old refrigerator died a few weeks ago. I would like to say that it was trouble free, but it wasn’t. I had replaced most of the original parts over that time. When it was too much for me to handle, we would “call the man.”

But we knew “the man” couldn’t do anything this time, so we measured our space and reluctantly went shopping.

We needed a fridge that would fit in a 67-inch x 36 inch hole.

Won’t they all?

Nope.

Well, will any of them?

“I can order one,” the sales people kept saying.

One dufus said, “We have these that fit in a dorm room.”

Thanks, dufus. Call me back when you’re even old enough to live in a dorm room.

So now we’ve supersized the height of refrigerators in the last 20 years. Let’s see, Americans are eating our more and cooking less than ever before, but for some reason, we have to make refrigerators taller than the spaces which are built to fit them. How many pizza boxes must a refrigerator hold at once, people?

Finally, we found one here in town at one of those huge national chain stores.

We’ll take it. “When can you deliver it?”

“We can’t deliver this one,” the sales person said. “It was a customer return.”

“Well how do I get it home?”

You would’ve thought I asked him if he knew the atomic bomb launch codes.

“We can go over here and order you one online,” he said.

Let me get this straight. We can order one from a warehouse somewhere, and you will deliver it free. But you can’t take this one 7 tenths of a mile to my house…

So we went home, and we ordered it online. It would be here in a week.

Just so you’ll know, we do have a small spare refrigerator in the garage, which we were making do with during the hunt. It really made me appreciate having cold food in the house. I am considering using the concept, though, as a way to raise awareness for obesity. I think my “Hiking for Cheese” event could be bigger than the Relay for Life.

A week later, here came the delivery truck. I was expecting two 300-pound guys with my refrigerator. Instead I got Skinny Pete with a tape measure.

“We’ve got a small problem,” he said.

Yes, I know we do. You’re carrying a tape measure instead of my fridge.

He pointed to one of our interior doors. “This door facing is going to have to come off.”

“Do you mean to tell me that I had to search the world over for one that would fit vertically, and now you’re telling me that they’re making refrigerators bigger than the door that leads to the kitchen?”

I’d been Hiking for Cheese for 3 weeks. I wasn’t about to let Skinny Pete drive off with our fridge on his truck.

“Wait here. I’ll get the crowbar.”

“I can’t be in the home when any demolition is going on,” he said. “Company policy. And when we get it in there, I won’t be able to hook up your ice maker or that will void your warranty.”

So Pete instructed me to rip off the door facing, and call his company back when we were ready for them.

So we did. And after about another couple dozen Hikes for Cheese they showed up again. I managed to complete the task of screwing in the ice maker hose; and I am fairly certain our new wider-than-a-door but shorter-than-the-space fridge has an un-voided warranty.

I miss the pre-internet days of going to the store and actually buying something; but having to open an account and creating yet another username and password still beats Hiking for Cheese.

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