The Man from Bosch turned out to be the Man from Neff and the Man from Siemens as well. You might say he was a Tri-Partite Repair Person.
If he had been a flag, he would
have been a tricolour; if a painting, a triptych; if a file, he would have been in triplicate; if a race, he would have been a Triathlon; if - well, please fill in anything that occurs to you as I am running out of ideas. Much, indeed, as my poor washing machine
is running out of life. Did I know, the Man With Three Names, asked me, that my washing machine was seventeen years old? I knew it was pretty old, but not that old.
They don't make washing machines like ours
anymore. In all its seventeen years, this is the first time it has given us grief. I am reminded of my favourite, though poignant, memorial on a wall in Bath Abbey, commemorating the death of a young woman "who never gave her parents a moment's grief, save
at the time of her passing." For, yes, it seems that that increasingly loud noise emanating from our washing machine as it goes about its soapy business may well be, indeed, a death rattle.
Mr B says that,
given its sterling service over the years, our washing machine owes us nothing. It has, as Tim Wonnacott is wont to say on TV's Bargain Hunt, "washed its face." How very appropriate.
The Washing Machines Man
(in the plural, please notice) said he had never come across a drum as rattley as mine in all his eighteen years repairing washing machines. I felt vaguely, if ridiculously, proud of my noisy, rattling drum. However it's not good news. It seems it will be
impossible to replace my noisy drum with a smoothly rotating, quiet version because they simply don't manufacture them anymore. My new BFF tried his hardest, both on-line and via the good, old telephone but to no avail. My washing machine, having reached,
like me, A Great Age, is officially kaput.
Because we clearly came across as a needy pair (Mr B was excellent, as ever, in his role as a Poor Aged Pensioner living on scraps from other people's dustbins and
sleeping under newspapers instead of a comfy, cosy duvet) the Man from Bosch / Neff / Siemens checked out all our kitchen appliances for us so that we would at least obtain value for money from the exorbitant call-out fee. He fixed the filter on the dish-washer,
assuring me that we would now obtain much better wash results meaning, hopefully, that I will no longer have to rinse out the breakfast bowls to remove traces of Weetabix. He diagnosed faulty fittings on the fridge door which keeps sticking. He is coming back
on Saturday morning to fix new fittings, his labour costs being met by the call-out fee. In addition he presented us with a voucher for the repayment of 50% of the call-out fee if we bought a new machine. Though it would have to be a Bosch or a Neff or a Siemens,
of course. He also suggested we check out a particular website which he had used to buy his parents' new washing machine (a Hotpoint, since you ask...)
After we had bade all three of him a Fond Farewell, Mr
B and I decided to check out washing machines on the website he had suggested. So far, so confusing. Our favourite function on the site was a short video presentation demonstrating the excellent features of each machine. We must have watched virtually all
of them and we are as tied up in knots as a set of sheets at the end of a spin cycle.
Each video stars a member of staff from Appliances On-Line. Each one in turn explains that a 7kg capacity makes it possible
to wash no fewer than 35 tee-shirts at one and the same time. What is it with tee-shirts? I mean, good heavens, I don't own anything like 35 tee-shirts. Will I have to pay out for another twenty or so, just to make up a full wash load?
Or, if allowed to Mix 'n' Match, how many pillow cases would equate to one tee-shirt? If I need to wash one king-size fitted sheet and one flat one, at the same time, will there be any room left for a tee-shirt? Or two?
So many questions for Mr Ever Helpful to answer when he returns on Saturday. I just hope his employers are paying him what he is worth. In short, he deserves a really good wage.
Three times over.