Installing Darth Vader

In my last column I talked about our quest to buy a new dishwasher. In case you missed it, I was totally convinced when our adventure started that I knew exactly what I wanted - a futuristic study in stainless steel kitchen tech. Luckily, my wife was kind enough to explain that I was a complete idiot.


The whole episode turned out pretty well, though. We ended up finding just what we needed, and I inexplicably lucked out, ending up with a really super-cool black monolith of a dishwasher I call "Darth Vader."


When we bought Darth, the sales woman offered to have her store's experts install him in our kitchen for an additional $85. Since I already had a dishwasher the same size as the one we were buying, I thought to myself, "How hard can it be? Unhook the water, power, and drain from the old one, then hook 'em up to the new one. An hour at the most. $85? For that? Pah!" 

A Matter of Kitchen Style

My wife and I recently bought a new dishwasher.

It's not that we were unhappy with our old dishwasher; it ran just fine if we got up early to shovel the coal and let the boiler in the engine build up a good head of steam. Unfortunately, a clip broke on one side of the cup rack, and repairing it was going to involve replacing everything except one of the rawhide door hinges, so we decided that it was time to go shopping.

As you might have guessed, it's been a while since we bought an appliance, and we were shocked at some of the advances in technology. I figured that a logical first step would be to check Consumer Reports to find out which models would get all the crud off the butter knives, and which ones were more likely to become sentient and destroy all human life.

Darwin Rules

One day many years ago, when I was in college, I sat with a friend who happened to be a graduate student in anthropology, sipping a beer and gazing out the window at the ebb and flow of university life on the busy street below.

As we watched, a guy came hurtling out of the alley just up the street, squatting on a sort of land-surfboard made by replacing the legs on a rectangular coffee table with roller skates. This young inventor/athlete flew off the sidewalk and into four lanes of traffic, narrowly missing or being missed by every vehicle on the road in an almost unbelievable demonstration of pure good fortune.

Unfortunately, when he reached the curb on the far side of the street his luck pretty much ran out. Since there was no way to steer it or slow it down, his contraption hit the curb square-on at full velocity, levering the table top over the front wheels and turning it into a sort of trebuchet, and the rider into projectile. He flew in a short, frantically-gesticulating arc across the sidewalk, through a plate glass shop window and into a display of leather handbags.


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