Weather Forecast


Unrest in the appliance ranks

Over the years, I've come to depend heavily on General Electric the Washing Machine, and on his ability to command The Appliance Army of the Basement. Lately, though, in much the same way General MacArthur ran amuck in the Korean War because he wanted to invade China, General Electric has been causing a lot of dissension in the Basement Army.

Just to briefly review the Army, there's Lady Kenmore the Dryer, Sir Nautilus the Water Heater, Dave Lennox the Furnace, Denny Dehumidifier, and Slick Sony the Asian TV. John Dear the Riding Mower is housed closely enough that he also has become part of the Group. As one can see, the chance for small platoons of discontent to band together and cause havoc are plentiful.

As we examine their individual motivations, it becomes clearer why discontent arises down there. General Electric took it upon himself not so long ago to order Slick Sony to cease and desist watching porn channels internally, a behavior which one doesn't realize is even going on until Slick himself starts adding a vocal commentary regarding what he's watching inside himself.

According to General Electric, one of his comments went: "Ahhhh, baby, that's it. Do it, do it, do it." And so forth.

Slick himself claims that he's doing nothing more than watching horse racing, and General Electric, he says, has turned into a doddering old codger whose best decisions are far behind him.

Finally, GE has begun refusing to spin clothes dry enough, and Lady Kenmore has had to spend hours on one load. Sure. She's no spring chicken herself, but as wrapped up in the throes of menopause as she is, and the resulting hot flashes, she's been doing OK. Complaining, but OK.

"Sarah Palin doesn't have to handle wet soggy laundry, so why should I?" That was her question for me. I asked her what she knew about Sarah Palin. I don't really know how they find this stuff out. I don't count Mac the Computer as part of the Army, but I think General Electric, in another example of his sowing the seeds of rebellion, has had him linking up with the Web and feeding clandestine news flashes to the Army.

I asked Lady K. what exactly she knew about Sarah Palin. She replied that if she could, she'd vote for her because she sounds like she'd kick butt and take names in Washington, and "that's what we need there." Those were pretty much her exact words.

Well, I replied, as long as we don't have to ask her questions about geography, history, economics, or world politics, I agree with you. I'd like to see her do just that.

Unfortunately, I said to Lady K., you cannot vote, but also unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who don't think she needs to know those things either, so they'll probably vote for her for you.

General Electric hummmphed and said: "I wouldn't have women in any real army!" Then he began to sing the Star Spangled Banner, and salute with his right water hose. Which leaks. Next thing you know, I have to mop up after him.

Look, I said to him, you're getting old and to the point where I'm going to have to promote you to the CIA. (That seems to be popular lately in government. I figure it's worth a try.)

"What's the CIA?" General Electric asked me. Oh, well, I said, it's a clandestine spy organization whose mission is to find out what other appliances are up to. You would be disguised in a variety of roles. Sometimes you'd be a water pump, sometimes you'd be a drive belt, or a spin drum, something like that. (In fact, that's just double talk for the fact that when a new machine is delivered to me, they'll take him off with them, and he'll go back through Recycle Training, and become something else.

You'll like Recycle Training, I told him. I'll bet they make you a Squad Leader right off the bat, and put you in charge.

Maybe, I told him, after The Training, you'd be part of a Ford motor car, and you could cruise the highways looking for lawbreakers, looking for Chevrolets that are draft dodgers, or foreigners, like Toyota, or Honda, or Mitsubishi. Maybe The General Electric Corporation will make you an industrial spy.

"Yeah?" said General Electric. "That sounds like fun."

Then he asked what CIA stands for, and I told him that I'd tell him, but he can't tell anyone else, because if word got out, they'd come gunning for me for telling him.

It stands for, I told him, The Camp for Restructuring of Appliances.

You'll like it, I told him.

Like I learned in the Army myself, you got a problem, promote it.