• Toni O'Connor

Adventures with Murphy

This first ran in The Winchester Star on August 16, 2016.


You know Murphy, right? The guy with the law? Whatever can go wrong will? I spent a Monday with him a couple of weeks ago.

Before our Arizona vacation this summer, our washing machine began to put water on the floor instead of the clothes. After fiddling around with the tub, there was less water on the floor. Several more adjustments for future loads and there was none. Problem solved, right?

Before the washer began to leak, we had periodically noticed water on the floor beside the refrigerator. It didn’t happen every day, but about once every two weeks or so. On the freezer side there did appear to be a small glacier at the bottom of the inside. We had other things to worry about at the time.

Vacation ended and laundry was a priority. Surprise! Water on the floor again. More adjustments were made to the tub resulting in a dry floor. Yay!

The refrigerator leaked again. The glacier in the freezer was gaining ground.

Time out for a kidney transplant. All malfunctioning machines were forgotten or ignored.

I had mentioned to Adrian in Arizona that I needed to call Spichers. (The local appliance store where the current malfunctioning machines were purchased.) That call just kind of got pushed to the side.

I mentioned to Adrian in the hospital that when we got home I needed to call Spichers. The call never happened.

The week after the transplant, in between the cooking, driving, nursing and making sure I obtained poison ivy, I mentioned that I should call Spichers. Hmmm, sensing a pattern here…

Poison ivy does require a lot of laundry to be done. With bleach. It does not, however, require one to bleach the laundry room floor. You guessed it -- the washer was leaking again.

At this point, Adrian quoted Andy Taylor and said, “Call the man, Aunt Bee. Just call the man!” I called. The appointment was for the next Monday.

My friend, Wendy Oesterling, has a prayer she often says to me: “Dear God, may this turn out to much be better than I ever thought it could.” When she says it, the prayer works. For me, not so much.


On the appointed Monday, I drove Adrian to his blood draw, cooked his breakfast, and loaded the dishwasher. Noticing the garbage needed to go out, I headed for the garage. On the way back from the garage, there was no sound from the pool pump. The pool had too much water from the previous two days of torrential rains and had to have water drawn off. (Yes, we have a pool. Definition of pool: a big hole in the ground in which to throw money.)

While performing duties at the pump, a violent barking began from Bailey signaling “the man” who had been called had arrived. He came up to inspect the washer where it was pronounced to be on life support -- with the plug needing to literally be pulled.

On the way to the kitchen, Bailey made herself known again. She feels any work done by anyone needs to be supervised . . . by her. I smelled her presence before actually looking at her. One glance and there was no doubt she had found something nice, dead, and stinky to roll in. She was filthy! (My neighbor Betty and I have searched the yard and cannot find what that dog rolled in.)

The aforementioned kidney patient cannot be around dogs that are full of bacteria, so scrubbing her until she could get back to the groomer became a top priority. The repairman didn’t need Bailey and me to supervise anyway.

The refrigerator only (thankfully) needed a new valve, which was ordered and the next appointment made. The “man” broke up the glacier in the bottom of the freezer and tweaked the ice-maker, so all was well on that front.

All in all, my time with Murphy gave me the usual transplant duties, an overfilled pool, a dead washer, a broken refrigerator, and a stinky dog. He does visit from time to time, as I am sure he does at your house as well.

It could be worse -- at least he doesn’t live here.

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