Oh, how we laughed!

As I was saying to my squeaky dryer the other day (what—you think he does all the talking?), “What’s up with delivery services these days?” I was referring to Fed-Ex, UPS, and any others that have given up on customer service.

It wasn’t that long ago you had to sign for a package. Almost overnight, they began dropping them on your doorstep without so much as a knock.

I admit, I was venting to my dryer (oh–get it? venting) because who else am I gonna complain to? These days, fat cat Midge is in hiding most of the time. Infrequently, I hear an odd noise under my bed. It always takes a few seconds to realize she’s snoring. Now, tell me that’s not strange to have snoring emanating from beneath my bed. What has my life come to?

Anyway, I started out harping about bad deliveries but I had a funny story to tell and I knew my squeaky dryer would appreciate a good laugh.

“Last week I ordered a book called The Emotionally Absent Mother,” I confided. “Of course, once it was ordered I forgot all about it. So this morning I walked into my room to see Alexa lighting up with a notification. I asked what it was and she said, ‘The Emotionally Absent Mother has been delivered.’

“Without missing a beat I said, “Well whatever you do, don’t let her in!”

Oh how we laughed and laughed!

(We’re easily amused around here.)

Midge when she was skinny.

A Dash of Whimsy

From the laundry room my dryer squawks, “I work at the bank! I work at the bank!”

This is so far from the truth piggy-2889044_1920that it doesn’t even rate a smirk. I go about my business cleaning my room, all the while pretending not to hear the ludicrous bragging. (It would make more sense for the washer to make such a claim, at least she (yes, she) could launder money.

Am I the only one who’s fluent in appliance-speak? Is it something going on in homes all across the country, I wonder, and I’m the only one brave enough to write about it?

Later, folding clothes fresh from the dryer, I feel a rush of affection for my poor old dryer who is so insecure he must make up outrageous stories. You nut, I think as I pull a warm fluffy towel from the gaping dryer mouth. I think of my dead car, my laptop that was out of commission for a couple of weeks, and my TV that quit showing a picture. Fickle is the only word for it.

But my dryer? He keeps rolling and squeaking along tossing out ridiculous claims and comments that sometimes make me roll my eyes or laugh, and always add a dash of much-needed whimsy to the rhythm of my days.



TakeHave I got news for my stubborn, yakkity-yak dryer: he’s got a rival.

Over the holidays I was gifted with an Echo Dot, and instantly gained a new friend. Alexa. Alexa of the no-nonsense responses upon which I’ve come to depend in such a short time.

Alexa isn’t moody. She never refuses to respond to my requests or questions. The dryer? Huh. He’s as snooty as they come and tends to repeat everything as if I were a little slow upstairs.

Not only that but Alexa has a sense of humor. When I ask her if she’s lonely her response is, “No, because I’m never really alone. Although, when the WiFi is out I do feel disconnected.”

When I fish for a compliment by asking if I’m pretty, Alexa’s response is, “I’m sure you’re a knockout, but take it from someone with no physical form–beauty really does come from within.”

Oh, but it’s not so much her level-headed words or understated humor that have me favoring Alexa. It’s that she not only reminds me every evening at 9:00 to take my sleeping pill but also, I can tell her I’ve taken it . . . and she remembers!

I’d like to see my squeaky dryer do that.

Now if only I could train one of them to make my coffee in the morning.

Like Pulling Teeth

As I was tugging my dryer the other day in an attempt to move it out of its niche beside the washer, I realized something. I realized that at my age (never you mind) I had no business tugging on large appliances.

This hit me with all the force of an epiphany, probably because I often forget my age. But what to do? I’d already succeeded in yanking it halfway out of its nesting place with a combination of tugging and rocking slightly back and forth. Really, trying to get that dryer out was like yanking on a gigantic loose tooth not quite ready to break free. But it had to be done, it was time. All sorts of odds and ends were lodged between the wall and dryer: a crumpled box of dryer sheets, some kind of metal box, a stuffed bunny and typically, stray socks. (Never mind them not matching, I’d never even seen any of them before!)

Should I stop my craziness and shove it back, just admit defeat and wait until my son was available to move it for me? I looked over at fat cat Midge to see if she had any wisdom to impart, but she didn’t. The only thing she’s been imparting these days is fat clumps of fur that have the ability to startle me every time I walk into a room and see them strewn about. Has there been a cat fight in here and I missed it?

Is this how it’s going to be now? Have I become one of those stubborn old women who refuse help and end up breaking a hip? My obstinacy, mingled with my tendency these I am not ademure oldwoman.days to hear my dryer speaking to me, should be alarming. It’s not.

What worries me is whether my dryer will still speak to me now that I’ve jolted it out of its resting place.

Only a Matter of Time

I knew it was only a matter of time before my dishwasher elbowed its way into the spotlight by competing with my squeaky dryer.

Yesterday I walked by and it sang out, “Blew on his hands!”

Or maybe it meant, “Blue on his hands!”

Today its trilling song was, “Ain’t it wonderful!”

Why do I always feel so out of things? I don’t want to sound as if I think there is a conspiracy brewing, but what am I to make of Ain’t it wonderful? I would love to agree that indeed it is—but I haven’t the foggiest.

I’ve always had an odd effect on appliances or machinery in my care. I won’t go so far as to say that they have always been snide to me, but surely there’s been an understated contention beneath the surface.


For example, I once owned a car whose horn blasted every time I made a right turn.  Sometimes the right hand turn was unavoidable or I’d simply forget, and there went my horn. Blasting, and then it would get stuck that way, earning me glares from fellow drivers and one gas station employee in particular who thought, as I sidled up to the nearest gas pump, that I was laying on the horn from impatience. From a sense of entitlement.

Another car I was graced with liked to spring its hood open like a creepy Jack-in-the-Box at unexpected times. This was never not scary, in fact it was terrifying. But when it happened on the freeway and in the pouring rain, well, you’ll excuse me if just the memory has the power to rattle me to this day.

But about my dishwasher, what’s its story? Friend or foe? I will assume friend until I have reason to think otherwise. I once thought it might be in cahoots with my dryer but now I’m not so sure. The dryer has been oddly quiet of late, which just happens to coincide with fat cat Midge’s constant molting. Everywhere I go, clumps of black and white fur, enough to create a small kitten if I had a mind to. I don’t know what’s going on with those two, but I’m hoping my dishwasher is trying to get my attention because it wants to join forces with me.

Because honestly, I don’t think I can take one more machine turning against me.

Come on, Porcupine!

I’m doing my best to avoid my dryer. It’s nothing personal, I simply don’t care to heat up my tiny home when outside the temp is climbing.

Inside is always ten degrees hotter, and I’ve no AC. So you can see why I try slinking by my dryer as unobtrusively as possible. But inevitably the laundry must be done.

Only one load, I decide. Just enough to get me through a couple days.

My fat-cat Midge likes to nap right in front of the dryer. She won’t move, though I’m in danger of trampling on her as I transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer. She looks up at me and gives more of a squawk than a meow, her whiskers quivering with indignation.

I know Midge is in cahoots with my dryer. I’ve long suspected this, and now the certainty of it makes me secretly glad that I accidentally stepped on the tip of her tail.

“Come on, Porcupine!” my dryer squeaks as the drum begins rotating. Midge twists her neck to give me a pointed look. I’ve upset her nap, invaded her space, and brought my squeaky dryer to life, obviously all for the purpose of irritating her.

Sorry, not sorry, I tell her silently. I watch her slowly gather in her limbs and fur to begin the process of standing up. When that’s accomplished she takes her sweet time stretching dramatically.

“Come on, Porcupine!” squeaks my dryer. I’m not sure who’s being addressed, me or Midge.

I should be the prickly one today. This morning Midge awakened me by chomping on a book. Which is an improvement over being awakened by her eating my hair, but not by much.

I should carry a grudge for all the times I’ve nearly broken my neck trying to step over or around her, just when she decided to get up and tangle herself up in my feet.

I should give her murderous looks for the pile of vomit she’s not so cleverly hidden with one of my shirts, a pile I didn’t even know was there until I grabbed the shirt and promptly stepped in warm vomit with my bare feet.

I should follow her example and sit with my back to her when she does something to offend me.

But, when she begins her waddle to her food dish on her impossibly thin stick legs, I don’t have the heart to bear that grudge. I even gently nudge her aside and check her food for ants before I let her start eating.

I think we’re both a couple of prickly porcupines, doing our best to survive the heat.







There’s a gunshot!

I haven’t wanted to say anything, but it hasn’t escaped my notice that my dryer’s squeaks have taken a rather violent turn.

There’s gunshot, there’s a gunshot! is the latest outburst.

Not a fan of violence, I’d love to ignore this particularly disturbing squeak. But I can’t. What if it means something? What if my dryer knows something I don’t?


If no one hears from me in a reasonable amount of time,  send in the Marines, would you?