Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Dream of Being All Washed Up

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Dream of Being All Washed Up

Article excerpt

Byline: gary bainbridge One man's struggle with the 21st century. Follow Gary on Twitter @Gary_Bainbridge or email him at gary.bainbridge@trinitymirror.com

ICAME home from work to absolute silence. This should be normal as I live alone. I was not expecting a samba parade or a Beyonce concert or a Virgin East Coast coach.

Nevertheless, it was unusually quiet, and it took me a little while to put my finger on what was wrong. There was no whirring sound from my fridge, the background noise to my home life.

I walked into the kitchen to discover that one of the circuits in my flat had been tripped while my washing machine was mid-cycle. Investigation the next morning revealed that the washing machine itself was the culprit.

Further investigation revealed that broken washing machines do not drain themselves. Even further investigation revealed that sopping wet bed linen is quite heavy when you carry it a mile down the road to the nearest launderette.

I called my long-suffering lettings agent when I returned. "Washing machine broked. So sad. Please help," I attempted to explain through the tears. She sighed and promised to send a man.

And so last Sunday morning a man appeared in my kitchen. "Is this it?" he said, pointing to the washing machine. I indicated that it was indeed my only washing machine, imagining a golden life in which people would refer to me as "Gary Two Washing Machines".

"And what's wrong with it?" he asked.

I decided it was not a trick question.

"It keeps tripping the circuit," I said, pretending I knew what that meant. "Hmm," he said thoughtfully. "I'd better (Is that the kettle on? Black coffee, no milk, one sugar) pull it out and see what's wrong with it."

While I made a bad coffee, the man pulled the washing machine out and saw what was wrong with it. "Dear oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear," he repeated for about eight minutes while shaking his head.

"This is what we call in the trade 'beggared to flip'," he said eventually, using slightly different words. "It must have been leaking for months. Didn't you notice?" "No!" I said, offended that he would imagine I could be so unobservant. …

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