We all read Bob’s article about the good deal he got on the used washing machine. I even commented on it along with many others. But who knew that Mr. Martin processed psychic abilities? Four days, yes count them, four days after that story Mayang came to me with that look, you know the one, something like “the sky is falling.” But it was far worse than that, her washing machine had passed away, ceased to function, was a former operating piece of equipment, kicked the bucket was now demised or simply put, it was dead.
I was obligated to as a member of the male species, to go to the back and look at it, Kinda’ like when a car engine fails and we all lift the hood and stare at the engine and scratch our butts. I turned to her after a prolonged studious look, two well placed prolonged grunts and then I told her that I was pretty sure it was broken. So without further discussion, I preformed the other manly action that men are famous for, I phoned Dennis, my electoral guy. (You may read into that last sentence anyway you want to)
Within the hour Dennis was there and deemed the problem to be a fuse, the new fuse blew within 10 seconds. Ah than it must be the capacitor. He replaced that and still no working machine. Dennis then looked at his watch and as a Doctor would do, he called the time of death of the former washing machine. Time: 13:22! Dennis and I both gave a manly grunt in harmony.
Now for the history of the machine, the brand is a Sharps, it was purchased in the year 2000, set up and twice a week it chugged along doing just what it was designed to do. But alas; it never in its twelve years had it washed a load of clothes; all it ever did was rinse and spin them, as I had just found out, hand washing is the only way clothes will ever get clean, as attested to by my wife “Mayang, Supreme Commander House.”
We have never had a labandera (Washer Lady) during our long marriage, as my wife and her sister are the ones to be the one, to wash everything, of course by hand It reminds me of life in the United States, In a pigs ear (Family site) it does. One girl I knew back in the states thought camping was a hotel without room service.
I had years ago bought her a Maytag dryer and it’s still humming along fine, and deemed by the ladies to be a machine of high value, function and wonderment. But without a working washer machine with a spin cycle, it (the dryer) can’t be used. Whoa back to the stone ages beating the clothes on the rocks by the river. This is totally UNSAT (Navy term for unsatisfactory, not very hard to figure out)
Do to the logistics of getting the machine to a Qualified Repair Facility and the downtime required for repair and parts I was informed that a new machine had to be purchased Ricky Tic. Who, am I to argue with such sound logic, and besides this is the lady who has never said a word to me if I desire a cold beer or a cocktail. I can’t count the times I’ve been out with friends, and knowing they wanted another beer, but can’t because they have received “The Look” from their wife. I never comment, as I feel that’s their life and they have the right to live it, the way their told to.
So last Monday morning our quest has begun; I first had to follow my friend Don down to Garbes Dizon (GoodYear auto repair) to drop his Owner Jeep for some needed repairs. Then off to the myriad of stores in Olongapo City that carried new washing machines. Why we are not looking for those machines that just rinse and spin I’ll never know? All I can say is, “praise to the heavens,” that I was as frugal during my time as a Merchant Seaman and planning for my retirement at age 53 that I can now afford to do this for her. (But remember that new car I want?)
So we drop off my friend’s owner Jeep and then head to the Savers-Mart in the Barrio. I walk in and go to the counter and told the girl there that I wanted to see those machines that rinse and spin. The I was introduced to Ryan the salesman, who walked me over and showed them to me, little did I know that Mayang was previewing regular washing machines and paying no attention to what I was doing, So Ryan abandoned me and went over to her as he astutely realized that she was the power within this decision, and she had found the one she wanted which had a 7 kilo tub capacity, Ryan who now jumped to take full advantage of his new found knowledge, so he points out to Mayang that for only P 1800.00 more she could have the same machine but with a 9 kilo tub capacity, then my buddy Don jumps in with: Oh, this is just like the one I just got for my wife.” Double blocked, I was trapped. Oh! Guess which one we bought?
We went back to the counter to do the paperworks and pay the bill. I handed over a credit card and the girl came back and said it was declined; I was a tad surprised until I realized I’d given her a debit card and I still had my NFCU Visa card in my other hand. I explained my mistake and that seemed to please her as it quickly went through, also I could see the fear in her eyes when she had to tell me the debit card was not accepted. I think she was expecting me to go all ugly Foreigner on her. But that’s not me and all I did was smile.
Delivery and set up, was going to happen that day, I provided a map to our house with phone numbers on it in case they got lost which is not hard to do.
Later in the day I’m sitting in the man cave when around 14:00 two young men and Mayang and Clara came into the backyard with her new treasure. They set it up, and showed the ladies how to use the rinse and spin cycle and all was back to normal again, bells were tolling, birds were singing and the sun came out.
My friend Don, from down the street who was helping me consume adult beverages. Asked Mayang why she used only the rinse cycle and didn’t use it to wash clothes. I smiled and let him try to convince the un-convincible of the merits of machine washing vice hand washing. He gave up and had another beer. The old machine was picked up by Clara’s son and her husband and was whisked off to her house to be repaired and used. HEY! I didn’t dump it on her, she requested it.
I sat pondering the day over my adult beverage, as to how it had worked out; first I found the machine she wanted at the first store we had canvassed in the search for her new washing machine, the price around P17, 000.00 with delivery and set up, was reasonable. I saw the smile on Mayang’s face and knew I’d made her happy.
Plus without asking, I knew I’d never get Mr. Martin to sell me the one he had just bought, as I think Feyma is happy with it. Plus the long drive with many ferry rides and bridges that would have been involved to get to Mindanao and back to Bataan with the washer bungee corded to the roof of the New Old Honda, wouldn’t that have been a sight to see.
But I learned an important life lesson, in that no matter how much I plan and put away for a new car, Mr. Murphy and his law will pop up and foil my best laid plans each and every time.
All kidding aside, Mayang experimented using the washer on a full washing cycle and deemed it a good thing, but with the caveat, only for dark clothes, whites must be still washed by hand! As the commercial for General Electric used to say when I was a kid; “Progress is our most important business!” One baby step at a time.
Paul Thompson; Resides in the Philippines, close to Subic Bay. He is married to the wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang). Our to daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen (AKA Ling-ling). Our youngest is living in Singapore, enjoying her life's adventure. I'm a retired Senior Chief from the U.S. Navy after 21 years. Post Navy he lived 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. After Hurricane Hugo told him to find a new line of work, he was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. Then after 30 years at sea he buried his anchor in the Philippines residing now in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt Bataan where he build his home. And last but not least, anything he writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek" if anybody is offended, He'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!