The very first washing machine we had was great – until the day it stopped working. Then it wasn’t so great.
There was a bloke who lived in the flat above us who we knew in the manner of hello-neighbour (”Fred”) -as-we-passed-in-the-hall. We also knew he was some sort of technician. Long time ago, can’t remember what exactly.
Anyhow, that upcoming Saturday we asked him if he’d have a quick look at the washing machine and he agreed.
He came down with his tools and wotnot and preceded to fiddle with this, look at that, undo this and that, and removed the front fascia and had all but the kitchen sink laid out on the kitchen floor.
Eventually, he declared: ”It’s more than likely the programmer and it’ll have to go in to Defy.”
Heads drop, long faces from me and The Boss.
He put all the bits back, breaking a couple of snap-ins on the fascia in the process, and after a final cup of coffee, he left.
A short while later the phone rang.
”Hello, Doug,” says my Dad, calling from England. ”How’s tricks with Number One Son?”
I proceed to tell him the Washing Machine Woes. He listens patiently then asks:
”Did you check the plug”?
”Dad! For goodness’ sake, I might not be Mr Fixit but I’m not that dense. Of course I checked the plug.”
”Well, just for piece of mind, check it again. For me, okay?”
(Sigh) ”Hang on ….”
”I’ll call you back in ten,” he says, mindful that he can afford the phone bill easier than I can.
Dad was a Chief Tech in the RAF and is an extremely practical bloke.
”Plug’s fine, as I said. So it probably is the programmer like the tech bloke from upstairs said.”
”Maybe. But these things are solid state and sealed. It would have to be something drastic for it to glitch.
Can you see where the cord goes? Where it enters the machine?”
”Yes. There’s a hole surrounded by a rubber thing. It’s by the top.”
”Can you get the top off?”
”Er … there are four Phillips screws.Yes, I guess so.” ( he says, when in actual fact taking anything to bits is a nightmare for me)
”Got a Phillips screwdriver? Okay, okay, just asking. Call you back in twenty.”
”Got the top off?”
A somewhat muted: ”Yes.”
”What can you see?”
”A charred black power cord and a charred connection point.”
”Ah!” replies a cheerful voice trying not to sound too smug as he knows Number One Son is most definitely not Mr Practical. ”You know what to do now, yes? Undo the cord grip, cut off the burned part, clean the junction box, carefully sand the points, strip the wires and reconnect. Bob’s your uncle and tickedy-boo. Wire cutters, pliers. If you haven’t got sandpaper use steel wool. Call you back in an hour. Oh, and pull the plug out first, just in case. See you!”
That’s my father …
Things are usually more simple than they first appear. And even if they are quite complicated and convoluted, if one works through it in a methodical fashion the answer often reveals itself.
It is much the same with religion.
If you can’t find any evidence for what you have been brought up to believe, no matter how many believe the same thing, then you will probably find the answer lies somewhere else.
Sometimes, all you have to do is grit your teeth, swallow your fear, remove a few screws and lift off the lid, and ….
”Bob’s you uncle!”