I think my dad has become a trooper, although I’m not sure what a trooper is or does (I think it’s got something to do with the weather, at least it does on Star Wars), my mom says he swears like one. Sounds like qualification enough for the job. If it pays per swear word then I think my dad will have had a very successful few weeks.
OK, here’s the story – We bought a new washing machine in October online from a major electrical retailer. It was delivered and installed and the old one taken away. Soon after installation the kitchen floor got all wet, dad began swearing at the new machine for the first time. He got it sorted himself saying he didn’t trust them to plumb it properly the second time if they were so completely £*&%ing useless the first.
Not long ago it started making a clunking noise, dad found that one of the plastic ridge things in the drum had snapped off completely and another had come loose; he started swearing at the washing machine for the second time. He rang them and asked if someone could come and look at it, they asked him to extend his warranty; dad’s face started getting a little darker as he hissed into the phone that he didn’t want another 3 years warranty, he wanted it sorting out under his existing warranty. He showed great restraint as the person on the other end told him it was a problem he could fix himself and that they would send him the parts. He came off the phone and swore.
Sure enough a week later a package arrived with spare plastic ridge things for the drum, dad fitted them himself while muttering a few swear words.
Three weeks ago the washing machine began making a squealing sound like a skin who had gone hurdling barbed wire in the nude. Smoke began to billow from it and it made me feel a bit sick. The drum had jammed solid, dad switched it off and opened the door and all the windows to let the smoke out and switched on the extractor fan (I always thought an extractor fan was someone who used to have a particular fondness for tractors!), but thicker than the smoke was the swearing my dad was now rattling off like a badly brought up machine gun. Jessie and Alf left the room but I was laughing behind my paw.
Dad rang the manufacturers and asked if they’d like to send him a drum for the washing machine so he could fit it himself, they hurriedly assured him that this was a job for an engineer,the irony sailing over their heads as if they were expert limbo dancers. Dad arranged an appointment but was told that they wouldn’t get out to us for a week, dad said that would have to do. He replaced the receiver, stared intently at the ceiling for a while as if he was scanning for cobwebs, then looked back at the phone and swore.
The engineer arrived a week later. A tall, greying reed-like man who looked like he was trying to swallow a golf ball. He had a look for a couple of minutes before announcing that the drum had siezed, dad told him he knew that, he’d told the nasal woman on the phone that. The engineer said he would have to order the part and it would take another week for the new part to arrive. “But you knew it was the drum, you knew what make and model it was, I told the woman at your call centre, why didn’t you bring a new drum?” I was in the hall in my playpen but I could envisage my dad’s expression from the low timbre of his voice, I knew the swearing was about to begin in earnest. The engineer made his excuses and left. Dad swore.
Another week went by and my great auntie Marie was letting them use her washing machine, a thirty mile round trip but mom was adamant that we wouldn’t be using a launderette as “we don’t know who used it before us”. A second engineer turned up with a new drum, obviously my dad didn’t make friends with the first one. He was a much jollier man and they exchanged small talk in the kitchen as he worked. Then, the bombshell! “Sorry mate, they’ve sent me out with the wrong part.” The explosion was expected but still shook me. The swearing was thorough and exotic. It wasn’t the jolly man’s fault and dad acknowledged that, but the fact that it would take another week before he could get the correct part was too much for my dad.
That afternoon he tried in vain to complain but was pushed backwards and forwards between the retailer and the manufacturer, niether of whom would admit responsibility. In the end I think he exhausted himself and with a final threat that he was going to insert the washing machine in a certain orifice belonging to the customer service manager. He hung up. He sat for a while in silence looking beaten, he had given everything in this fight for justice but had come up with nothing but an appointment for the following week with the engineer. He swore.