Broken Heater Coil



Golden Retriever Hiding



Golden Retriever Hiding
“Did you hear that?” my wife asks.  “Can't you smell it?”

Of course not. I am male, with no sense of smell and adaptable hearing.  I do not hear what I do not want to hear.  And I do not want to hear about projects or bills.  

But my wife persists, “I think the smell is coming from over here.  Don't you think it's coming from over here?  I think the smell is coming from the heater.  My God!  The heater is hot!”

It's summer and the heater is turned off.  Probably a short.  I stumble into the garage and move my toys blocking the circuit breaker.  Flip all the fuses.  Let the odor  dissipate.  Try each fuse in turn.  A good hour wasted in finding the right fuse.

The fuse episode makes me miss the entire second half of my baseball game.  The late night news will later tell me that it was a damn good game.  The Mariners lost by only twenty-five runs.

My wife wants to call a repair man.  Giving money away is the only thing that I hate more than doing a project.  Money is to buy stuff, like a leaf blower.  How can I afford to replace last year's blower, if I give money to a repair man?

I go to Lowe's Hardware.  It is the second week of July, with 85 degree temperatures.  I ask myself whether I am rushing this repair?  Al Gore said that global warming is real.  If I were single, I would take my chances; the heater might not be needed this winter.  But, I am married, so I'm at Lowe's.

My wife tags along, a self-appointed building inspector.  I would purchase one heater; she makes me buy three.  Female logic: The wire in one heater wore out and almost burnt down the house.  The other heaters are unsafe.  Male logic: We'll move before I will have to replace the other heaters.

Once home, I start removing the broken heater.  Pop!  Smoke!  Stink!  Our golden retriever takes refuge between the toilet and the bathtub.  Once again, dumb luck trumps planning.  I go to the fuse box and turn off the other circuit powering the heater.

Out comes the Dremel Tool.  More sparks, noise, smoke, and stink.  The golden retriever insists on leaving.  She spends the rest of the day out front, waiting to greet the firemen.

I get the new heater installed.  It works!  No fuse is blown!  Heat is coming out!  As far as I'm concerned, I've just won the World Series!

“It makes a noise,” she says.  “There is a rattle.  Can't you hear it?” If she wants quiet, she should buy ear plugs.

I don't say that.  I remove and replace the heater.  Three times.  Then I move on to the next heater.  I also install it three times.  I finally get the knack, and install the last heater only once.  

After the sun sets, the golden retriever comes back into the house, disappointed that the firemen never arrived.