The curse of great possessions


Great possessions were never a worry to me, because I never had any. I drove an old beater, and you could give it a going over with a baseball bat and I wouldn’t mind, or even notice maybe. Now I have a new car and live in fear that someone will put a dent in my little darling. It’s a year old now, and I am starting to calm down.

So now I have this dishwasher. It’s a Bosch, and so complicated that the repairman had to come twice to counsel me on how to use it. It’s undoubtedly the best dishwasher I’ve ever had in my life, but hard to work with. For instance, if you press really hard on the “Start” button, it will shut itself off. It has other tricks, but I won’t go into them, except to speculate that the Germans might still harbor a grudge against us because we won World War II.

But it has a dent in the front panel which displeases me mightily because I bought it at retail, not as a “scratch or dent” model or without a box or the last one in the store. So I called the store, and talked to someone who understood I had a problem but wasn’t the person to deal with it. The person to talk to was the salesman, Al, but he was on vacation.

I called back a few days later and spoke to Al, who said he had to order the part, but the person who took care of such orders was on vacation. I called back, and the manager, all fresh and rested from his vacation. said he would order the part and would call me when it came in. Great! We are making progress here!

Later still, I called again, and was told the part was in but the guy who did the installation was on vacation.

I was getting steamed. Not only did the new dishwasher require constant consultation with the very cryptic and arcane manual, but I had to look at the dented panel every time I went in the kitchen. How to get their attention? So I called Visa and told them not to pay for the dishwasher. They sent me a form, which I filled out, and then there was a hiatus during which the entire staff of Visa was busy with other things or maybe taking a vacation or possibly had been rubbed out by someone pumping Sarin gas into the HVAC of their establishment.

If they had been disabled by Sarin gas, apparently they were over the effects, as they called me back and said they were looking into the matter. The young man on the phone told me he had tried to call the appliance store but the person who handled such matters was, you guessed it, on vacation.

Today I received my Visa bill, and they had credited me with the cost of the dishwasher. So now I have a free dishwasher with a dent in it that washes the dishes just great if you handle it with the proper respect.