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Missed a Good Padre Game, But Got the Washer

     Got me a new washer/dryer. Should’a been a lark. I checked with Consumer Reports and it said go for the Whirlpool Duet or the Kenmore. So I did.

     All I had to do was head over to Sears or Best Buy or any place they sell washers and dryers, find the recommended models, decide which one I wanted, flash my VISA, and go home ’n watch the rest of the Padre game.

     I tore out the page with the model numbers on it, convinced the guy I live with that washing machine shopping’s more fun than watching the Padres, and off we went.

     First stop, Sears. Down to the basement to the appliance section. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Rows and rows of glistening white washing machines covered the floor. I never knew there were that many washers in the world.

     Lucky I wanted a front loader. There wouldn’t be many of those. I spied one in the first row and went over to check it out. Wrong brand. The one next to it was a front loader, too. I leaned in for a closer look.

     Right brand. Wrong model.  

     Darn!  There were loads of front loaders among all those machines. And every one of them had a different model number. Not one had the right number.

     A fluorescent orange washer and dryer set startled me as I rounded the corner at the end of the second row. Ohmigosh!

     I hollered to my guy, “Look at this!”

     But - Wrong brand. Wrong model. Couldn’t quite picture it in my laundry room anyway. Although the indigo blue one next to it was kind’a nice…

     But not the right model.

     So we left. Next stop, Appliance Warehouse. If I was going to splurge – which I was, because I really wanted that front-loading washer – I might as well try for a bargain splurge.

     At the warehouse, hundreds of thousands of rows of rejected, slightly scratched, slightly dented and otherwise abused washers sat patiently beside their dryer partners. At first glance, they looked as shiny and new as the ones at Sears, but they were there for a reason. You just had to find it.

     Hoping to shortcut my search, I asked a salesperson where I could find the Kenmore, model number HE3-4586[2]. He looked at the scrap of paper in my hand. “Never saw that number.” He turned to leave, and then wheeled around.

     “Oh, wait a minute. Yeah. That’s the HT-3 series. They’re over there.” He waved his hand at one of the rows – don’t ask me which one, I couldn’t tell - and hurried off to his coffee break.

     I finally found the HTs, three rows over. But they were HT-4s. Not 3s. Maybe because they had 4-digit prices. Not 3-digit. And I wasn’t all that sure that an HT equalled an HE…

     I was ready to quit.  It was hot. We were missing a good Padre game. We could come back next weekend. Or get the leak in the old washer fixed.

     “Can I help you?” A voice from behind me. She seemed nice. I told her the model I was looking for.

     “Oh yes, there’s one right over here.” And there was. With a matching dryer.

     And then she found another one. “Over here!”

     I told her I only needed one. But then she pointed out that this second one was marked down more than the other one and didn’t have all those scratches on the top.  I pulled out my VISA and off we went.

     So now I have a new washer and a new dryer and two twenty page instruction manuals which I won’t need to read because everyone knows how to use a washing machine and a dryer. You just throw the clothes in and turn it on, right?


     Too bad we’re out of time. I’ll tell you all about it next week. If I have it figured out by then…

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