The Death of Old Leaky


Several months ago, I decided to replace the leaky icemaker in my fridge. I hesitated about it for a long time as the refrigerator was old, and I was afraid a new icemaker might be more than it could handle.

Sure enough, a few months after the new icemaker and the ice cubes were melting. “This is it,” I thought. However, the fridge seemed to still be working. I noted that it was crammed pretty full and decided that the problem was because the freezer door had popped open.

Then last weekend it happened again. However, honey and I had errands to do and didn’t have time to stay home and babysit a refrigerator. We made sure the freezer door was closed and went on about our merry business.

It wasn’t long before my cell phone rang. “Mom, the ice cubes have melted. I think old leaky has really died this time.”

It was the weekend; we had a refrigerator full of frozen food. What to do? I had tried getting a repairman on the weekend the first time it acted up and found that voicemail doesn’t call back after hours.

I began to calculate how old the refrigerator was. Best I could figure out, it was about 24 years of age. It had outlived two or three normal refrigerators already. What could I expect?

“We might as well get a new one,” I told my honey. “But where can anyone buy a refrigerator at 9:00 o’clock at night?”

Fortunately, we were close to an appliance store at the time, so we wheeled in just before the clock struck 9:00 and the doors were locked. We were greeted by a salesman, smiling like an alligator poacher.

“How can I help you folks?” he hummed, his eyes fixated on the row of gleaming new stainless steel refrigerators.

“My refrigerator died tonight. I need something new — something cheap.”

He looked pained “We do have some dented and scratched models that are reduced,” he confessed, with obvious disappointment.

We looked them over. At this point, I didn’t much care, but I figured I might as well get something flashy if I was going to have to spend that sort of money.

“When can we get one delivered?”

“These have to be moved to the warehouse and then delivered. Do you have a truck?” In the South everyone has a truck because, “You never know when you might need one.”

Not being a good redneck, I don’t have a pickup. I didn’t much like those dents and scratches anyhow. I might as well just fix old leaky.

We looked over the new ones, which could be delivered right away. I would settle for a black one, but I really liked the looks of the stainless steel models better.

Finally, we picked one out, and I wrote a check out of my rainy day account. If this isn’t a rainy day, I don’t know what is.

Old leaky continued to chug along, cool, but not really cold. Melted popsicles ran under the freezer door and down the front, making a sticky mess.

Finally, the gleaming new one arrived. It slid perfectly into the old spot in the kitchen.

“Looks like you’ll be getting a new stove next,” said the deliveryman as they carried old leaky out the door. He would have to mention that. I hope my stove didn’t hear him. It might get ideas.

The next day when we came in from work, there was a big puddle of water in the middle of the kitchen floor in front of the new fridge. I thought I was going to cry. As it turned out, however, it wasn’t the refrigerator’s fault. We had put the water filter in wrong.

Hopefully, my refrigerator problems are over, at last. Now if the stove will just suck it in and last a bit longer, maybe I can breath for a while.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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