Saturday. The dishwasher in the Mink house is doing everything it can to hang on to its dignity, but in reality is moments away from being dragged out into the street and run over with my car. My wife wants me to go to Costco and load up on paper plates and plastic cutlery so she can stop investing anything more into that dysfunctional relationship. I ask for a reprieve on behalf of the appliance long enough to get the repair guy back in so I can pay another $95 for a service call just to be told I should take it out into the street and run over it with my car.
“You’re a glutton for punishment,” she says. “For the amount of dishes we generate in this house, you should put in one of those 3-1/2 minute cycle hi-temp beauties you use in the Cafe.”
She’s right, of course, but for all the love I have in my heart for the Hobart SR-24H under counter dishwashing beast, the lack of sufficient amperage and my failure to address that issue during our recent renovation makes the prospect of replacing our derelict Maytag slim to none.
Monday. I come home early to meet the Sears repair guy. As usual, he is without the service history that should have been triggered by the serial number and other sundry information I entered through the telephone prompt when I booked the appointment. He sets his tools on the floor in front of the sink, and asks me what the problem is.
“Kim Kardashian was married longer than this machine has worked,” I tell him.
I point to the last load of allegedly clean glasses and cutlery on the counter so he could see evidence of deliberate dereliction of duty. He ponders the challenge of the scene for a moment, then gets down on all fours, and reaches into the dishwasher and starts poking the holes in the wash arms with a straightened paper clip.
A few moments later he complains about how he can’t see what he’s doing. He asks for a flashlight. I’m looking around for the cue card gal, thinking I’m making my small screen debut on Candid Camera. Maybe Allen Funt will stick his head out of the sink drain and proclaim the dishwasher’s defect to be nothing more than an elaborate hoax. I grab the small kitchen Mag Light and pass it to him.
Mr. unprepared crouches back down in front of the open dishwasher, shines the light inside and says, “Say ah…”
I can see this isn’t going to end well. I text my wife and ask her to create a pretence under which I can get him to pack up his tools and leave. I send it twice to reinforce the exigency of the situation.
He then turns, looks up at me, his eyes rheumy and his voice quivering, “I just need to get off this island. The doctors don’t believe I invented the chocolate éclair. But I did.”
Tuesday. We’re half way through the first rush of the day, and Jules motions me over to the Synesso. In the pursuit of perfection but driven by minutiae, she’s been pulling shots fast and flawless, but can’t quite put her finger on the unusual aroma wafting up under her chin. What should be the glorious scent of rich, full espresso has a top note of a burning electrical nature. I quickly concur that it’s not good, and call for service.
The repair technician on his arrival reminds me his flat rate for a service call is only $75. I consider it the by-product of not being unionized that I’m saving $20 off the benchmark rate set by my incompetent dishwasher guy.
With his own flashlight, Martin quickly determines the source of the smell is coming from the instant hot water boiler below the jug rinser. I’m relieved it’s not the espresso machine, but irritated that it requires yet another call and another guaranteed service charge. I make that call because a day without butt crack is a day without sunshine.
Thursday. I come home early to pay bills, but halfway through I take a break from my work to contemplate the mathematical relationship between the cost of service calls and the likelihood of needing one immediately after a warranty expires.
I grab a recyclable plastic bowl and spoon and help myself from the fridge to a generous serving of dark chocolate ganache with a mound of aerosol whipped cream, and turn on the TV, and start to watch a re-run of Pawn Stars. In it, various people walk in to a Las Vegas pawn shop with things they think are of great value, but seldom are. It seems that in every episode, a guy has something with a compelling backstory, but it’s broken. The pawn broker star of the show has to determine if it’s worth putting lipstick on the pig, so he invites one of his on-call experts to come down, presumably without incurring a service charge, and render an opinion.
I laugh out loud at the absurdity of the situation these folks find themselves in.
“Had it in the family for a hundred years, but got to buy beer for the Super Bowl. Can you give me $2500 for it?” the yokel asks.
“Best I can do is $100. One dollar for every year it lay in a dusty shoebox in the attic,” the host replies.
I finish my chocolate treat, and toss the cup and spoon into the blue box, content that I don’t have to rinse dishes and load the dishwasher, and get back to my task at hand.
Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.
Call the store: 604.633.2451
Call my mobile: 604.376.3464
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181
In Person: 863 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC V6C 3N9