For several weeks, I’ve been pretending that I haven’t noticed that our six-year-old freezer is not really freezing. Having recently replaced a 5-year-old washing machine, the thought of our reasonably young major appliances dying off one by one was more than I could bear, so I scampered off to my happy place where appliances never break, my thighs are thin and chin whiskers are only for cats. La-luh-la-luh-lah!
But then the other day I noticed that the veggie burger that I pulled from the freezer felt more like a sponge than a frozen burger. Although a veggie burger usually tastes like a sponge, it normally doesn’t feel like one until after it’s been nuked. Nonetheless, I convinced myself that Sean had been in the freezer and that he probably hadn’t shut the freezer door all the way. Denial with a twist of logic.
However. It was hard to persist in my denial when my mother reported that she got an ice cream bar out of the freezer — and drank it.
“Have you cleaned your cylinders?” she asked. “Your cylinders are probably just dirty.” I tried to not take that personally.
I just looked at her because I couldn’t think of one thing to say other than “What are cylinders?”
“About once a year, your father brings in the leaf blower and cleans out our cylinders,” she persisted.
The image of my father in the kitchen wearing protective goggles, wrangling the leaf blower and giving the refrigerator a hot air enema while my mom, also wearing protective goggles looked on and supervised made me laugh. There’s got to be a Far Side cartoon in there somewhere.
I seriously doubted that our non-freezing freezer’s problem could be attributed to something as simple as dirt because my theory is that dirt is what’s holding this place together. So I found my owners manual and called the service number and scheduled a repairman out for this morning.
Mr. Cheerful pulled a panel off the front of the fridge and reported with a little too much satisfaction that my cylinders were dirty. I thought my mom was going to high-five him.
So then. Recap. I paid $75 plus tax for a strange man to come into my home and tell me what my mother already told me so that she could say she told me so.
Edited to add: Maybe they’re not cylinders. Maybe their coils. I don’t know. Because I wasn’t paying attention. I’m pretty sure they start with “c”. I only know that this c-word thing is dirty and I paid some guy $80 to tell me so. As if I needed something else to clean. Someone needs to invent self-cleaning cylinders and coils.
Final Edit: I’ve just been informed by experts who are standing by that it’s a compressor. So I was right. It starts with “c”.