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10:10 a.m. - April 02, 2007
A Dryer, A Hose, A Clamp, A Victory
Ah, Saturday night. A nice ‘nap’ in front of the TV watching spring training baseball, and then a family decision to have Chinese food and then watch the NCAA basketball tourney (thanks to TiVo, I wouldn’t miss a play) was my ticket to a nice Saturday.

In the middle of our Chinese gorge-fest, I kept hearing a small little ‘beep’ during regular intervals. No one else noticed it, because of the normal cacophony of Katie, Kristin, and Katie AND Kristin, but the beep kept beeping.

Then, finally, Liz heard it, as did Katie, and she thought it was the smoke detector in the utility room. “It may need a new battery,” she surmised.

The utility room has our pantry, our washer and dryer, a sink and in a small room (where a pocket door should go) a half-bath. There are two decorative doors to the room, but they’re usually only closed when someone is going to the bathroom. But for some reason, the doors were shut.

So, I get up, and open the doors.

Hello, sauna.

The window and the mirror had condensation all over it. It felt like August in Indiana in that room, with the heat and humidity.

“Something’s wrong,” I said to myself in the Mr. Obvious moment of the century thus far.

I got Liz in there and we tried to figure out what the deal was. I looked outside and noticed that there wasn’t the tell-tale look of a dryer being used (the vent is right by the window), and then I went outside and saw the vent was closed, though I did feel some heat.

Liz then looked behind the dryer and the dryer hose was uncoupled from the dryer.

Well, that’s an issue.

So Liz asked me to try to hook it back up. At first, I demurred, because I thought we may have to move the washer out for me to get behind the dryer. You know, I’m not in a house with a multitude of spry teenagers. Besides, HOOPS!

But the more I studied the situation, the more I thought I could pull out the dryer and get back there. I had to unload a whole bunch of stuff from on top of the dryer. As you know, the dryer seems to be the secondary place to pile stuff when the dining room table isn’t available, so it took a bit but I got everything in a new pile.

I pulled it out and then had to figure out how to get back there – and more importantly – how to get back OUT once I got back there.

Not having said spry teenagers, I was going to have to haul my saggy buttinski over the washing machine, hook up the hose, and then get myself OUT of there without injuring myself, or more importantly, damaging the washer or dryer.

So I leapt up, sat on the washer, swung around and then lowered myself in the space I created.

Ah, this seemed easy. The hose was duct taped to the dryer, and the tape had folded on itself. So I unfolded the tape, made sure it was still sticky, slid the hose back on the dryer, and then start the dryer to make sure it would hold.

Done, done and done.

Now, the question was how to get myself OUT of there without undue damage to all parties.

That wasn’t as bad as I thought, really. A hoist, a push, and freedom!

I pushed the dryer back in place, and went to watch more hoops.

After the first game, Liz and I checked the situation.


The hose had worked itself off again. Then Liz said, “There’s not a clampy thing on the hose.” I’m told clampy thing is a technical term for…well…a clampy thing.

It seems that when our new flooring was installed, the installers didn’t do such a bang up job in re-installing the washer and dryer and they lost one of the clampy things, so they duct-taped the hose back on.

Well, at 8:00 on a Saturday night, there’s only one place to buy a clampy thing.

Yep, a trip on a Saturday night to the Big Orange.


Ah, yes, a perfect place for a home improvement novice – a huge-ass superstore full of sullen teens who don’t know jack about what you don’t know jack about, and aisles that aren’t labeled very well and stocked haphazardly.

Other than that, it’s a fine place to shop for clampy things.

It took me about five minutes to find the aisle where the washer and dryer accoutrements were, mainly because when these morons labeled the aisles, they only labeled the side of the aisle that you were facing. So if you were facing south, you’d see only what was stocked on the southern half of the aisle. And since each half of the aisle had totally different things, you could walk all the way down the 219 aisles and not know that the aisle you needed to go down was three aisles in.

So after walking down to the lumber area, I then turned around and, of course, the aisle with the right hardware was on the opposite side of where I could see.

Then, of course, once you find the right aisle, you have to find the right stuff. When you’re a home-improvement-tard like me facing the grunts and blank stares of slack-jawed people in orange vests, that’s a rather arduous task.

Everything was marked oh-so-well (HAH!) so it took a while for me to find the clampy things. And since I couldn’t remember what size our hose was, I got a 4” clampy thing and a 6” clampy thing.

At least they have a self-checkout, and this wasn’t so bad, though the bank is going to wonder why I didn’t pay $3.85 in cash for the two clampy things, and instead put it on the debit card. Hey, just process the transaction and shut up, would ya?

But I got the clampy things, and even figured out how I’m supposed to work them. I needed a screwdriver, which in our house is a bit challenging to find, since we have to hide them. You really don’t want Kristin brandishing tools (nor Katie for that matter), so remembering where we put these tools is a challenge.

But for something or other, we received a nice ratchet screwdriver set, and well, that’s golden, so I found that (Liz had used it to put together our exercise bike) and was off to clamp.

I had to pull out the dryer again, and then repeat the process of getting back behind the dryer, but this time, I was holding a screwdriver and a couple of clampy things, so I had to be sure not to injure myself with the tools while getting back behind the dryer.

Back behind the dryer in a flash, and I easily figured out the mechanics of how to clamp the hose onto the dryer using the clampy thing. The smaller one worked nicely, and it was all ready to be screwed tightly.

Then I realized that my 41-year old knees, ankles, and Achilles tendons were, well, revolting against this development. But I endeavored to persevere, and soon the clampy thing was tightly nestled, clamping away as God intended it.

I escaped from behind the dryer, pushed the dryer back, and turned it on.

I came back at halftime, and well, it was still in place.

Whew. Mission accomplished. Maybe I’ll make a banner and hold a press conference.
So, I have learned a couple of things.

1. I know how to clamp a hose onto a dryer.
2. I can’t wait until I have spry teenagers, just so they can go behind the washer and dryer.


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