Adventures in old appliances.

The number for Maytag customer service is 1-800-344-1274. You will need this number if you are home by yourself on a Friday night cleaning your kitchen, and your stove suddenly begins beeping at you for no apparent reason and flashing "F7" in the digital clock display.

At least, that is, you may think you need this number. Actually, the first person you will call will be your mother. Because if something goes wrong, call Mom. Am I right? It doesn't matter if you're a wise old 29; when something goes wrong, you call Mom. And then Mom will make all manner of helpful suggestions including, "Just flip the breaker. That way you don't have to pull the stove out and unplug it."

As the logic of this solution sinks in, you feel stupid for not thinking of it yourself, so you say, "Well, yeah, but I don't want to shut the power off to the fridge too!" [Ha--bet you didn't think of THAT, Mom!]

"No, honey, the fridge is on a different circuit, because your stove is a [insert numbers that don't make any sense to me here] and the fridge will be on a [more numbers]."

And then, because you suspect these are common sense type things that you SHOULD know, you pull the bluff, the one that all academics learn early on, the "I have no idea what you're talking about, but I don't want you to think I'm stupid, so I'll pretend like I do know exactly what you're talking about. In fact, I probably know more about what you're talking about than YOU do." That one.

So you will reply with something like, "Oh yeah, you're right. I hadn't thought about that."

"Or, just look up the number for customer service and call them."

"Rii---gght. Hadn't thought about that either..."

"Wow, I can sure hear it beeping. That's annoying, isn't it?"

"Yep. It's annoying."

So hang up with your mom, because she brought you into this world, but she can't make the incessant, infernal beeping stop.

So then you get to googling, which is what you should have done in the first place. You google "Maytag F7" and get a bunch of techno-babble jargon that doesn't look promising.

Then call Maytag customer service. At the aforementioned number.

And talk to Juan.

Whom you quickly suspect is doing the same exact frantic googling you were doing only moments before.

"Do you have the model and serial number of the appliance?"

"No. It was here when I moved in. I know nothing about it. I didn't buy it."

"Okay, does it have a drawer below the oven?"

"Uh. Yeah."

"Open the drawer and on the right-hand side there should be a sticker with the model and serial number."

[Right. I should have thought of that one, too, huh?]

"Okay...[sound of Juan typing]... looks like that is a model from 1996..."

"Um. Yeah, so?"

"Wow, I can hear that beeping. That's really annoying, huh?"

"Yes. Yes it is."

"Uh...okay...please hold, ma'am, while I find an answer for you."

[No! Please don't leave me alone with the beeping! And God I hate being called ma'am.]

Long minutes later, Juan comes back on the line, still scratching his head, saying, "Hmm...I know there's gotta be an answer here somewhere. It's a Maytag, right?"

"Yeah, Juan. It's a Maytag."

*long pause*

"Well, it looks like you're gonna have to just disconnect the appliance from the power source and call for repair service."

[Gee. Thanks Juan. Thanks a lot. That was helpful.]

"Is there anything else I can help you with this evening?"

[Is there anything else you can help me with? You mean, OTHER THAN GETTING THIS BEEPING TO GO AWAY BEFORE I GO COMPLETELY FUCKING INSANE?]

"No, Juan. That's it. Thank you."

"Okay, thank you for calling Maytag customer service. Have a good Easter weekend, ma'am."

Through gritted teeth, "Thanks. Juan."
*hang up phone*
*call husband*
*repeat conversation with Mom*

And here's the thing: probably going downstairs and flipping the breaker would solve this problem (at least temporarily), but who wants to go down to the basement and flip the breaker? Honestly, the basement is dark and semi-scary, and breakers are even scarier. Electricity. Electrocution. Need I say more?

So finally, a resourceful woman like myself will call her neighbor and beg him to come over and pull the stove out from the wall and unplug it and MAKE THE GODDAMN BEEPING STOP.

Problem solved.
*sigh of relief*

Now you order pizza. In silence.

MMmm. I feel better; don't you?

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