I toss the clothes from the washer into the empty dryer.
I set the time and push the button.
Every other time I push the button the dryer starts up and runs.
This time it makes an grinding noise and doesn't run.
I, of course, run to find the Mr. Fixit of the family, the Guru of all things mechanical - Grandpa.
He comes to look at my lint trap. It's the kind that bends down the back of the dryer - the most unaccessible item around.
We push the screen back it and it catches on something.
We push the screen back again and it goes right in.
We pull the dryer out and it detaches itself from the vent tube in the back.
I feel around in there and there is nothing.
I shove the cleaning brush Grandpa has whipped out of nowhere in the vent.
We decide to turn it on and see if it just might run.
Amazingly it runs.
Then it coughs up a pencil.
The pencil comes shooting out the now unconnected vent like a missile.
I'm guessing the dryer didn't like that flavor pencil. It was a yellow #2.
I now have to reconnect the dryer to the vent.
This sounds like a relatively simple task.
It should be.
Before I go any further, I should describe my laundry room.
My washer and dryer are in an alcove in my 1/2 bathroom. There is about 2 inches of clearance between the side of the machines and the walls.
I have a shelf above the washer and dryer to hold the laundry detergent, bleach, dryer sheets and stuff.
I pull the dryer back towards the back wall and the vent tube.
I stretch the tube. It does not reach.
I pull the dryer back some more.
I'm relatively thin, but I have pulled the dryer back so far that I can't turn my body so I bend over or squat to connect the tube.
I begin to sweat... there is very little room, no circulation, and now I'm totally stuck.
I force myself between the wall and the dryer and after what feels like 25 million tries, I connect the tube.
I fumble for the screwdriver to tighten the clamp.
The tube falls off.
I come up for air.
Grandpa tells me my face is red.
I try again.
This time it only takes about 10 times to get the tube on and 5 tries to tighten the clamp. Did you know the screwdriver works best when the tip is connected with the divets in the screw head?
I come up for the last time.
I am a total dribble of sweat. I am also covered with lint.
Yes, I am simply gorgeous!
Now I attempt to extricate myself from behind the machine.
I try to squeeze myself out the side.
I DO NOT fit!
I push the washer all the way to the wall and gain about 1/4 of an inch.
I still do not fit.
The only way out is over the top.
Are you kidding me??
I start to giggle...
I laugh harder.
I hike my leg up there and realize you can't laugh and climb.
I push with all my might while trying desperately not to knock myself unconscious or give myself a concussion on the shelf that is now fractions of an inch above my tucked head. If I were a turtle, I would have pulled my head in, but since I am not, all I could do was hunch and keep it down.
I get the other leg up and realize that if I sit on the top of the dryer it will be have the imprint of my oh so gorgeous rear end on it for an eternity.
I don't do yoga. I don't fold. I don't do contortions.
I fold myself in two and lurch off the top.
Somehow, I didn't kill myself, break the sink, imprint the dryer, or end up on my butt. I landed squarely on my feet. That's a first!!
Note to self...
1. get the pencil dusted for prints and make them pay!
2. get a longer dryer tube.