Here's how I know.
I thought I'd do both of the loads of laundry I've been putting off. I put the first in and headed up to the office and schoolwork and a certain vat of chocolate chip cookies.
Three typed pages and two cookies later, I went down to swtich the laundry and start another load.
For those of you who haven't been to our house, you may not know that our washing machine is 40 years old. Yep, it's a classic. Still going strong (even though all of the buttons are worn down and the previous owners had to draw a big, sloppy, indellible arrow to show us how far to turn the dial to start the thing). Still going strong until today, I guess.
Instead of being connected to the sewer with outgoing water pipes, our dinosaur empties directly into the utility sink that resides next to it. That's great. I mean, we get the added bonus of the sound of rushing water, along with the sonic booms every time the machine changes gears. Well, usually it's great. Except when the water does extra rushing and the machine does extra booming.
I'd left a paintbrush out to dry on the corner of the utility sink last night (by the way, our kitchen is completely finished now, hooray!), and all the booming and shaking of the machine made the brush fall down into the sink instead of staying on the corner where it was supposed to. That would have been fine, except it landed in the exact right (I mean, WRONG, VERY WRONG) spot and clogged the drain. So, when I came down to switch my laundry, the floor was covered in an inch of water all over the unfinished portion of the basement.
THIS IS RIDICULOUS!
That's what I shouted.
I contemplated crying, but I figured there was already enough water involved and I should just get to it.
One linen-closet's worth of towels, two rolls of paper towls, two hours, and much gnashing of teeth later, I had the basement cleaned up. And I mean CLEANED UP. I had to mop up and wipe off every single thing we had down there. So much for being green and saving all of our boxes from moving, hello soggy mess.
So, I cleared out the sink and the drain with my trusty tuperware pitcher and decided to give it another go. I needed to wash all of the towels I'd had to use for operation wet washer, and so I put them in the beast. I sat down by the washer for 10 minutes to make sure all was well, and when I saw it was properly draining I went back up to question number four, cookie number three, and a bowl of soup.
Ten minutes later I heard a wailing from the basement.
I ran down.
Smoke. Smoke pouring out of the top of the washer. Oh no! I didn't know if something was on fire, or if we'd blown a fuse. So, I did the fastest thinking I was capable of at the time and yanked out the plug.
With the basement door open, it was smoke-free in no time. So, I turned the water to cold, and hoped that I wouldnt' blow anything up when I turned it back on (I needed it to drain out the dirty water before I could really turn it off.)
I sat down by it again and waited.
Everything seemed fine.
Same drill. Ten minutes later, and halfway through my next cookie, I heard a horrific thumping.
You know in old movies when the washer breaks and it literally hops around the floor and spews things. Who knew that actually happened in real life?
It was hopping, thumping, booming and spewing smoke. I unplugged it permenantly.
I think it's dead.
See, I told you it's 40 years old:
Buttons. Hand-drawn arrow directions.