An Old-Appliance History Lesson

Been living in the same flat for going on twenty-two years at the end of April. This is the longest I’ve stayed in one place, having moved to various locations thirty-nine times previously since birth.

That’s a lot of moving around, considering I was forty-five when I first rented my present digs. Drat, just gave away my age. Oh well, most everyone who reads my diatribes knows already I’m an old-timer.

The apartment still has all the same fixtures from when I first occupied it, except for the garbage disposal that was replaced due to a cracked casing, causing a leak; and the stove, about which I’ll get to in a bit.

The housing development was built in the ’60s, making the place around thirty years old at the time I took occupancy. I’m betting the sinks, toilet, refrigerator, washer and dryer, dishwasher and stove were the originals.

Last September, a fire in another building caused PECO to cut off the gas for several other edifices, including mine, naturally. I lived without hot water for about a week, and cooking gas for about three weeks. Thank goodness it was still warm out, for my furnace runs on gas too.

The apartment complex’s management had an electric hot-water heater hooked up temporarily until the gas lines were repaired. Taking cold showers wasn’t my idea of luxurious living. I didn’t waste any time lollygagging.

Fortunately my microwave took the place of the stove for the interim, but I ended up eating out a lot. Food just doesn’t taste the same being nuked. Ever try to cook bacon and eggs in there? Yuk!

When the gas was ready to be turned back on, plumbers had to install cutoff valves to where the stove attached, and the same for the furnace. While the guys were in my apartment, they commented about how it was like stepping back in time, especially in the room where the furnace’s closet is situated, as seen in the digitally enhanced photo below:

Son’s Room

That’s the den I converted into a bedroom for my son when he was a child. The TV, which he used for his video-game consoles, is the one I bought back in the mid-’80s. Note the analog tuner for changing the channels. It didn’t even have a remote control.

The room remains as it was. The poster on the wall is of the ’96-’97 Philadelphia Flyers with Eric Lindros and crew. That’s surely a collector’s item. Been thinking of making it into my music studio, but I’m too lazy to get rid of the old stuff.

Getting back to the plumbers, part of their instructions was to replace the gas regulator in the stove, which was so old, the guy said he remembered one like it in his grandmother’s apartment when he was a kid. The unit would have had to been replumbed with all new fittings, pipes, valves, etc., not worth the time, effort or expense.

I ended up with a new stove. When the men delivered it, one of them said he had never seen a dishwasher like I had in the kitchen, and compared my flat to an old-appliance history museum. Very funny, I thought. If these young dudes were trying to be comedians, they better not quit their day jobs.

All’s well that ends well. The gas was finally turned back on. My old stove ended up in the junk pile. The oven didn’t work in it. Never used it anyway; but now with the new range, I’ve stopped using the microwave and have become a gourmet baker.

Shepherd’s Pie

Tonight I made a shepherd’s pie. It came out great. I posted the above picture of my masterpiece on Twitter with the description:

Baked a shepherd’s pie tonight for dinner and couldn’t help but think of @officialKeef while eating it. Some’s left if you want, although I was the first to stick my fork in it 🙂

The comment was supposed to be a joke. I was referring to a Rolling Stones’ tweet about Keith Richards from exactly one year ago today:

As usual, no one saw the humor in it or ignored my post. I heard the sounds of one hand clapping. Even my followers who are die-hard Stones’ fans didn’t respond. I guess they didn’t want to acknowledge it and have the wind taken out of their sails.

That wraps up another tirade. Guess I’ll go throw some of the leftover shepherd’s pie in the microwave to heat it up. That’s really the only thing the appliance is good for.

Thanks for allowing me to rant and rave, and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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2 Responses to An Old-Appliance History Lesson

  1. Jack Maher says:

    Love how you take a bad scene “The Fire” and tell a story about it that takes me right there with you.

  2. Thanks, Jack. Appreciate that.

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