Sunday, September 23

Unfinished PhD Blamed on Washing Machine

When Betsy Wright is asked about her PhD dissertation, she gets angry. "There's only so much I can take," professed Wright, "without blowing a fuse." The fuse in question? A 15 amp running directly to the circuit feeding the washing machine.

Wright is in year 6 of her dissertation, entitled "Invertebrate Growth in a Sub-Temperate Amorphic Aquatic Environment." Wright has specialized in microbiology and had expected to be awarded her PhD from the College of St. Scholastica in May, until her washing machine again began acting out. "This is the 11th time in four years. Year two of the project was going great. My data was clean. And then I realized that my clothes weren't."

"Lately it's begun smoking from somewhere underneath, followed by a general throttling," explained Wright. "It keeps going for maybe ten minutes or so, and by this point it's almost through the cycle. I'm not about to interrupt. Then, just as it's about to spit out the final dirty water, the fuse blows. And I'm not about to start going to a laundromat."

Repair man George Lippert of Ready Wash believes the problem is simple. "All I need to do is get a look up in there," explained Lippert. "Looks like a five dollar part needs replacing. Pro'lly be the ball bearing socket. What I can't reckon is how she keeps paying $5 per fuse, with it going out every load, well that's got to add up."

Wright has no interest in having the machine repaired, exhorting that, "I'm about to get my PhD. I don't need a repairman to fix my machine. And it's always fixed itself before!" Wright, who has no children, did not explain why doing laundry took so much time that she could not finish the dissertation or why her house, built in 1996, came with a fuse panel from 1960.

"I've never heard of a house with still having fuses," stated Lippert, "I thought they stopped sellin' those in the 80s."