everything might not be eventual, but stoves are

A lot of people have suggested I escalate the matter of the possessed stove I recently purchased.  Here’s why I haven’t.

For one, I wasn’t able to track down any details on Ohio and a lemon law as applies to non-vehicles.  For another, I figured court/etc. would take so much longer than just letting the Sears repair crew try to fix it.

Also, I wanted this stove.

Well actually…I wanted the stove I had in the first place.  I wanted to get it fixed, because of this sad fact:  It was the first oven I’ve ever owned that worked right.  I’m 47 years old and I’ve had two ovens that made heat, and  only one that kept the right temperature.

Sad fact or no, Mr Moth was not so much into spending potentially hundreds of dollars to fix a stove that was here when we moved in.  He tried repeatedly to repair it, but to no avail.  So we bought the used stove.  It worked for what, a week?  Two weeks?  Until I broke off the oven knob and got it stuck in the ON position.  I really thought I would lose my mind, because there was so much else going on, in addition to being buried in school projects all the time, things like the Post Office arbitrarily deciding Zor doesn’t live here and returning all her mail to the senders, and the diabetic supply house deciding not to send me any diabetic supplies for weeks at a time, and some jackass pretending to be me and repeatedly getting my cell phone canceled.

Oh, and don’t forget the dishwasher had to be replaced also.

Anyhow, I decided it would be faster and cheaper to buy another stove.  I didn’t want to, because I hate change.  But I also was sick of dealing with Stove Drama.  (Little did I realize!)  So I went to the outlet store to get a particular stove I saw on their website, but when I got there, I hated it.  The burner racks were super tall, and I imagined pots of boiling liquid sliding off them like burning Chevies falling off a cliff.  Then I saw this stove.  It was love at first sight.  Naturally this stove cost more.  And no, I’m not saying how much more.  I will say the total sticker price was twice what I thought a stove should cost, but.

What price stove love?

I took pictures of Mr Moth loading it in the truck.  He worked as a Sears appliance delivery guy back in his salad days, so we brought the stove home and he installed it.  It worked once, sort of.  We assumed the malfunction was user error related to the electronic timer.  As it turned out, not.  It never even tried to work right again.

Then started the series of calls to Sears.  The first call was epic, as I got shunted from English as a Second Language call center to English as a Mystery Language call center.  Finally, a native speaker!  Oh wait…wrong department.  The moron kept trying to sell me an extended warranty.  I’m like, “I bought a brand new stove that doesn’t WORK.  I am not giving you any more money.  FIX MY STOVE.”

“We’re not in the business of fixing stoves,” this charmer informed me.  “We sell protection.”

I snorted.  “Yeah, YOU AND THE MAFIA.”


“Look, just let me talk to someone who can FIX MY BRAND NEW STOVE.”

Eventually they sent out the first asshole stove guy who came right at quitting time, acted like he didn’t want to be bothered, and told us–erroneously–that our house wiring was a death trap and the entire place needed rewired. 

Anyhow…eventually we got that sorted, and then I called the repair people again.  This time I got caught in the EVIL VOICE MENU LOOP FROM HELL.  Because, get this–the Sears Appliance Warranty voice menu does not recognize the word stove.

That’s right.  No stoves.  And here in the Middle, we don’t say RANGE.  Range is something people on The Price is Right say.  Kinda like sofa.

Anyhow, I ended up screaming into the phone, STOVE, STOVE, it’s a mother-fuckin STOVE you FUCKING MORON.

Yeah, not my finest moment.

Here’s the part I won’t be able to make sense of to anyone, and that’s that I still loved this stove.  I still wanted this stove.  In a way it was like Cobie.  He’s not all that good of a dog, but I adopted him, I committed to him, and I’m keeping him even though he’s a pita, because he’s mine and I love him.  Crazy of me, I know, but I didn’t so much buy a stove, as adopted it.

Even Mr Moth and Zor, neither of whom are as prone as I am to forming emotional attachments to non-sentient objects, agreed that the stovetop of this stove is amazing.  Water boils timely!  Things cook evenly!  Fewer things burn!  We never knew there could be a difference from one gas ring to another, but there is, there totally is.

They sent a different stove guy–Larry.  Probably one generation out of a Holler somewhere, judging by his speech, he filled me with utter trust.  Larry was obviously one of my people.  After Larry’s first failed attempt to fix my stove, the warranty guy (the one on the phone, IT’S A STOVE, GODDAMMIT) told me it was up to the repair guy when or if to “compensate.” The thing is, they don’t make this stove anymore, so they couldn’t just hand me a new one, it was either fix this stove or get a different one.  Similar stoves on the Sears site are currently going for about a thousand bucks, an amount substantially more than the too-much I already paid, and I was pretty sure they weren’t going to give me one of those babies.

Larry still thought he could fix it.  I wanted him to fix it.  Mr Moth was agreeable.

On his second trip out, Larry ordered a gas valve.  My faith in him wavered, because internet research had convinced me it had to be the computer that was wrong with it.  And where else would a demon live but in a computer?  Ten days later (long delays due to my impossible schedule and not theirs) Larry came, at six-thirty at night, and put the valve in.  He apologized repeatedly for the delay.  He didn’t act like he was doing me some favor, or like he’d rather be somewhere else (although I’m quite sure he would have).

He put in the valve.  He declared the stove fixed.  He showed me the old valve, which was visibly but subtly off/bent/crooked.  It seemed kind of unlikely that something so minor could cause such trouble, and after all, my burners and the broiler still worked.

I said, “Well, no offense, but I hope I don’t see you again,” although since I still thought the computer was the problem, I was pretty sure I’d be seeing him again.

“Well not here at least,” he said cheerfully, and we said our goodbyes.

We made pizza rolls as an experiment.

They cooked.

We left the oven on for two hours.  Every time the igniter clicked, it was followed by the soft and glorious FWUMP of lighting gas.  Just how it’s supposed to work.

Each time we heard it, Mr Moth and I exchanged hopeful but wary glances across the table.  (And one time the ice maker filled, and Mr Moth’s eyes got all wide and alarmed.  This amused me, so I thought I’d share.)

A lot of people tell me me I write like Erma Bombeck–well, people who haven’t heard me swear say that.  So on the upside of all this, I can now write a Bombeck-with-cursing book.  I think I’ll call it “Tuesdays With Larry.”

Larry the Stove Guy.  Larry the Exorcist.  Take your pick.

I am not prepared to declare this saga over just yet.  Zor and I are about to put Regan the Possessed Stove through her paces by baking some sugar-free pumpkin pies.  If that’s a success, I have a ham and a cobbler on the schedule for tomorrow.

If all is still functional next week, I plan to contact Sears and see if I can negotiate a little something-something for my aggravation.

We shall see.

Meanwhile, Happy Pie Day, everyone.  And may none of your stoves become possessed in the near future!