The fridge I purchased five years ago was always destined for landfill. The end just came sooner than either of us expected.
The fridge started life happily rubbing shoulders with much grander fridges on the second floor of a department store. He was content to be just a regular middle-sized fridge with what he considered his main asset, a big bottom freezer. True, some of those European imports were shiny, stainless steel jobs with double doors and water dispensers and fancy names such as Bosch and Miele. But what did they know about keeping cool in the hot Australian summers? Much better to have a solid Aussie name and come from the factory in Orange or Adelaide.
His troubles started 3 months after his delivery to his new home. He ran out of gas. He could feel himself getting warmer. His big bottom freezer couldn’t keep the ice-cream from turning into, well… cream. Thankfully once he was re-gassed (‘Mustn’t have had enough gas put in before he left the factory,‘ the fridge repair man said), he ran happily for a year almost to the day. Then the same thing happened again. He just didn’t have the energy to summon up that big chill needed to freeze a bag of peas let alone an ice-cube. ‘Must be the thermostat’ the repair man mumbled as he fitted a new one. His owner was panicking. It was just before Christmas. The fridge always played a starring role at this hot time of the year when he was full to overflowing with ham and prawns, turkey and champagne. He prided himself on keeping his cool and chilling out but even with a new thermostat he was struggling.
A week passed and the fridge could no longer cope. He was run down and chugged along barely managing to take the chill off a beer and with no hope of freezing an ice-cube. ‘Must be the compressor.’ It was the compressor. The new compressor did the trick. Christmas was saved. There were ice-cubes aplenty, the beer was icy cold and the ice-cream frozen.
The fridge purred away quietly for 3 years until last week. He knew the end was near. His big freezer could no longer freezer water. It was a daily struggle to chill the milk. As the weather grew warmer so did he. He wasn’t surprised to learn that he was out of warranty and that repairs would be costly and might not even solve the problem. He realised that as a fridge he was a failure. Then he heard the words he had been dreading. ‘My fridge is a lemon. It’s been a lemon for the 5 years I’ve had it. That’s it. I’m getting a new one’.
They passed each other briefly in the kitchen. He just had time to catch a glimpse the shiny cool guy being wheeled in before the plug was pulled and the Aussie lemon was no more.