Wednesday, August 19, 2015

We bought a $1,000 dishwasher

(NOTE: This is our once-a-month Blog Rerun, in which I bring back a post that has appeared on this blog at some point in the past. Today's post about the $1,000 dishwasher first ran on May 23, 2012, and it's one of my favorite things I've written. Flint Parker still makes me laugh.)

We bought a new dishwasher.

I realize how unimportant this is to you, but I'm thrilled about it. I end up being the one who loads the dishwasher most nights, so this is one appliance that matters to me.

The old dishwasher cost something like $400. It lasted four years. The new dishwasher was about $1,000. Can I assume it's going to last 2-1/2 times longer? Probably not. But I'll tell you what, it had better hold up longer than four years.

We bought the dishwasher at B&B Appliance, one of those family-owned stores that has been in business since the Stone Age. Seriously, I'll bet these people were selling hand-crank washing machines and wooden TVs in the Oklahoma Territory 150 years ago. They may not always have the best price, but their service is excellent and they stand behind their products.

I know this mostly because my father-in-law Tom shops there. Tom is not a guy who just rushes into things like buying thousand-dollar dishwashers. He has many years of experience in buying (and fixing) appliances. So if he says B&B is good, I'm with him.

The guy who sold us the dishwasher is named Flint Parker. Really, that's his name: Flint Parker. Isn't that great? If I'm being honest, I'll admit that part of the reason Flint was able to close the deal with us was because of his name. Plus, he looks like Morgan Freeman, and I like Morgan Freeman.

Another reason we bought this particular dishwasher is because it's a KitchenAid. Some years ago I bought my wife a KitchenAid mixer. The thing not only weighs 5 tons, I think it could mix concrete. Terry only uses it to make cakes and stuff, though, so I can't confirm the concrete thing. But it's definitely heavy duty and will last for decades. I'm hoping the same is true for the dishwasher.

Yet another reason we bought it is because it has four spray arms across the bottom. Most dishwashers (including our old one) have only two. Flint walked around the store opening up various dishwashers and showing us that, unlike the KitchenAid, every one had only two and occasionally three spray arms.

I asked why four spray arms is better than two, and Flint looked at me like I was slow. I guess I understand, but if four spray arms are so revolutionary, why don't other manufacturers make their dishwashers that way? I didn't ask Flint because I was afraid he wouldn't like me. And I'm not sure I could handle having Morgan Freeman not like me.

Flint said he has been working at B&B for 26 years and selling appliances for 50. That means he's at least in his late 60s, but he didn't seem that old to me. He was wearing a button-up sweater vest and he looked good in it. Not many people look good in a button-up sweater vest, let me tell you. I guess it takes someone with the confidence of a veteran appliance salesman to really pull off that look.

Anyway, we went ahead and bought the dishwasher, which now that I think about it didn't really cost a thousand bucks. The total was a thousand with delivery and installation, and I was happy to pay extra to have the thing brought to my house and hooked up. I suppose I could manage the job myself after much reading of the instruction manual and the requisite weeping and gnashing of teeth. But really, it was worth the extra cash to come home and see it correctly installed and ready to use.

It's really quiet. And it has buttons on top of the door instead of on the outside. It feels very space age to me, like the sort of dishwasher you would see on Star Trek. If I had the money, I would equip our house with nothing but Star Trek appliances. That's a very tempting thing to do, especially when you walk into a store with all of the latest models.

And believe me, B&B had all of the latest models. Washing machines, dryers, TVs, ovens, refrigerators. They were all there, and they were all insanely expensive. They had a model kitchen that Terry very much wanted. I did some quick math in my head and calculated that all of the appliances together in the model kitchen would set you back about 25 grand. That's some serious we didn't have.

So for now we'll content ourselves with the new dishwasher. And with the fact that we now have a friend named Flint Parker. He was nice enough to give us his email address. I think I'm going to email him and let him know how quiet his four-armed Kitchen-Aid dishwasher is.

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