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The Wretched Wrench
February, 2006

The other day, as I started my garbage disposal, it started giving a squeaky sound that soon turned into some whirring and then died. I remembered reading about a red switch at the base of the unit. So I squatted down and pushed it. I started the disposal again but there was a click and the button was out again. I could smell something burning.

I remembered one told time when I had put in a spoon by mistake in our old apartment. I can still remember my husband grouching. Did I do it again? Nay, stupid thoughts, it's not that. I've been extra careful since then about not putting any spoons in the sink.

I remembered the 1-800 numbered stuck on the inside of the cabinet. The familiar messaging started "Press 1 to select the problems you're having with your disposal. Press 2 to ….. blah blah blah" I was finally able to get out of this maze and reach a sweet sounding "human" assistant.

I told her my problem. "First, switch off the unit. Then, get an Alan wrench that is 2 quarter of an inch and insert it in the hole at the bottom of the disposal unit."

Is there a hole? I never knew about it. Let me see. So splattered on the floor, I started fingering the base of the unit to find the hole.

“Yes, I find it.”

“Now, insert that wrench.”

“Wait a minute. What is an Alan wrench? How does it look like?”

“Well, it's two-quarter of an inch wrench. You'll get it from Home Depot. Insert that wrench in the hole and move anticlockwise two three times. Then, move it clockwise.”

“Is that it?”

“Yes, call me if you still have any problem.”

“Okey dokey and thanks.”

I ran to my computer and googled on "wrench". I found not one, not two, but several different types of wrenches. But there was no Alan wrench. Hmm… it was a problem.

We had found couple of bolts, meshes, and their likes in kitchen drawers when we moved in. I thought I'll take a look. In one of the plastic bags I found something that looked like a wrench that I saw on the Internet. There I was on the floor again moving it back and forth. Then, I switched on the unit and the kitchen was filled with that melodious humming sound. Yes, it was working. Thanks to the wretched wrench.

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