I live on the outskirts of the City of Austin and my water service is provided by them. So, it was with much interest that I noticed mixed in with the usual offers and news that the City sends out with its bills, an item that spoke of trading in any old working refrigerator back to the City and they would reimburse $50. Turns out, when I called them up, that as I was not receiving electricity from the City, (I get mine from Pedernales Electric) I was not eligible to participate in the program.
So, not to be outdone, I have these dear friends in town that I thought would probably be pleased to accept the old refrigerator and turn it back to the City that way. When I approached them with the idea, my friend Gloria suggested that I should bring it over this coming Saturday as she was holding a Garage Sale and was looking for items to sell. She volunteered George, her other half, to come over and help me load it out onto my small garden trailer and transport it to their house for this weekend sale.
Bright and early on Thursday morning, George arrived at my house where he found me finishing up cleaning the refrigerator ready to load onto the trailer which I had already hooked up to the car. Now, this is not the first frig that I have moved but I have to say, it was probably the heaviest. Considering it was at least 37 years old, maybe they built them better back then. It had been sitting in my garage purring away for several years after I, in a fit of madness, decided that I needed a new one even though there was nothing wrong with the old one. Garages at the best of times are not the cleanest of places and needless to say, the frig was in a pretty deplorable state on the outside and took a lot of work to clean it up. In my younger days, I was a bit of a beer drinker and the refrigerator was very useful for maintaining a cool supply. Having totally quit drinking for at least seven years, I no longer had a use for cold beer.
The normal method to move heavy appliances is to balance them on a two-wheeled dolly. The ones the pro’s use even have a strap to tie it back to the dolly. Normally, I would balance a refrigerator on my two-wheeled dolly and then rock it back to the balance point and move it that way. For some reason, I could not get this one to balance and nearly succeeded in dumping the damn thing on me which concerned me enough to figure out a different way. So we struggled and strained and worked the thing up onto the trailer by sliding it up the loading ramps which I happen to have. Luckily, the trailer is only about a foot above the ground Even so, it was extremely difficult but we eventually succeeded. We worked it up to the front of the trailer which does have high wooden sides and stacked a barbecue pit that I was also putting in the sale, in front of it to help to keep it from toppling over. I could not find a rope anywhere so we had to rely on bungee cords and hope they would do the job, the fear being that it might topple over in transit creating an awful mess. Working refrigerators have to be carried upright and cannot be laid down. Not sure why this is but I do know this for a fact.
We drove back into town with George following behind in his car although I am not sure what he could have done if it had decided to topple over. Glancing in the mirror, I saw him flashing his lights as we were trucking along Ben White so I pulled over to see what the problem may be. Turns out, he had seen the thing rock backwards after going over one pretty bad bump in the road and was concerned that it was about to topple. Carefully checking the load did not show any signs of movement but he did ask me to slow down a little. I hadn’t realized that I was driving fast as I was well aware of the delicately balanced load.
We made it to his house which luckily is not on the main thoroughfare and I pulled up close to the curb. We struggled and strained and worked the frig down the ramps and onto the street where we struggled again to get it up over the curb and onto the sidewalk leading into his house. I knew that George was not going to be around for the Garage Sale to provide some muscle if needed so he suggested that we leave it fairly close to the road.
I jumped into my car to drive home complaining bitterly to myself about my poor old and aching body. When we were loading the frig, George has commented that we were heart attacks waiting to happen as the bloody thing was so heavy. Amazing what the human body can put up with. Incidentally, George had previously had a heart attack so maybe he knew what he was talking about.
Upon arriving home, I gleefully moved things around in the garage reveling in the additional space and wielded the broom to clean it up. Later that evening, the phone rang and it was George. He was laughing fit to bust and in between giggles, managed to blurt out that the frig was gone. I asked him if he had sold it already and he said that before he had time to put a For Sale sign on it, someone had stopped and loaded it out and drove off.
I too bust out laughing as it was ironic that it had gone so quick especially after George and I had worked so damn hard to move it. In truth, I hope that whoever has it gets as much service out of it as I did over the years…or enjoys the $50 if they turn it in.
Oh yes, the frig was the last remaining tie to my ex-wife. Ironic that at the end, she was only worth $50…