B noticed yesterday that the thermometer in the fridge was indicating sixty degrees and the food wasn’t cold, which is sort of the opposite of what you want in a refrigerator. I’d noticed the night before that the beer I grabbed from the door wasn’t as cold as the one I’d drunk the day before that, so I’d adjusted the setting but apparently that hadn’t worked. We’d had this problem before and I’d fixed it by using the vacuum cleaner to suck great big wads of dust out of the radiator that some genius designer wedged into the inch of space under the fridge where all the dust bunnies in the world go to die instead of on the back where all other fridges have their radiators. That’s where it’s easier to clean them, that’s where they get more air. It’s where the radiator should be, dammit. I’d really like just one minute alone with the guy who stuck it underneath our fridge. No, three. Three minutes, coz I wouldn’t be able to strangle him in just one minute.
So once again I had to spend an hour or so flat on my front, cheek to the floor so I could see into the cramped space under the fridge as I wiggled a little extension hose attached to the vacuum, trying to suck bits of dust out from between the coils of the radiator. When I was done, I couldn’t tell whether I’d gotten all the dust out or most of it or hardly any at all because I couldn’t really see much from where I had my head cranked around as far to the left as it would go, but I had to stop because if I spent five minutes more in that position it was going to get stuck like that, and I couldn’t go through the rest of my life explaining to everyone why I was perpetually looking over my shoulder.
The temperature settings on the fridge go from one to seven, with seven being the coldest, so before I went to bed last night I turned them all the way down until the digital indicators showed a dash, which I took to mean that the compressor was off and it wouldn’t cool at all, but it did. There was still frost on the cooling fins when I got up this morning to feed the whiniest cat in our bunch. I unleashed a broadside of my most powerful cusses but that alone didn’t fix the problem, so I wrestled the fridge out of its niche far enough to reach the plug, still cussing the cussiest cuss words I could think of, until I finally wiggled the plug out of the wall and the fridge went silent and dark. Then I brewed a pot of coffee because there’s no going back to bed after my heart rate has been elevated by that much cussing.
While the coffee brewed I rigged up B’s blow dryer so it blew a steady stream of hot air into the fridge to melt the accumulated frost off the cooling fins. I knew it was working when I had to sop up a big pool of water off the floor. I left the fridge off for about an hour after that, then plugged it back in and walked away. Either it would work or I would be shopping for a fridge today. It worked. I get to watch movies today.