Thursday, January 24, 2008

VUBOQ, Junior Electrician

My very special after work time started as it normally does. I came home, changed into my pajamas, spent a few minutes doing some light cleaning, and checked my email. Then, since it was laundry day, I sorted my dirty clothes (by color not smell!).

I rewarded myself with a negroni (garnished with a slice of blood orange! I *heart* blood oranges), because it is bitter and because it is my heart.

My cable-possessing neighbor was at Manolo's annual sale in NYC, so we were unable to watch Project Runway. Instead, I had invited a few neighbors over to chill, drink wine, and knit (and maybe eat popcorn!).

At 6:30ish, I trudged over to the laundry room to start a load or two. When I returned thirty minutes later to throw everything into the dryers, the laundry room was dark. *click* *click* *click* I flipped the light switches.


*click* I flipped them again.

Still nothing.

Something must be wrong. I propped open the door and checked the washing machine. It was full of water and sudsy clothes. GAH! The lights in the hallway were working, so the problem wasn't that the whole building was out of power. I went to a neighbor's to borrow a flashlight. Eventually, we found the correct fuse box (there are about 6 thousand of them in the laundry room) and located the blown fuse [It was all black and icky].

The next step was to find new fuses. I checked in the supply closets. Nothing. I called several hundred neighbors. No one was home.

Eventually, DUN called. She was on her way home from work. I asked her to stop by the hardware store to buy some fuses. She did (with much drama and texting and dead cell phone batteries).

I called another neighbor to come assist me with the fuse-changing. She held the flashlight as we debated if flipping the gigantic power switch to off would plunge the entire building into darkness or just a few sections [like the hallways]. Finally, I decided that I would rather plunge the entire building into darkness than be electrocuted to death.


*dark* [but only the laundry room area and the stairwells. *whew*]

I unscrewed the old fuse [counterclockwise, yo!] and then screwed in the new one [Type S, 15 amp]. I counted to 10 [I don't know why, but it seemed like something you should do], and flipped the gigantic power switch to on.




And, thus ended my excitement ... and, that's why it took like 4 hours to do my laundry, and why I am very very sleepy this morning.



  1. I have fuses in my house and live in fear of having to change one. Not sure why.

  2. Well, if I ever have to do that, I'll ask you. Most probably, I'll be very scared and stay alone in the dark until somebody comes and rescue me (yes, I am a princess)
    Reading this post was very entertaining. It was filled with tension and some drama (the part were you almost risked your life by almost being electrocuted)

  3. Fuses scare me. I much prefer the fuse boxes where you just have to flip a switch back and forth.

    Thank God I live in a building with a full-time super.

  4. Clearly the universe is telling you that your next career should be as an electrician.

    On another note, given the recent huge increase in your HOA dues, you'd think they could afford some circuit breakers.

  5. Fuses instead of breakers? Just how old is this place and why have they not updated the wiring?

  6. Mel: It was built in 1947. The apartments are all on breakers, but the laundry room (and a few other things, apparently) use fuses.

  7. Knitting and eating popcorn... Doesn't that get the yarn and needles all greasy and salty?

    Yipee for you getting the fuse changed. What a man!