Stupid curse - the one that says nothing in my life can be easy, you know that one - is acting up again, of course. As we recall from long ago last summer during the Plague of Rodents, my oven became unusable. So I have staggered along since then with a stovetop, a microwave, and a toaster oven. Not great, but doable, especially during the summer. Finally I asked the landlord for a new range. I'm sure he'll get me one - probably in fall of 2009, since that's how my landlord, who is a nice guy, but a bit distracted, works. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving, and the concomitant annual Felicity's Thanksgiving Dinner for Waifs, Orphans and Strays (email me if you fit these categories & wanna come eat) is next week. I can't cook a turkey in a toaster oven, I don't have a deep fryer, and I lack the necessary masochism to fucking grill the damn thing. So the stove search intensified.
Enter my wonderful friend J, who is completely remodeling her kitchen and in the process installing a gas range. J is a waif, orphan and stray of several years standing and she wants her turkey next week. So she gave me her old electric range. My friend C, owner of the appliance dolly and flatbed pickup truck, came over last night and handily put the old range in the front yard, went to J's, picked up her range, brought it over here and put it in the kitchen. Where we discovered that the plug in the wall is nowhere near the shape of the plug on the stove, being that the plug on the stove has 3 prongs and the outlet in the wall has 4 quite differently shaped receptacles. C said, you have to take the back off the old range and take off the whole tail, take the back off the new range and install that tail, no problem, should be pretty damn self explanatory, see ya later. And he left. I went out into the howling freezing darkness and looked at the back of the old stove with a flashlight and determined that I would much rather do this job by daylight.
Then around 8:30 this morning 2 guys in a pickup came and took the stove out of the front yard; they drove away before I could get out there and freak out. I can understand their motives but it did leave me kind of SOL. So I took pictures of the plug & the receptacle & I went with my mom to Skyland Hardware, which is this really nice old timey hardware store where the clerks, who are all in their mid 70s or so, actually know what they're talking about. They said, "You'd better cook your meals next door!" Unfortunately, they know enough of what they're talking about that they told me, no, you cannot just rewire this outlet, you can't just rewire the stove, the outlet's grounded and the stove is not, this is a complicated job and if you do it wrong you could die. I am adverse to messing with electrical stuff anyway and this scared me.
So here I am now with not only no oven but no range top and this is all, you know, a real goddamn drag. Now I'll have to get an electrician, which will probably cost what a new stove would have cost, or I can try to call my landlord, which always scares me since one of these days he is going to wake up and realize just how below market my rent is, and beg him to send an electrician, which he will promise to do, and which will happen sometime in 2009. I have one friend who does electrical work but he's in Texas right now. And to be honest, I kind of want a serious electrician in here, since the guy at the hardware store was fairly graphic in his description of what could happen should the whole thing be wired wrong: "And then you might grab a pitcher of water and stove'll throw you across the room and you don't want that." No. No, I don't want that.