There’s a scene in the comedy film Crocodile Dundee when a youth pulls a knife on Mick J ‘Crocodile’ Dundee. ‘That’s not a knife’, he says as he pulls a massive dagger from his belt, pointing it at the youth ‘THAT’s a knife’.
When our latest grudge purchase was delivered and stood fleetingly next to its replacement before it was despatched to White Goods Heaven, we had to echo Mick. ‘That’s not a fridge-freezer’, we said as the men from John Lewis creaked and groaned under the weight of its double compreser, heavy shelves and two decades of ice which had stubbornly refused to move over many defrostings, “THAT’s a fridge freezer’.
There it stood in all its stainless steel gleemingness, flashing lights, beeping and bipping noises and a label boasting an energy rating of not just A, not even A+, but A++. I didn’t know the scale went up to A++, which shows what I know about domestic appliances. I assume it means it’s so efficient it generates electricity which we can sell back to the grid.
Our very first fridge was bought in the olden days when a Zoom lolly cost three old pence and the only ice cream options were blocks of vanilla, raspberry ripple or neapolitan. It kept milk tepid and had just enough room for a packet of Birds Eye frozen peas and a tray of ice cubes and must have cost the equivalent of £5000. Mind you, it lasted ages and is probably still producing ice cubes someone’s house somewhere, as we handed it down to someone else who in turn passed it on.
The fridge freezer replacement had to be bought after the old version coughed water everywhere in the fridge and refused to defrost the freezer. Purchases of domestic applicances, along with house repairs are always grudgingly made. Our criteria for the good use of money is to apply the three-point test. Can you wear it? Can you eat it? Can you travel in/to it? Anything else is a grudge.
Have you any idea how many fridge freezers there are to choose from? We must have wasted at least ten minutes looking in Comet before getting distracted by the coffee makers, if only to point out they weren’t as good as ours. So, decision made, we went to the interweb and chose something different, Noel pointed out it was worth paying more for twiddly bits and the A++ thing, so that’s what we did.
I have to confess, it is a splendid appliance, with more computing power than my first BBC B, though I know that’s not saying much these days. We’re not just talking shelves, were’re talking ‘Vitaminsafe’ shelves, which promise to preserve all the goodness in fruit and veg with the flash of a light. Then there’s the holiday setting, which I assume clears out the milk and left-over salad when you go away. Leave the door open too long and it beeps, leave it longer and it calls the Fridge Police. The guage on the door shows temperatures in every part of the fridge and freezer and cockily displays efficiency on a five-bar scale – zero being the point where we get a cheque from the National Grid.
Irritatingly, the Panasonic was so new and shiny, it pointed out the non-shiny bits of the kitchen, which were actually all of it, so the next grudge purchase had to be made, paint, brushes and a new waste bin. We now need a holiday to recover, but we can go away safe in the knowledge that the fridge will look after the house.