Sunday, July 16, 2006

fuck those germans...


Amongst my many atrocious habits is a steadfast refusal to read most manufacturers’ instruction booklets in any sort of detail. Even when I can be bothered scanning them, the English section is often sandwiched somewhere between the Spanish, Arabic or Serbio-Montenegrin translations, the information contained therein uniformly long-winded, boring, over-technical, under-technical, incomprehensible, childishly insulting, or meant for every model in the product range other than the one I possess.
So far the worst thing that ever happened as a result of my ignoring instructions has been the complete yellowing of my hair whilst trying to add a touch of Drew Barrymore-blonde.
Until recently!
Last week I was attempting to install my new, state-of-the-art, ‘Bosch Clothesmaster 5000’ front-loading washing machine, which is only marginally cheaper than a ‘Mercedes-Benz 190E’ front-wheel drive motor car.
The washer came in a large, Paddington-terrace-sized cardboard box, most of which was taken up by polystyrene packing material. ‘Bosch’ should offer buyers a lifetime supply of washing powder to any customer who can open the box and locate the appliance inside within 2 hours.
Christ knows I couldn’t.
With typical German efficiency, the instructions/warranties for the washing machine came in an equally large box, except there was no packaging material inside; it was all booklets.
There was an historical brochure on the ‘Bosch Company’, detailing its humble beginnings back in 1886 making automatic frankfurter-boilers, to its continuing research into zero-gravity dishwashers for the moon. There was a directory listing every ‘Bosch’ distributor on the planet, complete with phone/fax numbers, addresses, websites, and a photo of each head sales-representative on-site. There was a catalogue containing every ‘Bosch’ appliance currently being offered for sale, accompanied by a 200-page amendment showing which of these products are not currently available. All up, there was enough literature to fill the old library in Alexandria.
Now remember, we’re talking about a washing machine.
It has some hoses, and an electrical power cord; it doesn't require an engineering degree to work out what goes where...
So, I connected the hoses, plugged it in and turned it on. The 600 horse-power, Kevlar/titanium, V-10, super-charged power plant started to turn over, there was a terrible screeching noise, a rending of metal on metal, a violent shaking movement and within 30 seconds it had completely destroyed itself.
When the smoke cleared I started frantically searching through the mountain of booklets in a desperate attempt to discover what had happened.
There were reams of useful tips for what I could or couldn’t do with my new, 200 kg washing machine. These included a handy hint that it was not meant to be used as a floatation device for teaching children to swim, and a warning to seek medical advice if I swallowed it. No one could accuse the ‘Bosch’ legal/technical departments of dereliction of duty in regard to neutralizing any potential law suits.
At the very END of the installation instructions, although handily entitled 'Transportation Instructions' was a brief paragraph on 'TRANSPORT BOLTS', which are things inserted into the washing machine at the ‘Bosch’ factory to secure the stainless-steel drum during transportation. Even had I bothered to read the instructions, I wouldn't have read THESE, as I would have concluded (wrongly, as it happens) that the transportation phase of the operation had finished with the delivery of my boxes. Buried away in this final section was an apocalyptic warning of the consequences of NOT removing these bolts before attempting to use the machine. These consequences apparently included a terrible screeching noise, a rending of metal on metal, violent shaking movements and guaranteed destruction of the entire machine within 30 seconds.
Well, they certainly got that right.
Not the sort of guarantee I had hoped for, but nevertheless an extremely accurate forecast.
I was thinking about my $1500 pile of high-tech scrap-metal this morning, as I was studying the instructions for opening a packet of cigarettes and I came to the conclusion that my life was simply meant to serve as a warning to others...

34 comments:

WJ said...

ah, just don't mention the war fingers.

I recently got a Miele one of those, and obviously THOSE Germans have figured us non-Germans out, as they actually delivered it, unpacked it, set it up and turned it on for me, all in about 10 minutes. goes like a charm.

Er, this isn't helping, is it...

fingers said...

I would have let them install the Fuck'O Matic however the ingenious stacking device they had for the washer/dryer combo failed to meet my exacting standards, so I built my own.
This meant they (Bosch) wouldn't be part of the install.
Cunts...

Mountjoy said...

Miele, Bosch, Mercedes, Bang & Olfsen....

Why the hell you didn't just by Simpsons or Whirlpool has me fingered. It may have been made by some pieceworker in Malaysia, but at least the instructions were written by an Aussie.

WJ said...

cos they are shit, Mountjoy.

fingers said...

It's just a crying shame Vespa don't make appliances...

W said...

Hee hee. I can always count on you to make me laugh fingers, but maybe try and do it with less expense?

fingers said...

What can I say ??
I'm a comic philanthropist looking to give away my fortune in the name of a cheap laugh...

WJ said...

at least you aren't a chronic philatelist looking to give away your fortune in the name of a postmark...

Georgia said...

Ah, stamp collector humour. That's what has been missing from my empty life...

Or he could be a comic philanderer, shagging around in a red clown nose, giving the ladies a spray with a water-squirty flower after the act and dropping them home in a really small car...

WJ said...

see, now I have you covered Georgia. just think of me as your friendly neighbourhood philatelic humour philanthropist.

fingers, if its all the same I''d prefer you just didn't think of me...

Georgia said...

I'll have to check out your stamp-licking technique to see if you are up to the task...

mushroom said...

I believe he uses one of those sponge pads.

fingers said...

Gosh it's great to have the entire graduating class of The Benny Hill Academy here taking a dump on my blog...

Mountjoy said...

If shit means 10 years service, then I'm putting my money on Lady M's choice of a Simpson anyday. Of course maybe they weren't using those little black fellas to build them back then....

fingers said...

It's called 'style', Donnie.
How could you know about that living in Perth...

Mountjoy said...

Style? Buying a piece of overpriced German crap that you buggered before you turned it on? Yep, Not a cracker to be seen on this coast. But we get our clothes washed. Still, with M.Kidman as a neighbour, you must do it tough keeping up with the Joneses.

fingers said...

It's all about the re-sale, Donnie.
When was the last time you saw a place advertised as having 'a designer Aussie kitchen/Simpson appliances'...

Mountjoy said...

Well I can indeed imagine that the real estate section of the Double Bay Gazette must be chockas with them... but I do understand your point.

Although I would have thought around your neck of the woods that gutting the kitchen on a newly purchased Eastern Suburbs abode was de-rigour.

Georgia said...

Actually, it's "de rigeur" and ideally it should be italicised...

As for washing machines, who needs 'em? They are aesthetically unpleasing and there's nowhere to put one in my flat anyway. I just pay my friendly local Pakistani laundry around the corner from my flat, everything comes back to me pristine and they carry it to my car for me. All for $30 a week. Doing your own laundry is for suckers.

fingers said...

Yes, Mountjoy...you fool.
It's 'de rigeur' !!!
And living in a shoe-box with no room for a washing machine is nothing to crow about, Hobo Joe...

Mountjoy said...

I even spell checked that, and what you got is what the fcukers at Word came up with, so bite me. And the day someone else posts in italics here, I'll be happy to follow. Pedant.

- there, I feel better now -

Georgia said...

Sorry, 10 years of sub-editing magazines gets into your system and it's hard to shake it.

And it's perfectly fine and dandy to have no room for a washing machine. I love that I now waste no more of my life with the petty trifle that is washing clothes. And my place takes about 10 minutes a week to clean. Hours of housework is also for suckers.

Mountjoy said...

ewe kno mee. If it kan bee spellt rong, eye'll fcuk it arp. Thatz wi eye ahm sew centsitive...

Georgia said...

Spelling's not the half of it. I remember getting involved in a bitter argument at FHM as to whether blow job needs a hyphen or whether it should be one word!

fingers said...

Was it a work-order from your old boss...

Georgia said...

Ha. No. Matters of punctuation and syntax were of little concern to him.

Mountjoy said...

Of course not. The sort bloke who reads FHM is only one step up the evoloutionary ladder from People and Picture readers. Knuckles still sore, but at least they aren't scraping the ground when he walks on the flat...

Georgia said...

Ain't that the truth. The reader letters used to land in my inbox. Never will you witness such an uneducated, semi-literate bunch of cretins. Most letters just demanded that we get Sandra Sully to pose for the mag. So at least they were watching the news, I suppose, even if it was just Channel 10.

Ms Smack said...

Suggest next time you buy something of worth (particular of worth to the lady of the home) you step back and be guided through the instructions, bolts and all, by a woman.

:)

Georgia said...

The lady of the home? This is Fingers's home we're talking about...

Bugwit Homilies said...

Love your pic from the old tv show 'The Secret Life of Machines'.

The best part of the show was the theme: A mashup-up of 'Get up, Stand up' and 'Take five'!

Add low-budget gadjetry and a dishelveled host and what more could one ask for?

Odly Amore said...

After reading this particular post I was struck with a dilemma; I really wanted to leave a comment and let you know this was one of the funniest passages of writing on how not to read instructions I have ever had chance to encounter, but I was unable to let you know without first creating a blog myself (or at least, that is what my limited intelligence was able to determine while exploring the comments page). I’m one of those folks who have not much more than navel lint to offer as far as blog discussions go (yeah, I admit it) but after reading your story over the phone to my mother and us both near crying with laughter, I decided it was worth signing up.
This was piss-funny, just thought you should know it.

fifi said...

and heres me thinking you had been having fun with Pipe Bombs in leafy lane Cove in recent times. Lucky I checked.

Karelgott said...

he Goddamned fucking Germans??? Please, these fucking nimrods started and LOST both world wars. In the second one the fools were spellbound by the "FUHRER" (with brown eyes) and ostensibly their own GREED and BLOODLUST. I propose HERE and NOW (yes, you heard it FIRST, HERE) That we change hamburger to "Homelandburger" (the REAL-American Patriots go wild...major applause)
So fast food goes something like this now:
"Yo, yes you may. We will have four deluxe *Homelandburgers with real American cheese and uh, lemme' see...mmm, too Large, No scratch that. Two X-tra Large *Freedomfries. No, wait, I'm sorry. Better just make that Two *Patriot Platters, thanx."
After a thorough brushing of the teeth, tongue, gums and a good floss... it's off to *Freedom kissing. If all goes well, maybe even break out the *New and Improved FREEDOM-TICKLER*
Germany today: Politicians are professional liars and promise the ENDSIEG in financial crisis 2009.
Stupid Folks which votes for them and are betrayed again.Show offs wearing faked dress to show wealth..., Government like Stasi and Nazi in the past, observating his Folks without any barrier.
And uncountable more negative things.
So short: I hate this goddam Folks!