Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Lime of Another Color

Ever since my bride came up lame a few weeks ago, I’ve been wearing many hats. As well as my usual Lord of the Manor and chief handyman lids, I’ve assumed the role of homemaker, cook, nurse, and of course Keeper of the Cats. So when the coffeemaker sprang a leak, I donned the handyman hat and with my trusty battery-powered mini-screwdriver, took that baby apart. The brand under scrutiny was a Bunn, one of three we have owned over the years. The thing about a Bunn is that it’s the closest thing to instant coffee you’ll ever see. Stick in a filter, a little coffee, pour a pot of water in the top and by the time you walk out to fetch the morning paper, you got 10 cups of java waiting on you. Okay, so it’s not ecological friendly as it keeps a tube full of hot water at all times. Some might say it wastes electricity. I say screw it. I’m old. I deserve some conveniences in life. The Bunn is one.

Problem was, this particular Bunn was losing water all over the countertop. After a detailed study using my razor sharp analytical mind, the trouble was determined to be a leaky gasket between the incoming cold water and the hot water reservoir. Buy another gasket you say? No, no. Doesn’t work like that. No, Mr. Bunn wants you to buy a brand new unit to the tune of $99 and that’s when it’s on sale. What it needed, I figured, was some kind of sealant or maybe caulking of some sort. Rummaging through my handyman supplies, I discovered a tube of something called Stick & Seal. Perfect! I dabbed it around the gasket, let it sit for the required number of minutes, and made a pot of coffee. Was there water on the countertop? NO! Did it make coffee like a new one? Why yes it did, thank you for asking. I took a sip. Whoa. The coffee seemed to have a whang to it. I check the label on the Stick & Seal.

Do not inhale, ingest, or come within twenty feet of this product or you will die a horrible death (or something to that effect). But wait, the water shouldn’t have come in contact with the poison. Something else was wrong. The Missus speaks up, “You should probably delime the pot.”

Now the only lime I’m familiar with is the one that goes in a gin and tonic. What does lime have to do with a coffee maker? But according to the manual and homemakers that deal with these kinds of things on a regular basis, the pot needs to be cleaned periodically because of deposits from impurities in the water. Vinegar, it turns out, is the simple solution. You pour a bunch in, let it sit, swab it out, and there ya go. Who da thunk it?

Now I lie awake at night wondering what other routine household duties I’ve neglected and which one will be the next to bite me on the Bunn …I mean butt.

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