Sunday, 1 June 2008

How many Frenchmen does it take to install a refrigerator?

Imagine it's the day before you move into your house, it's also your birthday. 3 days earlier, you ordered the floor model of the fridge you wanted because the entire country was out of stock. You poorly negotiated the reduction but did take the extension of the guarantee.

The appliance store calls you at 8:30 am to tell you they will be delivering the fridge sometime between 9:30 and 12:30. You ask if they can be more precise since you don't live at the house. They say no. So you drop the baby at the nanny's and bike over to the house at top speed and wait by the window to look down on the street since the doorbell doesn't work.

At 9:31, the delivery truck pulls in and two scrawny guys begin unloading the fridge. As they bring the fridge into the garagestorage unit you smell a strong smell of hard alcohol and you ask your husband in English if 1) these guys are bringing the fridge up to the 2nd (US) floor (1st french) and 2) if you have to tip them. No and no (since they aren't bringing it up). You look puzzled and wonder how your husband will carry the fridge from the front of the garage up the winding staircase and into the kitchen.

the narrow, twisty staircase

Oh no, he replies, we are going to hoist it up the deck. Ok.

A few minutes later, your brother in law appears. He and your husband inspect the fridge (which weighs about 200 pounds and is about 5 1/2 feet tall). They begin to carry the fridge when the freezer door opens and bangs your BIL in the face. You suggest taping the doors shut. They manage to get the fridge through the garage to the "wrokshop" and they stand there looking up at the deck with its metal guard rail and say, ok now what. You keep your mouth shut.

They circle, like nervous cats, and begin making suggestions: what if we slide it up the ladder and one of us grabs it up top; what if we hoist it up with ropes and one of us stays underneath and the other grabs it...You start to get really nervous as they wrap ropes around the fridge and your husband and BIL put the fridge on it's side and begin lifting it. And you get even more nervous when your BIL goes to the deck and lifts the ropes, attaching them to the metal guard rail, while your husband climbs a ladder and stands under the fridge. You don't say anything but visions of a broken fridge and/or husband come to mind and you are glad you got the extension on the guarantee.

The guard rail that they attached the ropes to

They hoist the fridge up, one rope at a time, and the fridge is finally in a parallel position. Your husband comes running up the stairs while your BIL (a cello player who looks more like a football player) lifts the fridge alone and carries it into the kitchen where he sets it down.

You and your husband look at the perfect fridge (which now has a dent on the door) and you look inside, now realizing that the carpenter didn't plan enough space for the actual door to open. Who cares you say, let's plug it in, which is when your husband informs you that you have to wait at least 3 days before you plug the fridge in since it was on its side (it's actually 3 hours as you later found out on the internet).

view from the deck to onto the "garden" with the ladder and orange things they stood on to lift the fridge

So, the answer to the riddle is: Four (with each man counting for 2). One to dent it, one to get hit in the face, one to figure out how to carry it, one to carry it. And 1 American woman to stand on the sidelines and panic.


GL'sD said...

I seldom commet on posts. but this one was funny. Really funny. It would appear that their are good old boys all over the world. I'm just happy that this didn't end up with something broken as in arm or leg.

Anonymous said...

This was really funny....and so male.

Madame K said...

Simply hilarious.

Mme. Meow said...

Holy crap. How frustrating (and yet, funny but mostly because it was not my fridge)!

Scott said...

Hah! Such a good mental picture. I even read it twice. Totally something I would have done - but I probably would have had the entire fridge fall on top of me at least once.

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