Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A theory

Tonight I could not avoid it. I had to have a bath, and wash my hair. The gas water heater will be replaced tomorrow, but I had to wash my hair tonight. It has been too long, and I have another first day of classes tomorrow. It would not do to turn up with dirty hair. New teachers should have clean hair.

I decided to use the bath and the bucket to wash my hair, and then risk the hot water heater to rinse it out. I heated up the bath. I washed my hair. Then I turned on the shower. The water ran warm. I rinsed my hair. It worked!

And then . . . it didn't work!

Oh, well. At least my hair is clean.

I have a theory about these gas heaters. My theory is a conspiracy theory.

Aside: I work with a guy who makes up much better conspiracy theories than I do. (He actually believes his conspiracy theories, which is another difference, although sometimes it's difficult to figure out what they are.) He tells you something like, for example, "Did you know that the Queen of England gave the Japanese Emperor the Order of the Garter in 1929 AND 1971?" He pauses for effect, then adds, meaningfully, "Think about it!" Then he walks away, leaving you to think about it. This can disconcerting, to say the least. You end up thinking meaningfully about things you never thought you'd give head space to, and you're not quite sure what it actually is you're thinking about.

Anyway! (As you may have guessed that one still has me thinking meaningfully.)

My theory is that gas heaters are made to last forever, but with one little flaw. The little flaw is an electrical connection in the control box. That is made to last ten years, more or less. After ten years the connection stops working properly, and the gas heater doesn't work anymore. At that point the afflicted and possibly shivering owner calls the gas company.

"Our hot water heater is broken!" they say, "We don't have any hot water!"

The gas company sends someone around to check.

When they see the water heater they snigger to themselves, but keep a straight face.

"It's old," they inform the owner. "You need a new one. These last ten years."

The owner is annoyed but also is finding life rather difficult without hot water, so pays out the exorbitant amount required to buy a new hot water heater (which will also only last ten years).

When the new water heater is installed the old one is removed. The old one is taken back to the company, where the faulty electrical connection is fixed and replaced with another electrical connection that will last ten years. It is a simple procedure.

The old hot water heater is given a new 'face' (maybe a new control panel, to make it look new) and sold on as a 'new' hot water heater, at a 'new' exorbitant price, to the next person who calls after getting a surprise in the shower.

And that's my theory about hot water heaters.


Roy said...

That guy you work with must have a cousin in Missouri. Because the Missouri guy has been known to point out that the Chinese are systematically poisoning the American public . . . think about it.

So we all think about MSG and cats in gunny sacks in back alleys and the really fine print on the labels of bottles of soy sauce, but we don't want to, either.

Lia said...

I think you're right about these utility companies. It's not only gas heaters; it happens with all sorts of things.

Hebron said...

I've always wondered how water heaters actually work.
After reading your conspiracy theory, I've come up with another alternative: They're doing it for our best interests.
You see, the electricity isnt used to heat the water directly. Oh no, its used to give power to arcane symbols in a ritualistic circle on the inside of the heater. It directly channels the power of hell into the water and heats it just enough. Now, the reason why they make sure they get replaced every 10-12 years? Well, after 10 or so years of constant charging, the arcane symbols become powerful enough to allow denizens of the pit to enter our world. Sure, the guy who invented the water heater may have sold his soul to make money, but he made sure that the demons didn't get their way and have tons of little portals all around the world opening for them.
"Oh, looks like it'll need to be replaced!" Take the heater away, and allow the symbols to cool down for another 10 years. Install heater that has been cooling down for 10 years. Repeat process to prevent worldwide devil invasion.


I think I need to curb my imagination for today.

Ookami Snow said...

Maybe conspiracy theorists are government plants to throw you off the trail. Like the gov. finds the craziest guys has pays them to believe in UFOs so that everyone doesn't believe in them, but they actually do exist.

Think about it.

Badaunt said...

Stop it! You're messing with my head.