The first cut is the deepest


This is a post about product liability. Or, more accurately my fury at Whirlpool for making it nearly impossible to lift their refrigerators without slicing off your fingers.

Short version: we’re renovating the kitchen. Today, stainless steel appliances are all the rage. This despite the fact that they collect fingerprints, dent easily and cost more. Still, we do what we’re told by the kitchenistas and we dutifully bought a stainless steel fridge.

Through a series of mishaps, it turned out that the general contractor, the tile guy and I ended up having to lift this 600 pound beast up the three stairs to my front door and then into the kitchen to install it.

I was on the left side of this thing, trying to lift it up on the count of three. “One….two…three!” Bob shouted and we all heaved up and towards the door. I had my shoulder against the bottom and my left hand under the left side.

On step two, I looked down and was gushing blood. The damn stainless steel cabinet’s un-smoothed-off bottom edge had sliced deeply into three fingers of my left hand. It was painless (then) and so I was sorta detached from all the blood literally pouring from my left hand. (I am left handed by the way).

We finally got the behemoth into place, and as I was taking off the last of the shipping material, I considered whether or not to tilt the monster back and wipe the blood off the bottom edge that had so nearly severed my fingers. “Nah,” I thought. “Let the next owner mix his or her DNA with mine.” (Don’t anyone tell Tricia I left a souvenir on her now stained stainless steel cabinet. This is our secret.)

Today, as I sit at work and try my level best to type emails and collateral, I’ve considered calling a torts attorney (aka an ambulance chaser) and suing Whirlpool. It’s idle, but appealing, thinking (the cuts will heal). But one or two more steps, and I think the first use of the fridge would have been to chill my severed digits in preparation for surgical reattachment.

Had that happened, I’d have had a whole new career: torturing Whirlpool through the court system.





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