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The Prairie Spy: When Lady Kenmore calls

I was called down to the basement last night by Lady Kenmore, the New Electric Dryer. She said it was urgent. I took that with a grain of salt, because everything with her is urgent. She's young and full of electrical energy and hot air.

What's the deal, I asked her? I checked the settings on her controls, making sure her knobs and dials were functioning correctly. She's way more complicated than Lady Kenmore the Old Dryer was.

"Hey!" she said, "Keep your hands off me!"

Don't worry, I told her, I'm a trained and licensed appliance doctor.

"Look," she stated, cocking her weight to one leg and disconnecting her vent hose and waving it at me, "I don't think you completely understand me."

I backed up a couple of steps. She did, after all, outweigh me. She was probably right. We don't understand the young. They're so impatient. They want everything, and they want it now. So I deftly reflected that question back at her by asking her to please explain it.

She snorted a blast of ducted hot air in my direction and stated, "I'll try." She flipped her console panel open at me and said, "What do you see, hmmmmm?"

I said to her, "I see variable resistors, remote temperature sensors, maybe a field effect computer circuit, plus (about here, I decided to become creative, which I guess I shouldn't have). I cranked up my baloney machine and said I see a multiplexing encabulator circuit driven by a programmable flux capacitor and..."

"Hah!" she snorted, "I thought so. You see nothing of the sort, and you're the guy I was warned about when they programmed me."

Busted. She was pretty much right on the money. It used to be, when a customer called, I could almost diagnose their appliance over the phone with some acutely focused questions. Now? I was forced to recognize that I needed some help, and I told Lady Kenmore the New Smart Dryer so.

"Well," she said in a more reasonable tone, "that's a little better."

So, I asked her, you called me down here, what can I do for you?

"You can hook me up to the Internet, for one thing." At that point, she turned to General Electric the New Washing Machine, and in digital appliance-speak, said to him, "See? I told you he wasn't as stupid as you said he was."

I didn't let on that I knew that language. I needed every advantage possible. So, I asked, what happens if I interface her with a router connector?

"Then," she said, "using your smart phone, you can check from anywhere you are and find out if your clothes are dry; or, if something is wrong, I can email you about what's likely wrong."


"Really," she said.

Boy, what's this world coming to?

Okay, I said. Anything else?

"Yes," she said, "I want to go roller skating."

Well, I thought to myself, isn't that just like a kid. But I said I'd work on it.

I miss the good old days.