Monday, December 06, 2004

Impending death of our waterbed circa 1972

Ok, so it is about 32-years-old, but it IS California Redwood, hand-made, held together with a fantastically simple method of offset, interlocking "fingers" and dowels. It was our first major purchase as a newlyweds and we got it when I was stationed in San Diego. It has served Mrs. Stomps With Foot and me very well. In fact, I can hardly believe I am going to have to replace it. The wierdest thing is that although Mrs. Stomps With Foot has been asking about replacing it, and I vehemently refused over the years, is that it was my idea. You see, I asked her to turn up the heater on the bed because it was feeling a tad cool. Since it is almost winter, it seemed the prudent thing to do.

She tried to "turn it up" yesterday and asked me to look at it because the light (indicating it was operational) was not coming on. I got down beside the bed, with a flashlight, and sure enough the light indicator was out. I checked all the electrical connections - from one extension cord to another to the power strip - to no avail. I cranked the thermostat up to 100-degrees and will wait and see. HE'S DEAD, JIM. I'M A DOCTOR, NOT AN ENGINEER!

I then told Mrs. Stomps With Foot that it was time for a new bed. She agreed (secretly shouting for joy) and said nonchalantly that she would look into it. I asked her what kind of bed she wanted, brass, canopied, girly-bed or what? She is non-committal at this point. The bed isn't that cold, but I can see it's easier to replace it than to execute the following steps: 1. Drain the mattress; 2. Buy a new mattress because this one is at least 20-years-old (can you imagine what is growing in there?); 3. Buy a new heater element; 4. Install new heater element; 5. Install new mattress; 6. Re-fill mattress and wait for it to heat up, at a rate of one degree per hour, it'll be unuseable for a couple of days.

The alternative is: 1. Drain the mattress; 2. Tear down and store the bed; 3. Trash the heater element. 4. Buy a new bed.

As you can see, there are fewer steps in the alternative and Mrs. With Foot would be happier.


Vascillating ... doubt ... maybe the extra steps would be worth it for another 34 years of use.