Sometimes, when you see a person running you think, “Wow, she looks like she was born to do that,” or “So graceful. He looks like he’s floating.” Runners are often likened to gazelles.

Me? Not so much! Today as I was heaving and panting my way through the backstreets (no main streets!) of my neighborhood, I felt as un-gazelle like as possible. Me? I run like a hippo.

Between asthmatic gasps, I thought: Huh, maybe it’s not so bad to run like a hippo. Sure, they’re large and maybe lumbering. Yet despite spending a majority of their days frolicking in the water, they’re fierce! They’ll kill people who come between them and the water. Plus, they run faster than I’ll ever run, faster than any human – 14 miles an hour.

Gazelles? They run because they’re always getting attacked. They run in herds. That’s not cool at all. A group of hippos, on the other hand, is a bloat. Or a pod. Or a siege. My next running team is going to be called The Hippo Siege. We’ll be badass, just like hippos.

Sure a gazelle is graceful, lithe, and balletic. I will never be any those things. Nobody will ever stop to admire me as I run down the street. (And, seriously, I need put “run” in quotes.) As if they’d seen a fearsome hippo, they’ll avert eye contact and get out of my way. Rock on!

On Thursday, the new installation company was scheduled to install our dishwasher. I was upstairs in my office when the doorbell rang.

I opened the door and laughed when I saw the same guys from the previous week. Evidently, “different installation company” is the same one that contracts out to BestBuy. Cue Three’s Company theme song, because it doesn’t get more farcical than that. And really, our landlord’s a younger, cheaper Stanley Roper.

In true Mr. Roper fashion, our landlord once again turned to CraigsList when our refrigerator died a painful, messy death (while dishwasher was still in middle of the floor). New one came literally on the back of a truck, half hanging off its lowered tailgate. It worked, but I think a smoker lived inside the refrigerator, because it stank. We aired it out, cleaned it out, used baking soda, and finally Smells BeGone. I swear, it’s called Smells BeGone. And it works!

Disasters tend to come in threes, and we’ve had dishwasher, fridge. What’s next? I’m hoping the first dishwasher death counts as number one, because then we’re set. Until the next big earthquake, that is. When the earthquake hits, I’m running to the street, because this house is coming down!

When the dishwasher guy takes one look at your kitchen setup and mimes shooting himself in the head, it’s not a good start. Things did not progress from there. Unfortunately, that’s not the beginning of the story. This was Dishwasher 2. The first died on Feb 26. When we emailed landlord, he wrote, “Darn, that’s the second dishwasher that house has eaten.” A little bit later, he wrote, “Good news. Found a replacement dishwasher on CraigsList for $80.” Maybe we don’t have a dishwasher-hungry house, after all.

What do you mean, not be up to code?

Whaddya mean, not up to code?

The landlord asked us to pick up and install the dishwasher. Derek refused the first but gamely agreed to latter. Clean dishes and happiness until April 25 when the second dishwasher broke. Derek emailed landlord, pre-emptively suggesting he buy a new dishwasher. Landlord queried again, “Can you pick it up and install it?”

At this point, I screamed, “No! You are not allowed to do any of it. That is his job. He can do it himself, or pay to get it done.” Derek politely declined set up, and landlord replied, “No big deal, I can do it.” That’s before we went on vacation for two weeks, and returned home to old, broken dishwasher. Six weeks after dishwasher death 2, the installation guys were in our house, scowling at the dated kitchen.

The repair guy opened the cabinet below the sink and shook his head, asking where the connection was. Luckily, he wasn’t fat, because he had to slide into “Harry Potter’s closet.”

I have to shimmy in sideways

I have to shimmy in sideways

He squeezed in and back out, again shaking his head. “We can’t install your dishwasher.” Evidently our kludge of a kitchen isn’t up to code. (We’d guessed as much.) Then he asked, “Where’s your water heater? There may be a workaround.”

“In the basement.”

“Basement? Where are the stairs?”

“There are no stairs. There’s a ladder.” I pulled the trap door open, and he exclaimed, “That’s a dungeon.” But he gamely climbed down. His assistant should’ve said, “It puts the lotion on its skin…”

"Really, the ladder's totally safe"

“I promise it’s safe. Built by an engineer!”

From above, I directed them to the lights, and repair guy calls to his assistant on the ladder, “There are grow lights down here!”

“For tomatoes,” I clarify.

“Sure. Whatever. I don’t care.”

“No, really, for tomatoes.”

“I’ve seen it all. Went to a penthouse office suite, and the guy greeted me totally stoned.” Derek later told me I’d sent repair guy into basement for naught, because it’s the furnace in the basement, not the hot water heater (let’s hope we don’t still live here when the furnace needs replacing, because that’ll be a colossal pain in the ass). But after looking at the basement, repair guy said he can do some re-routing of pipes and plumber magic.

I called my landlord, who ultimately told me, “They’re crazy. It’s not that hard to install. I’ll just do it.” In other words, he declined their immediate service to avoid paying the $130. Yes, that’s $130 for an engineer/land baron – one who obviously doesn’t highly value his time, since just his drive to and from our house will take 1.5 hours.

And so, today…7 weeks without dishwasher, landlord came to do the install. I left with high hopes. I returned to see an old dishwasher in the driveway, and a new dishwasher…

in the middle of the kitchen! A note attached read, “installation was beyond my mechanical abilities. Called new installation company.” Allegedly, they’re coming in two days.

I seriously hope it costs more than $130.

Even more than that, I long for the day when I can get clean dishes with the press of a button.

Barista gal: “Oy vey!”

Checkout gal: “What’s that?”

Barista: “It’s, like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ or something similar. It’s Yiddish.”

Checkout: “Is that a real language?”

Want to take bets who’s going on to college?