Howdy, hotel ironing board.
(I'll be kickin' it Texas style through august. If everything truly is bigger in Texas, the next kalkatroonaan birthday celebration may actually end the world.)
Number one on the list of last minute mission supplies: an entire suitcase devoted to my truncated sewing studio. My Ricky Riccardo was shipped separately to me by Momma Ruggy, and I spent cocktail hour going Macgyver on its ass. Or, to be exact, its foot.
Free for the night, I hit play on a most excellent episode of Thread Cult (#14), involving all manner of sewing machine knowledge from an obviously learn-ed man, Harvey Federman, the owner of Sew-Right in Queens. A delight to listen to. As I started my first seam of the evening, this statement came forth from my laptop speakers: vintage machines are only worth sewing on if they are metal, black, and pre WWII.
Cloth cut, makeshift table top set up, I plugged in my Ricky. Huzzah! The light blinked immediately on. Yet, another warning wafted through the air: many post WWII metal machines came from Japan, and were branded by department stores. They aren't worth the cost to fix them. I shuddered uneasily. You see, my Gimbels-branded, Japanese-made, beloved Kenny sits in NY, comatose; I can't bear to pull the plug. Aright, I thought, I've got my Ricky, he works fine, maybe it's time to let Kenny go. I shook the image of Kenny's tiny, closeted sick space away, and gently pressed down on Ricky's engine.
As Harvey continued to wisely direct on all manner of new and vintage machine pros and cons, I fiddled desperately with switches and outlets and wheels. Occasionally I would sigh and drop my head: this poor white machine, with its made-in-japan stamp, it is not worth it. Thoughts of combing Dallas thrift shops or (shudder) getting a new plastic job (read: the cheap worthless kind) filled my weary traveling mind. I walked away to pour a glass of pinot to clear my brain. It didn't make sense! With his thirty pound metal housing of the wrong color, Ricky seemed impervious! Finally, a light shaking of the metal presser foot revealed a loose, rattling sound...
Still enjoying the company of Christine & Co, I unearthed my handy machine screwdriver, which unfortunately was NOT a phillips head, and managed to pry the tiny screw off without stripping the damn thing. Harvey breathed: just because a machine is metal doesn't mean it's worth it. There are plenty of machines out there with plastic parts that are worth the money, and plenty that aren't. Holding my all metal foot, I scoffed, wrenched the plate off... and a plastic thingamajig promptly fell out.
HARVEY FEDERMAN YOU GET OUT OF MY HOTEL ROOM.
Shoving fingers and screwdrivers into the tin nooks and crannies of the foot's guts, I realized the lone plastic part could only fit into one impossible hole.
Let's just say I had to sweet talk it into that spot with a long metal stick. It was quite naughty.
As the show ended, so did my tinkerings. I poured another glass of vino, applauded the truly brilliant (and unsettling-- did an opposing spy install an observation device in my hotel room? Must check that out) episode, and patted myself on the back for being Such. A. BADASS. Yeah, my machine was the wrong color! The wrong age! (hrm, sounds familiar...) But i beat the odds! I fixed it all by myself! And I even remembered to unplug the presser foot while I jammed metal and flesh into every steel corner for twenty minutes! Ruggy would be so proud!
With a force borne out of victory, I plopped myself down on the hotel-side-table-serving-as-sewing-chair. I carefully lined up my sweet Ricky with the edge of the hotel-dresser-turned-on-its-side-serving-as-sewing-desk. I leaned over to plug the foot back into the socket, and of course, found it already plugged in, as it had been for the last twenty minutes.
I'm assuming the fact that the thingamabob was plastic was my saving grace. Ruggy says I should've just jumped into the bathtub while I was at it.
So, apparently, there's something to be said for plastic parts.
Touché, Mr Federman.
Touché, Mr Federman.