back to article Nothing works any more. Who decided that redundant systems should become redundant?

Something is out of place; it does not quite fit. I reach down and give it a gentle tug. Ah, that's better. If you are expecting a harmless reveal of a desperately contrived euphemism, as per usual, you are going to be disappointed. This time I really am talking about my underwear. I am experiencing a clothing comfort conflict …

  1. Andy The Hat Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Love it.

    Keep them coming!

  2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Coat

    If I ever get Frenchified I'll become Alban. I suppose it has a certain je ne sais quoi.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Devil

      Apparently I'll become "Damien".

      I knew there was a devil in me, just hadn't realised all it needed was a Gallic accent to bring it out...

    2. 42656e4d203239 Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      Old names are the best...

      Apparently 42656e4d203239 was an approved name on 1st April 1803.... so I don't need to change my name in January. Awesome

    3. VeganVegan

      Alistair becomes Aristide

      Aristide Dabbs!

      1. VeganVegan

        Re: Alistair becomes Aristide

        Forgot to add, Aristide means “the best”.

        Congrats to Mr. Dabbs.

        Alistair is a variation of Alexander (the Great?).

        Very good in either case, as us commentards who diligently follow Mr. Dabbs already know.

        1. Spamfast

          Re: Alistair becomes Aristide

          Congrats to Mr. Dabbs.

          Shouldn't that be congrats to Mme. Dabbs?

    4. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Just the other day I wondered what would happen if I changed my surname to "Visitor" - it would make the company security pass so much more entertaining. Plus you get a named parking space at most offices.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Wasn't there an actress in Star Trek called Nana Visitor? I expect she has no issues visiting elderly relatives in care homes :-)

  3. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Chuddies (sort of)

    I was listening to an edition of 'More or Less' on Radio 4 a while ago, and one of the statistical questions the came up was 'is it true that 80% of women wear the wring size bra?'

    Rather a delicate subject for 9:00 on a Wednesday morning, but it seems that it is in fact the case. There is no 'standard' size measurement system for the female bra. The 'underband' is in inches, minus either 4 or 5, depending on manufacturers' whim, and the 'cup' size is related to the underband size, rather than volume. So a 33C from one company can be a completely different size to a 33C form another. Though I suspect this is not the case with chuddies or indeed, Y-Fronts.

    So, Mr Dabbs, you are not alone in having 'difficulties' with your supportive (or otherwise) undergarments.

    (On a serious note, if you have a sudden unexpected pain or size issue 'down below', you MUST see a doctor a.s.a.p., just in case it is not the chuddies which are at fault.)

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: Chuddies (sort of)

      > wring size bra

      May I be the first to congratulate you on your magnificently apt typo in a laundry-themed context.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        Aaaaagggghhhhhh!

        My face is a red as a beetroot supernova!

        Oh well, it is Friday, I suppose. Have a pint for a good spot.

    2. Coastal cutie
      Facepalm

      Re: Chuddies (sort of)

      Not just bras - all women's clothing is supposed to be standard sizes but is anything but. I have clothing items in my wardrobe from underwear upwards in six different sizes and they all fit. Oh and just when you think you've cracked one shop's sizing, it changes.

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        Primark take it to new heights, one staff member told my wife not to worry about the size labels as she has everything from a size 8 to 22 in her wardrobe at home. Says lots of women think they've gained lots of weight and end up in tears when the reality is that particular item runs vastly smaller than it really is...

        ASDA on the other hand have resorted to size inflation on mens clothing, their Jeans that used to be sized as you would expect, now are about 3 to 5 sizes larger than the tag (prob to salve the ego of the rotund gentleman convinced he's still a size 34), found this out when I bought my usual 32s and they were incredibly loose in the waist....

        1. Mage
          Boffin

          Re: Sizing

          I've resorted to a list of measurements made at home and taking a tape measure to the shop.

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: Sizing

            That's where Mrs Slocombe and Mr Humphries would have been pleased to serve and run a tape measure over you in the days of the old High Street

      2. RockBurner

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        There's even a term for it : "Vanity sizing".

        "If you can fool people into thinking they now fit into a 'smaller' size, they're going to feel happier about buying your brand and will buy again" .... goes the marketing-guru's thought process..... before he's shown into the elevator with the floor panel cunningly modified to have only 10% of it's physical restraining systems, by the BOFH.

        1. quxinot

          Re: Chuddies (sort of)

          Originally it was called 'Relaxed Fit'.

          Also known as "Sure, you can still fit in the same stuff you wore in high school! Twenty-two years and 18 lbs ago!"

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Chuddies (sort of)

            Twenty-two years and 18 lbs

            I admire your optimism.

      3. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        there is a standard sizing model, and they are using it: the army one...

        it is either too small, too big, or makes you look fat

      4. PM from Hell

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        It appears that mens clothes companies are now doing the same.

        Being a typical middle aged man I went on a website to re-order a some trousers, same size and style as the pair I had bought 2 years earlier and were still wearing.

        I bout 3 pairs in different colors, all were different lengths with a difference of 2 inches between the shortest and longest. The different colours were also palpably different quality of cloth as well.

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: 3 pairs in different colors, all were different lengths

          A long time ago a female client of mine (divorced and actively looking) had a friend of hers, also female, around for a chat. As often happens, they forget about me configuring printers, etc. no expense spared with the details... Seems that my client was fixed up with a blind date that very evening "How exciting, tell me more." "I think it's going to be a waste of time." "Oh why?" "Well he told me he would be wearing a brown suit." "Oh no, really? Oh you should make an excuse and back out." At which point I asked what the problem was. "Oh, if he's wearing brown he's sure to be a fatty."

          So there you have it.

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Chuddies (sort of)

      For a long time women's clothing has been a mystery of sizing. As far as I can gather it comes on a numerical scale that equates to an actual measurable size multiplied by an equation of the target age range, cost and various other top secret factors. i.e. the same size could be anything between "size 10" and a "size 14".

      Until recently men's clothing was a bit more rational. It comes in actual measurements after all.

      Not so over the last few years.. I'm aware because I've lost some weight. Just a couple of inches. Most of my 36" trousers are too loose, some were far too loose. Except for the ones that aren't, which fit the same as my new 34" pairs.. These 34" replacements for my older 36" pairs are perfectly fitting . Except for the ones that are a bit too tight.

      That never used to happen to me.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        That's the famous Schrödinger's waist problem. You only know for sure when you try them on and the wave function collapses.

    4. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Chuddies (sort of)

      "The 'underband' is in inches, minus either 4 or 5, depending on manufacturers' whim"

      Actually no. Nowadays underbust/band size "should" be the underbust measurement rounded up to the nearest 2 inches (There's only even number band sizes, so a 33 probably doesn't even exist outside some weird brands. You'd need either a 32 or a 34 band size. But where in the range a bra falls when new is questionable. For some a 32 band is still tight on a 32 underbust after loads of washing and maybe moving to the tighter hooks, on other brands a 32 means when brand new it is just about tight enough on a 32 underbust on the tightest hooks and will be way too lose once "worn in". So that doesn't really help.

      Cup size is theoretically based on the difference between overbust and underbust measurement (with every 1 inch difference being a cup size, so a 36 underbust, 40 overbust would be a 36D bra) but that ignores natural variations in shape, volume, firmness, etc that make that system of measurement nearly pointless.

      The "add 4 inches" is very outdated and stems from the time when bra's would be barely elasticated and you needed extra inches to have room to breathe. That's stopped being applicable somewhere in the 70s, but somehow it keeps getting propagated. In the end it boils down to ladies having to just try stuff out, because basically every single model of bra fits different.

      And no, I won't go into why I know all that as a blokey-bloke ;)

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        imanidiot: ""The 'underband' is in inches, minus either 4 or 5, depending on manufacturers' whim"

        Actually no."

        How DARE you SIR! You have impugned my honour! I demand satisfaction! This means handbags at Dawn.*

        imanidiot: "And no, I won't go into why I know all that as a blokey-bloke"

        Are you, perchance, a lumberjack?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FshU58nI0Ts

        *I understand that Dawn is getting a bit fed up about this, but it is the only recourse of gentlemen to settle an issue of honour.

        1. Bogbody

          Re: Chuddies (sort of)

          I used to work with a young lady called Dawn.

          She had a sense of humour failure when she called me at lunchtime one day saying "its Dawn here".

          My reply off "thats odd, it's later than that here" caused a "slight" fuss . . . . . . .

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: I used to work with a young lady called Dawn.

            There is a theory that men who profess to get up early are married to someone called Dawn.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: I used to work with a young lady called Dawn.

              I have a theory, which is mine, that men who go to bed late were once married to Dawn but left her for the delightful charms of Down The Pub.

            2. herman Silver badge

              Re: I used to work with a young lady called Dawn.

              Be careful, because the Greek goddess Dawn has two brothers: Night and Death.

      2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        "overbust and underbust"

        I now have the Wombles theme music running through my head.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Chuddies (sort of)

          And now so do I.

          Grrrr....

          (although I do also now have recollection of a fond memory of a uni server that was suffering "undergrad overload" to quote the syshack, to which I of course replied that it was then obviously Wombling).

        2. Graham Dawson

          Re: Chuddies (sort of)

          Overbust, underbust, fondling free

          The fondlers of Westminster commons are we

          Making good use of the flings that we hide

          Flings that the every day folks like to chide...

    5. Evil Scot

      Re: Chuddies (sort of)

      (On a serious note, if you have a sudden unexpected pain or size issue 'down below', you MUST see a doctor a.s.a.p., just in case it is not the chuddies which are at fault.)

      This is another point about things not being standard sizes. Damage to the Genitofemoral nerve here. Pain you could not imagine.

      "May be enlarged / may be shriveled. 6 weeks of panic waiting for an ultrasound. Jesus are we really so asymmetric????"

      But Shirly Dabbs is at the age where the Dr will give him the middle finger.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Chuddies (sort of)

        Evil Scot: "Dabbs is at the age where the Dr will give him the middle finger."

        WARNING - GRUESOME TALE - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

        IN his excellent medical / comedy radio show on BBC Radio 4 last week*, Dr Phil Hammond recounted an experience of his when he started medical training. At the initial human anatomy class where he would start to dissect a real human cadaver, the lecturer stated:

        "There are two things you must have to succeed as a doctor. First be disgusted at NOTHING". Whereupon he inserted a finger up the anus of the nearest corpse, and then into his mouth.

        The assembled, and nauseated students then queued up and did likewise. Hammond said it didn't taste faecal at all, just a bit 'disinfectant' like.

        After the students had all accomplished this task, the lecturer continued:

        "The second thing essential to success as a doctor is OBSERVATION! The observant among you will have noticed that I put my index finger in the anus and my middle finger in my mouth."

        Lesson well and truly learnt by all.

        END GRUESOMENESS WARNING

        * https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000zmjl (log in required)

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Chuddies (sort of)

          The old ones are the best. Alternative version involves diabetes and urine.

          1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Chuddies (sort of)

            Belatedly reminded me of an exchange in 'The Big Bang Theory'.

            In Amy's lab, Sheldon is trying to 'help'.

            Amy: "hmm there is a drying mark on this beaker, please clean it again."

            Sheldon: "It's clean!"

            Amy: "This beaker last held urine from an elephant that died of syphilis. If it's sterile, drink from it."

    6. HildyJ Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Chuddies (sort of)

      Re male chuddies -

      Just go commando like Kramer:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8UEy0sH8nI

  4. Mage
    Coat

    Dobby

    So if I hand you underpants?

    1. Vulch

      Re: Dobby

      3. Profit!

    2. Patched Out

      Re: Dobby

      He becomes a free elf, of course.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Dobby

        But will the free elf be safe with wearing Dabbsies undies?

  5. Potemkine! Silver badge

    just one small error and the whole process of convenient chuddiecleansing is ruined.

    In fact, objects are mean. They love to ruin our life.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here Silver badge

      Don't anthropomorphise the devices! They don't like it!

  6. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Keyboard Please!

    Those of us in the know never used that particular tumble dryer ever again.

    I had a love hate relationship with Laundromats, hated using them, loved meeting single women there!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keyboard Please!

      You're luckier than me then. I mostly met single socks.

      :)

      1. Citizen of Nowhere

        Re: Keyboard Please!

        And each missing sock, having made whatever journey it makes, re-enters the normal space-time continuum as a a lid which fits none of the tupperware containers in your possession.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Keyboard Please!

          Actually, it's caused by all the "buy two, get one free" offers. I genuinely saw that sign outside a sock shop and I'm certain that the owner must have been wondering why I was cracking up outside.

          :)

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Keyboard Please!

          re-enters the normal space-time continuum as a a lid

          The majority of Feynmann diagrams require the absorption and re-emission of a biro to enable this transformation to occur.

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: I mostly met single socks. :)

        Is that a cheesey grin?

  7. lglethal Silver badge
    Joke

    Hmm I tried out the name frenchification website - apparently my wife should be called Harold, my son should be the son of satan (Damien), my daughter shall be the mother of Jesus (Marie), and I shall henceforth play in a Metallica coverband (Ulrich).

    Don't think I will mention this website to Harold, I mean SWMBO, she might get upset about being married to a Metallica fan... :P

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      hmm

      Apparently "Alphonso" should become "Alphonse" ... which seems sensible; but in contrast "Alphonso the Magnificent" should be renamed merely Constantin.

  8. TheProf
    Holmes

    Doubting Hervé

    Call me suspicious Mr Dabbs (or call me Hervé for that is my Frenchified name) but how did you discover the aperture for your washing machine was 5mm to narrow?

    It's hard to belive that you measured the space before ordering a new machine. Who does that? Everyone* assumes that the new one will fit into the space the old one came out of.

    (That's why this generation of video games machines are exactly the same size as the last generation.)

    And I find it hard to belive that not only is the manufacturer of non-standard width washing machines still in business but that they still produce non-standard width machines and can supply you with one.

    The only ring of truth in the whole piece was that the fitters didn't plug the machine in before slotting it into its trim slot.

    *As in 'Everyone's talking about Eastenders.'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doubting Hervé

      Everyone* assumes that the new one will fit into the space the old one came out of.

      Not after you've lived in France for a while, you don't. French sizes are a law unto themselves (probably the fault of Napoleon). Even for the above-mentioned bra sizes, where there appear to be French cm and EU cm, which are not the same.

      1. Bogbody

        Re: Doubting Hervé

        In the uk there are two depths. 55cm snd 60cm and no standard position for water entry or drain exit.

        Ignore that at your peril :-)

    2. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: Doubting Hervé

      There is no standard width for fitted machines (I found this out the hard way years back). They are generally around 60cm wide, but many are not quite that wide.

      If you look somewhere like Argos, as they list all their integrated machines on one page with dimensions. The Candy, Hoover and Beko branded ones are all 60cm wide, whereas Hotpoint is 59.5cm and Bosch is 59.6cm. (Currys show a similar range of widths).

      My own kitchen came with an integrated machine, but wasn't a custom build, just off the shelf units. The inside measurement where the washing machine is, is about 60.2cm (I just checked) so a couple of mm over 60cm, so basically fits any ~60cm wide or narrower machine with varying amounts of wiggle room.

      In Mt Dabbs case, it was indicated this was a custom fitted kitchen, that came with a narrower machine, so the resulting gap is now a few mm too narrow to fit any of the other brands. Presumably as the fitter, didn't take into account that wider machines exist.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Doubting Hervé

        In my experience, the more space you have to take a run at it, the more margin you can afford :).

        This follows principle 4 of the gereric laws of construction:

        1 - measure with a micrometer

        2 - mark with chalk

        3 - cut with an axe

        4 - if it doesn't fit, use a larger hammer

        5 - it it breaks it needed replacing anyway

        So, if you have a few yards to build up speed, a 61cm machine should fit in the standard 60cm hole just fine. Once. Just remove anything breakable from the adjacent cupboards first. Also make sure you can connect it either beforehand (but at several yards that will tangle) or afterwards from the adjacent cupboard because it will be demonstrating what a "tight" fit actually means.

        And no, you won't replace it. That'll be the next owner's problem..

        :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Doubting Hervé

          4 - if it doesn't fit, use a larger hammer

          5 - it it breaks it needed replacing anyway

          There's a great French expression for that: "ça passe ou ça casse", in other words I'll make it fit or smash it trying.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Doubting Hervé

        "The Candy, Hoover and Beko branded ones are all 60cm wide, whereas Hotpoint is 59.5cm and Bosch is 59.6cm. "

        You don't mention AEG. For reference new Bosch is wider than old AEG. Either that or it's deeper because the gap narrows slightly back towards the back.

      3. H in The Hague

        Re: Doubting Hervé

        "There is no standard width for fitted machines (I found this out the hard way years back)."

        A friend also realised that when she ordered a new washing machine for her oldish house in Utrecht: even after unboxing it simply wouldn't go through the front door (and no suitable windows). So they took it back and she had to order another brand which was a few millimetres narrower.

      4. herman Silver badge

        Re: Doubting Hervé

        If you really need small/narrow apuances, look at the Slovenian Gorenje brand. Good quality and made to fit subminiature Soviet style apartments.

    3. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Doubting Hervé

      I didn't measure the gap at first. I looked up the spec in the instruction leaflet and compared it to models of washing machine I was interested in. When I saw there was a width difference, I double-checked the tech spec on the manufacturer's website, THEN got out my tape measure. With barely a micron of leeway on either side, I knew there was no way of fitting a 5mm wider unit in the same space.

      The reason I didn't include any of this detail in my story is that it's fucking boring and not funny at all.

      1. Blofeld's Cat
        Boffin

        Re: Doubting Hervé

        "... With barely a micron of leeway on either side, I knew there was no way of fitting a 5mm wider unit in the same space ...

        It's surprising what can be done with a couple of metal rulers, some blocks of wood and an Acrow prop...

      2. TheProf

        "and not funny at all."

        Of course it turned out to be funny. You made me write a completely useless comment and then I was ridiculed by people with far too much knowledge about the width of domestic appliances.

        Even funnier.....I assume you don't get paid for writing replies to comments on your articles.

      3. stiine Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Doubting Hervé

        Ah, but it is funny, at least to some of us.

    4. DS999 Silver badge

      Fitted kitchen

      It would seem if you want this you'd want to leave a little wiggle room just to make it easier to slot in the new appliance (you hardly ever a washing machine in a kitchen here in the US, but dishwashers, ovens, microwaves and more and more commonly fridges are fitted)

      Then you just need the carpenter building/installing the cabinets to fit on a little matching trim to cover the gaps flush with the appliance. When you remove the appliance you remove the trim, slot in the new appliance, and replace the trim. Easy peasy. Or at least it was when I replaced my dishwasher, I was even able to replace the wood trim that covered the gaps myself as I was careful when prying it off to avoid damage.

      The dishwasher installation was free with the purchase, and when I saw how badly they had to contort themselves to handle the water lines behind it I'm glad I didn't have to attempt it myself or I'd have been laid up for a week!

    5. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

      Re: Doubting Hervé's measuring

      Our (german) dishwasher reached retirement i.e. a set number of repairs before we restarted on replacing the first item that broke.

      * I * built our kitchen leaving very adequate space for dishwasher but didnt observe plasterer had simply skimmed over the old lime plaster > cue VERY tight fit for integrated dishwasher (weeks after he had run away)

      Reading the possible replacement dishwasher specs (same make) I find the integrated versions are 5mm narrower than 'build under'...i.e. they fit easily but the 'build under' would be incredibly tight...

      Moral: Read your specs CAREFULLY and even more important; watch what your plasterer gets up to

  9. Warm Braw Silver badge

    One surplus slash

    You should probably keep those to a minimum until you've got your nether regions under better control.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh I see this all the damned time.

    - Needed a new back boiler. Can't get them anymore. Need a combi-boiler - only the house is built in such a way the only place where it can be fitted is in the loft. Which then needed to be boarded and lit so the engineer could work on it.

    - Replace the garbage disposal unit (old one has seized). New one is about 1 or 2mm wider than the last one (old model no longer available), which was jammed up against the cupboard back board. The new one is off at a very vary slight angle, but enough to cause the seal to leak.

    - Printer, heads are clogged. Designed in such a way its almost impossible to fix without ripping the damned thing to pieces. Actually almost cheaper to throw the thing away than buy new ink for it (which I did, and *then* found out the heads were clogged).

    - Kitchen - needed a new washing machine. Found out that the machine I had before was not very deep, and any new machines were a bit deeper - which meant the machine stuck out enough to prevent me from opening a cupboard door.

    There are more, but now I am working myself up so its time to stop and go get a cuppa!

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Printer, heads are clogged

      If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times - don't buy any sort of printer that uses liquid ink. They are just not reliable.

      You have two sensible choices - go prehistoric and get something that uses a ribbon (dot matrix, daisywheel, etc.), which may actually be the right choice for some purposes, or get a laser printer. Colour laser printers might cost more than an inkjet, but the consumables are measured in thousands of pages, not tens or hundreds, and they don't mind not being used for months at a time.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        I was pleasantly surprised at how little more than an inkjet colour lasers cost nowadays.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge

        don't buy any sort of printer that uses liquid ink.

        Inkjet printers are like cats: ignores what you want them to do but just continues cleaning itself instead.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: don't buy any sort of printer that uses liquid ink.

          Unfortunately can only upvote once... I have at home an old Canon S900 which can eat through a set of ink cartridges after only 4-5 pages of sparse B/W text. The secret is that it always does a deep cleaning before printing (sputter, sputter), and yet another after printing (sputter, sputter)!

          Never seen a more shameless waste of ink to make the idiot owner buy more!

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      barbecue

      I had built one of real bricks and cement and stuff. With a Homebase metal bit that the hot stuff went on. This was supported by some steel thingies that were incorporated into the build. Was very proud of my amateur brick laying. Until the metal bit needed replacing. And the new one had a different type of support and just wouldn't fit onto the old, embedded ones.

      It's very difficult to part demolish a brick structure and then rebuild it. It never looked the same again, wasn't nearly as sturdy and had all the appearance of an incompetent job. Which was embarrassing.

      I hope it's my curses on Homebase that brought them down.

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: barbecue

        Next time buy an arc welder and make the metal bits yourself. It is easier to hide bad welding than bad bricklaying. An arc welder isn’t expensive and you could even weld with two car batteries, with two sets of crocodile leads, a vice grip and two or three black sunglasses on top of each other, which you can all borrow off your friends if you are super cheap - but they may not be so friendly anymore after.

    3. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Boffin

      Hot water system in our apartment failed/needed replacing.

      Turns out it was a custom size from a manufacturer who has vanished.

      The old one had a spot in one of the apartment built-in wardrobes, with basically a plywood box around it to hide it from view.

      the replacement is narrower - but taller, so it has a lot of space around the edges, but protrudes through the top of its enclosure, and we have just left the top panel off in a totally half-arsed failure to complete the installation.

      Thinking about it, it would be a relatively easy DIY project to fix... if the apartment had any space suitable for doing any hardware projects..

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        if the apartment had any space suitable for doing any hardware projects..

        I've had hardware stores cut plywood panels exactly to size so that I didn't have to haul a bunch of tools to the place where they were to be fitted or take a full panel home first and cut it. In your case you could just get two pieces making up the required extra height, or two full-height side panels and a lid at the new dimensions. Then it's just screwing it together using a couple of angle brackets, in situ. Not much space needed.

  11. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Not a waste

    Back home, I open my letter box to find a B4 envelope of documents inviting me to the annual meeting of the residents' management company. All of this is accessible in my personal resident's account on their website, I grumble privately, so why have they posted it to me? Such a waste.

    It's not a waste if mailing is handled by your mate's company and you get a nice kickback for getting the contract through.

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Not a waste

      It just occurred to me that the management company is run by solicitors, and they are a paper-first profession. They feel the need, possibly a legal one, to hand over printed documents, dont they? Prince Andrew will know.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Not a waste

        Yes, but you'd have to sweat the answer out if him...

  12. Dr_N Silver badge
    Gimp

    What's inside? Pain?

    Only in June, Mr Dobbs.

    Chuddie sizes in France are definitely off kilter. Took me 10 years to find ones that fit. Before that I ended up buying them from M&S, before they pulled out. (For reference the ones that are ok with a UK 'physique' are DIM.)

    1. Uncle Slacky

      Re: What's inside? Pain?

      > the ones that are ok with a UK 'physique' are DIM.

      C&A ones aren't bad either.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: What's inside? Pain?

        C&A ones aren't bad either.

        But that is a Dutch brand using the same size system all over Europe.

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: C&A ones aren't bad either.

        They have the added advantage of telling you which way to put them on.

    2. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: What's inside? Pain?

      Well, French bread would be at least some consolation.

      (Yes, I do recognise the reference - especially since I went to see "Dune" (1984) at the cinema last night.)

  13. GlenP Silver badge

    Been There...

    But the unique width meant either dismantling and rebuilding the whole fitted kitchen

    Ended up replacing the ageing parents' entire kitchen after the fridge failed. It wasn't a fitted one but the gap it went into was too small for anything then available except for one very slim model that wouldn't have enough space. As I was having a brief period of unemployment* acting as a kitchen fitter for a few weeks kept me out of mischief.

    *It barely lasted two months.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Been There...

      "a brief period of unemployment...It barely lasted two months."

      In freelancer terms that's called "being available" as in the pimp's agent's greeting "Are you available?".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Been There...

      I started remodelling the kitchen at home after I'd spent 4 months regrowing a thoroughly broken shoulder/arm and got fed up with doing nothing. A bit awkward as I didn't have a full range or motion yet, but the next checkup at the specialist yielded a surprised question what the heck I had been doing because I had decent muscle growth and far more natural control over motion that could be explained by only gym work.

      Well, hammer & chisel and hanging cabinets (with a tricked out lifting platform because that needed too much force from both arms) does demand attention, and so you don't watch what your arms are doing.

      I got a sort of "carry on, catiously" from the specialist, but he was unable to furnish me with other people in need of "recovery" :)

      1. Caver_Dave
        Facepalm

        Re: Been There...

        Yes, I had my shoulder smashed and ligaments torn the afternoon of the day we moved house into a repossession. I was holding light fittings up with a broom held under the damaged shoulder and screwing with the weaker hand the next day.

        As I had been knocked out I didn't remember anything the consultant said and so when I went to the 6 week checkup I was surprised that he said I could start to use a towel to dry my own back again (I could touch my hands behind my back!) I also found out then that I had broken my collar bone in the accident and hadn't even noticed!

        [No sense, no feeling?]

  14. disgruntled yank

    washing machines

    We ordered a new washing machine to replace the old, confident that it would fit--both, after all, were 30" (I think) washers. Unfortunately, we had not considered that the old one was a top loader, having the motor underneath the drum, and the new one was a front loader, with the engine behind the drum. The new model would not fit in our door. We have a smaller washer now.

  15. MiguelC Silver badge

    When I bought my new apartment there was a conveniently placed laundry space, which seamed perfectly made out to fit a washer and a dryer side-by-side. Until the builder doing the renewal told me it wasn't wide enough. The architect, probably a sadist, made that space 115cm wide.

    Long story short, did you know you can shave 5 centimetres from an exterior, although non-load-bearing, wall?

  16. Franco Silver badge

    When I setup me Ltd company I naturally had to apply for a business bank account. Said bank sent me a load of letters and cards and my little verification device, and also encouraged me to go "paperless" to help save the environment, a process that required several trees to complete. After a few months of paperless statements I started to receive other notifications via post, which my personal bank foes not send me. Apparently one of my banks considers a letter to tell me the fees I pay and the interest that they don't credit me with a legal requirement that must be sent via the post, and the other does not.

  17. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Recent CCTV footage from a laundrette in France...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT4DR_ae_4o

    1. Negative Charlie

      Re: Recent CCTV footage from a laundrette in France...

      That would never happen in Britain:

      https://youtu.be/wetDw2koziU

  18. Finnish Anonymous Coward

    Frenchified?

    Once again, very entertaining read. Yours, now fully Frenchified, including surname, "Jean Samson Fulbert Alix".

  19. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Even the f****ing wires.

    Daughter just got a new washing machine, fits under worktop beautifully. But the mains lead must have been in place when the worktop was fitted. They'd made a little cut in the side of the unit at the back where it met the wall, big enough to leave room for the flex. But with no way to remove, or more to the point replace, a new machine's lead with the plug attached..

    My (only) solution ( after cutting off the plug from the old machine's lead and pulling it through), was to squat in the space the machine was due to occupy, drill a rectangle of holes through the side, pretty thick, tough chipboard, join 'em up as much as possible with the drill, then bash it with a hammer. Which worked. It's not pretty, but it's hidden so who cares.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Trust me, it gets even more entertaining when someone adds a cabinet to a set that was bookended by granite sheets and you have no option but to drill through.

      As with tiles, the only sane solution is a diamond cylinder drill and some patience. Anything else either takes you a week or it'll crack. Or both.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Boffin

      > Even the f****ing wires.

      I'm confused: You cut the plug off the new machine in order to poke its power cable through a small hole, but then also cut a plug-sized hole through the chipboard?

      Even if it was a separate piece of board, you could have just drilled a single hole since you already had the plug off. As I say, confused.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Maybe he's just very thorough?

        :)

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        NO. Extracted old machine by removing plug and pulling wire through.

        New hole big enough for new wire, with plug, to fit through.

        Quote

        "...after cutting off the plug from the old machine's lead and pulling it through.."

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          So... couldn't the plug have been cut off the new machine's lead, the lead passed through, and a replacement plug fitted?

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Of course. But since the machine comes with things like long warranty that wouldn't be the most sensible approach.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              I'd be happy to argue that it is my right to change a plug without affecting the warranty and they should let me know which law says I can't.

            2. Richard 12 Silver badge
              Boffin

              So fit an extension lead

              That's what I did. It's hooked to the underside of the worktop, so easily taken off and as a bonus, there's a couple of spare sockets just in case.

              Cost a fiver.

  20. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Loi du 1er avril 1803

    Napoleon, genius manque, really was a tedious little bastard.

    Just read on Wiki's article on Chartreuse: In 1810, Napoleon ordered that all "secret" recipes of medicine be sent to the Ministry of Interior for review., to take simply one instance of thousands, ( which was simply discarded in the finest traditions of bureaucracy ).

    Now, as following the Russian Revolution [ Lenina anybody ? tons of French halfwits invented 'revolutionary' names for their children, but that would be easily remedied by a name-change in later life; but no, he had to control every aspect of life for everyone.

    My own forename defaults to boring old Robert [ of which it is a Germanic variant just as Robert is of the Germanic original ], but my second name 'Falcon', is rendered there as Gaston, whereas one would expect the French/German name Falke...

    I have only heard of 2 Gastons; one the treacherous Frondeur of Orleans, the other a creepy sensational 19th century author. In no way does Falcon equate.

    .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartreuse_(liqueur)

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Loi du 1er avril 1803

      In fiction there is Dr Gaston Grimsdyke, Richard Gordon's Doctor series of books.

      Played on the silver screen by Leslie Phillips

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_in_Clover

  21. The Mighty Spang

    even in the world of underpants

    health and safety has gone mad.

    last pair bought said "WARNING! CONSTRAINS NUTS!" on them

    1. EVP

      Re: even in the world of underpants

      What a disturbed world we live in. Then again, ’May contain traces of nuts’ would’ve been even more alarming.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: even in the world of underpants

        What about "may contain traces of shellfish"?...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Channel 4 called tonight....

    ...and asked if they could have their resiliency back.

  23. PRR Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    > ...I'd chosen the correct size and style but failed to notice that I'd accidentally picked them from the Medical Freak range.

    Just this week, off a prominent kiosk in the Men's section, I picked up a nice deal on Large underpants.

    Next day I opened the pack and saw I could hardly fit one leg, forget two, and nevermind the baggage.

    In small print the pack said "Boys".

  24. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    New Washing Machine, New Wardrobe?

    "Bond characters’ updated wardrobes reflect informal post-pandemic dressing and drop-off in suit sales"

    https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2021/sep/24/bond-dresses-down-in-no-time-to-die-reflecting-post-covid-style

    https://regmedia.co.uk/2013/06/28/bonds.jpg

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: New Washing Machine, New Wardrobe?

      Thank you for that mental image of Bond WFH in his chuddies talking to M in a Zoom meeting.

    2. Sherrie Ludwig

      Re: New Washing Machine, New Wardrobe?

      Ugh! A corduroy suit?! Not even Daniel Craig as Bond can make that look good. From the still accompanying the article, my memories of math(s) teachers and James Burke as the only people who would wear them is still accurate forty years on....

  25. dave 81

    I got my gmail address early.

    Firstname.lastname - fantastic I thought 'An email address without the silly numbers.' 20 years on and I am getting every firstname.lastname gmails from every single stupid service they collectively sign up to, and the receipts for their purchases, and sometimes fantastically personal financial or medical data. Mostly from America and South-Africa. I should have used firstname.middlename.lastname that I registered at the same time as my primary email address. It gets stuff all.

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