Don’t Oil the Roller!

One of my occupations in our early marriage was home appliance repairman. Although my journeyman certification was with the Frigidaire Company, I repaired all makes.

We lived in a town of about 20,000 population, and with only three repairmen in town, I often received calls in the evening. Depending on planned family activities or the nature of the call, I would either go to work after dinner, or schedule it for later.

One evening, Carol prepared a Chef Boyardee dinner. I remember the slogan: “Thank goodness for Chef Boyardee.” Two-year-old Jeremy was doing quite well maneuvering his spoon to his mouth without spilling too much nourishment; but as you can guess, some portions were reaching the floor. That was okay because our Maine Coon cat, Taffy, was on duty.

After dinner, all six of us – kids, parents, and cat – were having a pleasant evening playing Toss-Across. That’s a game of tic-tac-toe played by tossing small beanbags to flip the squares (with Os and Xs) on the large plastic frame ten to twelve feet away. During my turn, the phone rang.

“Good evening.”

“Mr. Linzey, do you work on Frigidaire washers?”

“Sure do. The company calls them Roller-matic machines.”

“My machine is squealing – how does the thing work, and can it be fixed?”

“Number one: Don’t oil the roller! There are no gears, belts, pulleys, or clutch plates – just four rollers that are operated by the direction of the spin of the motor and action of the solenoids. When the motor spins clockwise, the machine agitates the clothes. When the motor reverses, the tub spins out the water. But don’t oil the roller.”

“How do I get it to stop squealing?”

I told him the part number of the complaining roller, where to order it, and how to replace it. Since it was a difficult procedure, I also told him that if he ordered the $24 roller, I could replace it for a service call of $30 if he wanted me to. Then I warned him, “If you oil the roller, the machine will stop operating altogether.”

“Thank you, Mr. Linzey. I’ll think on it.”

I turned to Carol and said, “He’ll oil the roller.” Then we returned to the game. Carol won.

About 20-minutes later, the phone rang again.

“Good evening.”

“Mr. Linzey, the squealing stopped, but now the washer won’t do anything.”

“You oiled the roller, didn’t you?”

“Yes, to stop the squealing. What do I do now? And can you come over tonight?”

“There’s nothing I can do for you tonight. But now you’ll order all four rollers for $98, and if you want me to replace them, my labor will be $90.” He hung up, and we continued our family night. I never heard from him again.

Six-year-old Darlene asked, “Daddy, why didn’t he do what you said?”

“Good question, Sweetheart. Most the time when something squeals, squeaks, or whines, a little oil will reduce the friction, the noise will stop, and things will run more smoothly. That man figured he knew more than I did, and probably thought I was just trying to get some business for myself.”

“He messed up, didn’t he?”

“He sure did.”

That was over 50 years ago, and since then I’ve met many others who ignore truth and choose to do things to please themselves. The following are three well-documented examples.

Tobacco killed over 480,000 people in the US in 2018, and Vaping is now killing people, but people still suck on those things. Drugs – both legal and illegal – and alcohol kill people by the multi-thousands, but people either don’t care, or think they’re immune to the results. Immorality of all kinds has been ruining lives, families, and societies for millennia; but instead of facing the problems and correcting them, many people choose to live a raunchy life and hope they don’t get caught in the aftermath.

But when they reap what they sewed, they try to “oil the roller” to make the results of their immoral, senseless, and irresponsible decisions evaporate. They think hiding the symptoms will change the results. But that never solves the problems.

Proverbs 16:25 tells us man’s way of thinking often leads to death. Therefore, we need to face up to the truth found in the Bible and in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Romans 12:2 encourages us to change the way we think (change the roller), and Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust in the Lord with our whole life.

Do not attempt to erase the symptoms of sin and evil. Don’t oil the roller. Instead, turn to Jesus; He is on-call 24/7, and ready to help, and He’ll meet you right now.

3 Replies to “Don’t Oil the Roller!”

    1. If you can open the back of the washer, put a bit of wax from a candle on the side of the belt that wraps around the pully. Don’t oil the belt, but wax it a little. That should help.

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  1. Wow.! This one really hit home, Cuz Our washing machine squeals, actually in screams, for about five minutes after we first start it. So this story hit the mark. We haven’t oiled it, but I suppose I’ve oiled a few other things in my life that I shouldn’t have. Keep up the good work. Love you

    Like

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