In October of 2007 my wife and I shipped an early Christmas gift to our daughter and her family in Dallas. The gift was a beautiful stainless-steel three-door refrigerator, purchased at the Fort Sam Houston PX and trucked to Dallas by a company in San Antonio. We also gave ourselves an identical refrigerator as an early Christmas gift.
The three-door French-style refrigerator was a dismal flop—the far-too-small ice maker on our unit died on the third day, the three-door operation was a dismal failure, and the bottom freezer was a nightmare. We returned the unit a few days later and replaced it with a side-by-side unit. We told the Dallas folks that we would set up the return of the unit, and suggested that they begin shopping for a unit of their choice to replace it.
Their gift refrigerator came into the house through the front door, but was too large to pass into the kitchen without removing all its doors, the kitchen’s double-doors and the kitchen doors’ molding. That entrance to the kitchen doorway was blocked for several days until the new unit was picked up by the delivery company. The family’s old refrigerator had already been moved to the garage, so rather than return it to the kitchen our son-in-law decided, as a temporary measure, to use a new approach to family refrigeration—he labeled it a minimalist approach to refrigeration.
Although the family now had an older full-size refrigerator in the garage, they would be sans fridge in the kitchen until they could decide on a replacement. As a temporary measure they placed a small unit in the empty kitchen space. The small non-ice-making unit was intended to be used as an under-the-counter reefer for a rec room, or perhaps as an outdoor unit by the pool, or in the garage to keep drinks cold and handle any overflow from the kitchen unit.
This is an e-mail from our son-in-law explaining his action:
“We’ve decided to go the minimalist approach with the fridge. Take a look, as Janie might decide the “less is more” approach may be the way to go!”
And this is my son-in-law’s solution to the problem:
This is my response to his temporary kitchen refrigeration system:
You can certainly be “Martha Stewart-proud” of your minimalist approach to home food preservation. I have no doubt that, given the proper advertising program and the dissemination thereof, your concept could very well sweep the nation, putting scores of refrigerator makers out of business and freeing up incalculable cubic feet of space in American kitchens. An added benefit to be gained is the fact that the nation’s makers of refrigerator magnets would also bite the dust (the esthetic improvement to America’s kitchens would be incalculable).
And the beautiful part of your idea is that you could probably stack two more similar units in that space, thus acquiring an actual three-door refrigerator for a mere fraction of the cost of the FRIDGE FROM HELL. Of course you still wouldn’t be up with Debbie and Bill—they have three full-size refrigerators and a freezer chest—one unit in the house and three in the garage, all fully functional, all plugged in, and all operating at full capacity.
Oh, and Al Gore would also be proud of you—as the concept spreads, global warming will be dramatically slowed with the reduced need and use of electricity and the reduction of materials used in the manufacture of larger refrigerators, thus conserving more of the world’s natural resources.
Your idea could go global—the concept might even be adopted by the Eskimos, a people with whom few refrigerator salesmen have ever been successful. The Eskimo units would require a slight modification—the back would need to be slightly curved forward (towards the front) so it would fit snugly against the interior igloo wall—this may cause a slight reduction of interior space in the unit. Of course for an exterior Eskimo unit, the back would need to be curved slightly towards the rear in order to follow the contour of the outside wall—this might slightly increase the unit’s interior space.
I love your creative approach to a difficult situation. You should be nominated for this year’s Ignoble Peas Prize—you’ll have a leg up on the other nominees. You may even edge out Jimmy Carter—and if you do get a leg up on our former president, you know what to do next!
NOTE FOR POTENTIAL BUYERS OF THREE-DOOR REFRIGERATORS:
But if you must have a three-door refrigerator, before you buy please check out the units recommended by Consumer Reports—when you find the one with the most reported problems, you’ll know the maker of the units we gave as Christmas gifts to ourselves and to the family in Dallas (both units were returned in less than two weeks after delivery).