So, I was hooking up the laundry machines myself, mostly because I felt guilty that DH and DB were doing all the heavy lifting (including saiud laundry machines.) OK, no problem. I had to go to Home Depot to get a "pigtail" for the dryer. (That is the electric cord. They come seperate and there are a few different types. The new house's outlet doesn't match the old.) I was slightly worried that I had still not gotten the right kind. I was worried I would get it all screwed to the back of the dryer and then have to take it off because it didn't fit the outlet.
I got the brilliant idea to check the fit before I attached the pigtail to the dryer. I neglected to hold to loose end and make sure the connectors didn't touch anything (including each other.) I plugged in the loose pigtail and PWAP! there were sparks, smoke, a bright light, and the smoke detector started sqawking.
Obviously, something went wrong. I removed the battery from the smoke detector, cleaned up the scorched connectors, and tended the burn on my arm (spark attack.) I attached the pigtail and tried again. The plug fit (yay) but the dryer didn't come on. It was 11pm, so I decided I had lost my chance to do any laundry that night. I said "Forget this!" and went to bed.
I was afraid the PWAP! had fried the new pigtail. It would be $20 to replace (after tax.) But, another possibility was that I had tripped a breaker. I checked it out the next morning and it was indeed just a matter of flipping the breaker back on.
I got both machines hooked up (after another trip to Home Depot for a washer, a strap wrench, and a screw clamp) and have started to make headway into the nearly a week's worth of laundry that is patiently waiting to be cleaned.
There is a nasty looking mark on my arm, but it doesn't hurt any more if I don't touch it.