By Judy Berman
What is there about the holidays that cause our appliances to go on strike?
As the July 4th weekend approached, I was haunted by memories of past holidays when I scrambled for ice to keep cool when our air conditioner went on the fritz. On the hottest day of the year.
That was unbearable, but far better than the time our fridge refused to cooperate.
That particular July 4th weekend, after our refrigerator broke down, we called a repairman to fix it. Our food was in storage elsewhere – evenly distributed throughout our neighborhood.
As the repairman coolly withdrew his head from our frost-free freezer – that no longer was – he said softly: “Oh dear. This looks bad. My. My. My.”
I wondered what “Oh dear. My. My. My.” meant in terms of actual cash. At the time, I was unsuccessfully trying to pry my white-clenched knuckles away from my wallet.
The repairman then quoted an estimate that I guessed came close to financing his annual visit to money he stashed in the Cayman Islands. I blanched. Then, I reluctantly conceded that at least he made house calls.
My luck was holding steady. The fridge only needed two new parts … and … he’d just used his last one on a repair job just before ours. I was his second stop of the day.
While he checked our fridge, I decided to make some toast on our Sunkist Lemon Toaster. That’s the one that was more at home in the repair shop than in our kitchen. It refused to reject two slices of toast before they became unrecognizable remnants of their former selves.
I managed to salvage a section the size of a silver dollar. As I scraped away the blackened area, I heard this strange beep. I looked questioningly at the repairman. Again. Beep. Again, I looked.
Our daughter, Danielle, could no longer stand the suspense. “What’s that noise?” she asked, referring to what by now was becoming a steady shrill.
“Your smoke detector,” he said.
It mistook our toaster’s burnt offering for an actual emergency. I frantically fanned the smoke detector with a paper to stop the noise.
The repairman slowly shook his head sadly and muttered, “I can tell. It’s just going to be one of those days.”
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Illustrations: Art Explosion and Clip Art