Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Angel of Death, Appliance Division (Canada) revisited

This morning my friend Jen wrote a blog post about breaking her glasses and her cell phone.  She called herself Calamity Jen.  I can relate.  See, for a while, a couple of years back, I was the Angel of Death for appliances in my house.  They kept breaking.  And in all cases after the warranties had run out.

And then, after a while, the deaths stopped.  Life returned to normal.  I was lulled into a false sense of security.  But I think that the curse may be back.

New Year's Eve.  My house.  Ten-thirtyish.  Leah and her friend Alice (of the scary, barking iPod) were playing down in the basement, Rachel was already asleep on the couch, and I was reading in the living room.  Suddenly I could smell an unpleasant odor.  Like something burning -- a chemical, plastic stink.  I checked the candles I had burning.  Nothing.  I checked the stove/oven.  Off. 

Then I realized that the smell was coming from the dishwasher.  I opened it and a cloud of greasy grey smoke billowed out.  There, in the bottom of the dishwasher, draped like a Salvador Dali clock over the heating element that dries the dishes, were the remains of a plastic-handled pizza cutter.  Apparently the melting temperature of the black plastic pizza-cutter handle is greater than the melting temperature of the white plastic dishwasher enclosure, and it had melted a hole through the bottom of the dishwasher under the element, compromising the watertightness of the appliance.  And watertightness is kind of integral to the whole dishwashing experience.  Sigh.

Yes, the appliance Angel of Death has returned.  Her original adventures, from 2009, are recounted again here:

"So, you still, uh, reap around here, do you, Mr. Death?"

There are many questions that roll around in my brain when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning.

Did I close the garage door?

Do I have any clean underwear for tomorrow?

What was that noise? I'm sure I heard a noise. Did the cat make that noise?

Should I be worried that the people in Rachel's artwork look like acid-fueled Charlie and Lola stick figures with giant Monty Pythonesque stomping feet?

How am I going hook up the DVD player, the VCR, and the rabbit ears to a TV with only an antenna input? I could attach the rabbit ears to the VCR, and then run a cable from the RF output on the VCR to the antenna input in the TV, but what about the DVD player? And the switch box?

The last question is a direct result of my apparent debut as the Angel of Death, Appliance Division:

Last week, the dishwasher breathed its last. Two days ago, the hot-water heater ate the metaphorical salmon mousse. And yesterday morning, when I turned on the TV just after 5 a.m. to catch the previous night's The Hour while I sat and drank coffee made lunches for the girls and fixed my hair, all that lit up was a narrow band in the middle of the screen. The audio was fine, but the video was down to one line. It has joined the choir invisible. And the other, spare TV I had stashed in the basement doesn't have any AV inputs. Sigh.

 I don't think these deaths are coincidental. I'm very afraid for my toaster oven.

I'm going to need a scythe.


  1. I hate it when this shit happens. Two years ago, both cars needed work the same week our dishwasher started acting up.

    I'll light a candle and hope that your killing streak is broken.

  2. My washer and dryer broke the same day. While I was unemployed. That was not a good time. I feel your pain.

  3. Anonymous2:22 PM

    It always happens at the same time, doesn't it. Why is that?

  4. I have a similar affliction but my victims are dishes. Some months I've been known to break or crack two a week...accidentally.

  5. OR they're all committing suicide because they've decided that it's better to be dead than serve humans any more and we're all going to have to go back to pounding our clothes on a rock and cooking rabbits over campfires and acting out old episodes of Three's Company to entertain each other - oh GOD, the horror, the horror!