Monday, August 17, 2009

The Great Machine Uprising

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The machines are rebelling.

And they're communicating.

First, it was H's car. At the beginning of the year it suffered yet another leak. Granted, it was over ten years old, but it had been a much-loved member of our family ever since we'd bought it from H's parents many years before. We sighed, having known for some time that our love affair was coming to an end. We opted to use the government's financial incentives to bite the bullet and get a new car.

Next - seemingly unrelated - it was our cherished Vita-Mix, our workhorse, practically a member of the family. VM was there for us every morning, smoothie after smoothie, breakfast after breakfast. He'd even been outfitted with the latest in ice-blade apparel.

But he started voicing his rebellion some months ago. We ignored him. We blithely mixed on, pretending not to hear his cries and pretending not to smell his acrid belches.

Then, one day a couple of months ago, he gave up with a shriek, spewing black dust all over the counter and wheezing in defiance. We tried to resuscitate him, plying him with a new blade, but to no avail. He mocked us.

Oh, the betrayal. After all these mornings with him, having him share in our daily morning repast.

Little did we know that he was a conspirator.

Next on the list, three weeks ago ... the washer. Our trusty, die-hard washer. We didn't connect it with the other two. We were naive.

We assumed the washer was simply a matter of geriatrics. Much like our dogs, she had aged gracefully and was enjoying her golden years. Sometimes she would forget, perhaps suffering from a touch of senility, and wash forever, not realizing that at some point she needed to drain, spin, and rinse. On one occasion I woke in the morning to clothes - now all the same shade of dingy gray - that had been agitating all night and that had reached almost the boiling point.

When one day she simply refused to awake, we realized that she had gone to that great recycling center in the sky. Again we sighed, at first not realizing what I now have come to suspect ... that we are in the midst of a conspiracy. Yes, a conspiracy!

The refrigerator was next, just last week. I feared the worst when I walked in from outside and found water dripping from the freezer.

Our highly rated Kenmore, barely six years old and containing a compressor that on average lasts twenty years, bit the dust. In retrospect, I remember hearing something that sounded remarkably like "Hahahahahah!" coming from underneath the front. Was the fridge laughing, knowing that we'd have to cough up $800 to replace the compressor? Was it snickering, knowing that we'd have to eat Freezer Stew for a week, much to the delight of my children? Or was it tittering, simply knowing that it had pulled a fast one on the more highly evolved species who is utterly at the whim of our lowly appliances? I'll never know. Perhaps it was all three.

As my dear husband, clutched in the grip of grief and panic (well, not really, but it sounds good), said, "Why do our appliances hate us?"

We were just beginning to grasp that our once-trusted and much-loved appliances had actually turned into scheming, conniving accomplices in a diabolical plan instigated by our 1996 Voyager.

Now, much to my horror, I learn that it is not confined to only our home! My friend Raji has suffered at the hands of the Great Machine Uprising as well! How unsuspecting and accepting she is. Her microwave gave up the ghost - and did it when she had company visiting! Oh, the humanity!

Beware, all you appliance owners! You may at first be lulled into a state of exuberance at the idea of justifying the purchase of a shiny, new appliance. But be not fooled. Those dastardly machines are engineering a wicked method of shirking their duties!

Mark my words ... this is not the end.

But we may be able to be stave off further destruction. Keep doors between appliances closed to mitigate the gossiping and planning. Whisper little sweet nothings into their vents. Caress them lovingly. And give them some time off.

Most of all, watch ... listen ... and be very afraid.


  1. Ha ha!! I think it has everything to do with the fact that they're all older and worn out, and perhaps were all purchased at the same time...?

  2. And turn the wireless off at night, lest they go and send email to your friends' appliances.

  3. Um, now I'm becoming paranoid.

  4. Well, Era, your stove *is* acting a little funky, what with having to turn this knob to get that burner to light up.

  5. Aack! The wireless! That's how they're all communicating.

    We just found out that our heater isn't working either, not that we need it right now, anyway! For real ... what else could break? WAIT! Don't answer that.

    Camille (furiously knocking on wood as I caress my computer and printer and various other gray plastic things with lights)

  6. Camille, in case u need to replace your water heater, and are thinking of tankless, we just got a Rinaii tankless water heater, love it. I have all the info you would need.