• Carmen Marie Fabio

Gremlins


Shutterstock photo

I blame a solar flare. Or an electromagnetic pulse. Or pretty much anything else for the fact that I, and those around me, have been hit with a spate of mechanical and/or electronic failures that started with the little flap that holds the soap in place in my dishwasher door and went on to cause a one-day delay in the publication of Your Local Journal for the first time in its almost 12-year history, save for a few holidays.

“What’s wrong with the washing machine?” my son asked not long after the dishwasher part came off in my hands. “It’s making a funny noise.” While the exact chronology of events escapes me, I know that they spanned about a week in which, besides the two aforementioned appliances, also infected the fan on my convection oven, the screen on my laptop, a smart phone whose intelligence is impeding all my efforts to get the screen to rotate, a seized front derailer on my bicycle, and a left rear wheel that fell off my husband’s rollerblade while we were blading in the east end of Montreal. Okay, technically the last one didn’t happen to me but I’m sure I had something to do with it.

While the ensuing incident that resulted from a brand new bicycle rack carrying three bikes being installed onto a 2006 suspension of a Toyota carrying the five of us is worthy of a column in itself, I’m happy to report no one was killed and the sparks never made any connection with the fumes from the gas tank.

The whole streak culminated with the worst possible scenario at the worst possible time – ten minutes before going to press, some godforsaken electronic device crashed resulting in the loss of a week’s worth of work.

One would think that swearwords and screaming were involved but what I remember more is holding myself and rocking back and forth while humming tunelessly, trying to comprehend what had just happened. We then did what most people do in times of crisis – we ordered pizza.

To make a long and confusing story – one punctuated with frustration and a sick stomach feeling – short, we finally headed home only to regroup with the entire YLJ team the following morning to redo the paper. Fueled with even more pizza and buoyed on by our wonderfully supportive and understanding advertisers, the product hit the stands a day late, and a little bruised, but proud nonetheless.

I thought the coast was clear until I bumped into a friend in Hudson last Friday and asked her how it was going. I slowly backed away when she told me about a plumbing issue at her home that resulted in sewage backing up in all four of her bathrooms. Apparently my reach had extended.

It’s a week later. My dishwasher and washing machine are complaining, but still functioning, much like myself. I have increased counter space with the loss of the convection oven and I’m told the data on my laptop is recoverable.

Things are looking better but I think it’s going to be a long time before I get the craving for pizza again.

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