"He who laughs has not yet been told the terrible news." -- Bertolt Brecht.
After the adventure of the disintegrating MRI machine and the financial disaster that was the leaky front bay window, a friend called me up and informed me that henceforth he would refer to me as "Job from Pinson." I retorted that I certainly wasn't Job since I still had my family and in any case I hadn't broken out in boils. He was quiet for a moment and then said, "Yet." We both laughed.
Right about then, the ghost of Bertolt Brecht showed up.
See, I had been waiting for the right estate sale to pick up a new (albeit used) clothes washer on the cheap, since ours huffed some time back. Spotted one in the Birmingham News last Wednesday and waited until Saturday for the sale, when I showed up bright and early. The washer-dryer pair was $250, but if it was still there at 1PM, everything was going to be marked down to half price. $125.00. Not bad since the washer seemed to be in very good shape. The dryer was less so, but our dryer was more toward worn out than it, so I thought, hey, more than I wanted to spend but since some subscriptions came in I could make it, if they were still there come the afternoon.
They were. I was now the proud owner of one used washer-dryer combination with no way to get it back to Pinson in Rosey's Camry. But I could still pick them up the following day, if I could promote a friend with a pickup truck to help me. So I called my buddy Eric end together we traveled back down south of town the next day to pick up my plunder. Everything went slicker than snot on a door knob. (This should have been my first clue.)
We return to the manse, haul the old machine out of the basement, up the steps, removing doors along the way to make it happen -- a real ball-buster for both of us. The new machine is installed (again without trouble) and everything is right with the world. The "new" dryer ended up at Eric's for theirs had huffed it a month ago and I was more than happy to recompense them for the help. I turn on the washer, to test it. Everything seems nominal. Back we go to Eric's to drop off the dryer, leaving the washer running.
Now, in my opinion what happened next can be ascribed to one of three possible causes.
1. The ghost of Bertolt Brecht was playing a little game on the guy who likes to quote him so much.
2. My ex-wife conspired with the North Koreans to achieve strategic weapon status for her voodoo doll (which previously seemed to have a discrete tactical range only within the borders of the state of Ohio).
3. Joe Btfsplk was hiding in the bushes across the road.
Joe Btfsplk, older readers may recall, was a little guy in the comic strip Lil' Abner who walked around with a cloud over his head and wherever he went terrible things happened.
My evidence? When I return from Eric's, there is a cascade of water covering my driveway and out into the street, issuing forth from under both garage doors. Oh, merde, I said, or words to that effect. I raced in, got the water department shut-off tool I keep around for just such disasters, and shut the water off to the entire house out at the street. (My oldest daughter was upstairs, but of course she failed to notice the sound of Niagara Falls downstairs, loud though it was.)
You see, unskilled at plumbing as I am, I had -- some years back -- cobbled together a fix for a burst cold water pipe with PVC couplings. My improvisation waited for the moment Eric and I pulled out of the driveway and were out of sight to give up the ghost. The aftermath, while full of sturm und drang, is at this point rather boring. Suffice to say that Eric, a maintenance man in real life when he's not pulling my burnt biscuits out of the oven, fixed the connection with a real copper fitting and the washer is currently running full-tilt-boogie to process the accumulation of dirty clothes -- as are the fans trying to dry out the basement.
So, was it me, my ex-wife's voodoo doll, the ghost of Bertolt Brecht or Joe Btfsplk? All I can tell you is, I haven't come up with boils yet. You just gotta laugh.