Yesterday, the washing machine had the nerve to wash my son's paycheck. Reached right out, through the kitchen door, around the corner, snatched it off my desk, and sucked it right into the permanent press cycle.
It's hard to find service appliances with a sense of humility these days. They think they know everything, with their flashy computer chips, sleek bodies and inspired musical stylings. I'm tempted to prowl local second-hand junk shops (or as I call them, gold mines) for an older, more experienced washing machine; one with a fully operating work ethic, and less of a know-it-all. Perhaps wearing Harvest Gold, or Avocado paint, a dead giveaway when searching for salt-of-the-earth, no nonsense domestic help.
Electrical gadgets aren't the only household devices with minds of their own lately. The toilet ate my overall straps the same day. Trust me, the details are gory.
It doesn't end there. Extension cords are getting cheeky, the TV remote is on strike, my dishwasher has PMS, and I've just about reached my limit with the bossy stove.
Most people have their convenience apparatus under control. They must have iron-clad Automated Labor Relations contracts. My negotiating team walked out last month, weary of my absent-minded treatment of them, accusing me of slipshod management, careless domestic administration tantamount to executive failure as Chief Domestic Officer, and since then it's been a literal free-for-all.
Now that I'm without labor representation, I'm forced to address the issues on my own. Tempted to approach the Appliance Representation Board with hat in hand, squeezing out some alligator tears, I crumple tissues in readiness to play the emotional stress card.
Naw. Not my style. I can't abide a crybaby.
Steeling my inner diplomat, I commit to the welfare of the hard-working, but demanding gadgets. Concern for their well-being should be my main focus. After all, these household metal warriors shoulder 95% of daily tasks. Who was I to poo poo their anguish? Shunning cynicism, I reassess my own authority and rededicate the forces at my command, deploying equal scrutiny, care, and respect in dealing with their ever expanding needs.
Still, I found myself needing a mediator. Objectivity is a powerful weapon when struggling to achieve a level playing ground for everyone concerned.
Arbitration went well. The washing machine admitted culpability in the paycheck mutilation scandal. Toilet Union Members placed the offending commode on paid leave while they investigated the allegations of clothing desecration, and the extension cord contingent conceded to malicious behavior and agreed to lesser charges. Electronic remotes backed down immediately with a pledge of fresh batteries, and since PMS was the source of dishwasher disorder, I promised lighter loads during certain weeks.
Overall, cottage operations are back on line. Appliances have stopped their spotlight-grabbing tactics, assured of renewed management maintenance pacts. The stove is the lone holdout. I draw the line at supplying Emotional Support Animals.
I hope I'm not being insensitive.