–There is a lot of agony when people talk about “appliance meltdowns” these days.
–That’s when a smiling, happy house sits on the street with happy flowers and happy people living inside. The happy children play in the yard, the happy mother cooks, cleans and launders as the happy house hums with efficient glee. The happy checkbook resides somewhere in a purse or pocket of happy providers.
–Then one day, a happy family member says something like, “let’s take a happy vacation.” Or, “why don’t we put in a happy swimming pool?”
–At that very moment, the sky turns ominously black and lightening beckons. There is sudden thunder as the house shudders. The washing machine suddenly plays hopscotch across the basement floor, belching and whining all the way. The dishwasher suddenly regurgitates a small wetland across the kitchen floor and takes up smoking to boot. The happy car suddenly faints dead away, wheels pointing upward.
–This sudden change from happy house turns ugly along with the weather as the vacuum cleaner, microwave and lawnmower are also declared legally dead while dreams of happy checkbooks, swimming pools and vacations vanish in a meltdown minute.
–I have had those meltdowns on occasion, but have noticed lately that my house has taken on a new and worse personality. It snickers and tells secrets while I am away. My house is now in cahoots with the Internal Revenue Service.
–My first indication about the house in cahoots with the IRS was when I recently got a new garage door. It had a magic button, went up and down and smiled when I was gone. It was a responsible, security issue to comfort myself with the comings and goings to and fro. When I went into the house, there was fairy dust sprinkled all about as I pressed the other magic button to lower the door. Neighbors, in fact, thought that the new garage door was antisocial because it was always down in an unfriendly way.
–And when you allow yourself something new and expensive, sure enough, something else flies in your face for punishment.
–But never mind that, I was now a grownup with a grownup garage door. Soon, the new door began communicating with the house the moment I met with my taxman. I was a mere six blocks away while the taxman clacked my refund information into the computer. “Sold!” to the highest bidder said the garage door to my house in question. Never mind the appliance meltdown, never mind other such responsible upgrades – “Sold!” it was.
–And when my taxman reported the amount of the refund, my furnace promptly fell over and died with ducts pointing upward. If it were a mere $100 refund, it would be perhaps a minor microwave. If $200, okay maybe part of a dishwasher. But with a juicier refund, I dreamed of maybe a couple new windows or a nice new piece of furniture to show off. Or maybe even new shoes and (perish the idea) put some into savings?
–By no, the IRS immediately informed my appliances the exact amount of refund and the auction was up to the highest bidder. “Sold!” the garage door said to my house, and my furnace knew what to do.
–I didn’t notice right away, of course, because I was just signing off for my refund. But by the time I got home and settled in, I dwelled about and thought, “hmmm, is it getting a little colder in here?”
–Of course, it was! The IRS was in cahoots with all appliances and went for the highest bidder.