Tag Archives: christmas eve

A Trilogy of Christmas Tragedy: Thing Two

The new addition to the GE family had not yet completed her first test cycle when the phone rang. Normally, I do not ever answer the phone at home because it is either someone I do not want to talk to—which is everybody—or it is bad news. The problem with bad news is that it never comes when you expect it. I don’t know why that is. It just is. Perhaps if I were smarter I would expect bad news all the time and be constantly disappointed, but disappointment has its own way of producing ulcers and besides, it would be a lot of work as I tend to be absentminded. I wouldn’t remember what exactly I was supposed to expect. And really, how can anyone be disappointed over good news? It’s just too hard to fake.

So, I answered the phone, happy that the new dishwasher was running fine and happy that the job only required two, okay three, curses and no knuckle blood to complete. It was my wife on the phone, and the only thing she said was, “The transmission fell out of the van.”

I looked at her dumbly through the phone and said, “Right.” Continue reading


A Trilogy of Christmas Tragedy: Thing One

Why is it that bad things seem to happen in threes and always when you are least prepared?


It was Christmas Eve when our GE brand dishwasher broke. No big deal in the grand scheme of things with four little dishwashers who just happen to look like me running about the house, but we were having everyone in my wife’s extended family over for Christmas dinner the next day. Besides which, two of the older model, prodigy-brand dishwashers are subject to hormonal imbalances that will cause them to malfunction, sometimes catastrophically. They will either not clean the dishes or put them away properly and then argue about it with the spouse-brand dishwasher or just outright break them. The latter option, to me, seems the wiser course as one no longer has to wash a broken dish—and they are dirty when they are dropped as it would be completely foolish to drop a clean dish unless one just doesn’t want to put it away—but not as foolish as arguing with the spouse-brand dishwasher. Even I know better than that. Most days anyway. Continue reading