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