Is it paranoia if your appliances really are out to get you?

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our detergent.”
– Epictetus, Greek philosopher (AD 55 – 135) – disputed, alternate translation from the original text

Cheryl really wanted me to write this post.

“John, you’ve got to blog about this.”

See, I told you.

“Why don’t you write about it?” I replied.

“It’s not my blog.”

“So, I could set you up as another author. It could be our blog.”

“But I’m not funny.”

“Wait. You think my posts are funny?”

“Well, not all of them. Some of them are kinda depressing, but others are a little funny.”

“But they’re not supposed to be funny… any of them. These things are straight up.”

“Do you have a doctor’s appointment coming up?”

I do, as it happens, but enough of this banter. This post isn’t about me, my grand tour of medical specialties, or my beloved.

You see that. I lied. I’m really very sorry.

No I’m not.

This post is about Maytag and their sinister plot to drive Cheryl crazy.

When I think of time – specifically keeping it – I think of the Swiss. I don’t know why. I’m not an expert when it comes to clocks, watches, timers, or the Swiss. Somehow, at some point, the Swiss and reliable time keeping got stuck together in my brain.

It’s been stuck ever since.

When I think of Maytag I think of the man. Mind you, I’m not talking about The Man. I know Maytag isn’t keeping me down – not in the grand scheme of things anyway. No, I think of that lumpy sap from the commercials, waiting for the call that never comes. One thing that definitely doesn’t come to mind is keeping time, and our new(ish) washing machine only reinforces this disassociation.

In many ways I’m really pleased with our new(ish) washing machine. It’s one of those nifty front loaders that uses a lot less water, and it was reasonably priced. However, it has one feature that drives Cheryl nuts: it counts down the time remaining until it’s done. By itself this wouldn’t drive Cheryl crazy, or I don’t think it would. What’s maddening is it’s last minute that isn’t a minute. You see, it taunts you. The last minute is ALWAYS much more than a minute. I know. Cheryl’s timed it. What’s particularly insidious is it’s variable schedule. Sometimes the last minute is five. Other times ten. It might go ten cycles doing eight minutes just to suck you in – then go twenty.

There’s no other way to explain it.

It’s evil.


  1. I’m just worried the machine will call my bluff, and if I can’t follow through on the implied threat I’ll have lost all respect. Who knows what it’ll try to pull then?

    As for being squirrely, it’s all a matter of mood. For a while I’ve felt incapable, though I’m happy to report it’s turned around the last week or so.

  2. Next time you enter the laundry room, let the machine see you trying to hide a sledgehammer behind your back. Works every time.

    Some of them are kinda depressing, but others are a little funny

    This one was good. Squirrely suits you.

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