Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Don't touch that dial!

Among sundry other divine responsibilities, at one point in my career I thought it would be a good idea to become the Goddess of Random Equipment Malfunctions.  The rationale was simple:  "It's a dirty job, and someone's got to do it."

Or not do it, if you will.  Random Equipment Malfunctions are infuriating precisely because of their randomness.  They come on unexpectedly, switch on and off intermittently and frequently cure themselves without rhyme or reason, leaving the source of the problem an eternal mystery.  In other words, they appear to violate cause and effect by virtue of being all effect and no cause.

And now I know why no one else wanted the job.  For the last couple of days I've been beset by a whole flock of REMs:
  • Lost com link for the entire house for a day and a half due to a malfunction in a data line.  A mysteriously sudden windstorm is the prime suspect.
  • An elevator at work has been attempting to hold unwary passengers hostage.
  • Also at work, one of the toilets is occasionally refusing to refill due to a moribund float mechanism that gets jammed at the bottom of the tank.
  • My garage remote control had apparently stepped out for coffee when I returned from band practice this evening, and I had to let myself and the car in with a good old-fashioned key.
  • And the strangest one of all:  Last night, when I was attempting to bake a cake, the oven decided that I didn't really mean 325°F and reset itself to 223°F at some point during the baking time.  Darchala, the somewhat bemused witness, was kind enough to reset the oven to the proper temperature and we did end up with non-liquid cake shortly thereafter.
The one thing all of these anomalies have in common?  I touched these things.  I know it tends to get a bit dry in Winnipeg in cold weather, but even if I were generating one heck of an electromagnetic field and zapping remote controls, oven touch pads, computers, telephones, TVs and elevators, it doesn't really explain a damaged cable outside the house, or a toilet.

Must be magic.

(Springy G starts dialing the crisis line for the Tower of High Sorcery in Wayreth, only to hang up suddenly.  She sighs and pushes the phone to far side of the desk.)  Best not do that.  Last thing I need is an entire Conclave of magi complaining that their digital clocks are all blinking  12:00 .