Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Deus wrecks machina

I'm not exactly sure when or why I became the Goddess of Random Equipment Malfunctions.  I think it was largely a matter of "It's a dirty job, but Someone has to do it."

Or not do it, as the case may be.  If I have any divine power at all, that power consists largely of finding things to be in charge of that don't actually need My help.

Exhibit #1:  The Vernal Equinox, but only in the Northern hemisphere.  Essentially all I have to do is a ceremonial "Ta-Dah!" whenever a northbound sun crosses the equator, and then get back to playing Minesweeper or whatever the heck I was doing the moment before the Equinox.

Exhibit #2:  Chocolate.  Chocolate happens, whether or not I'm there to buy it, eat it, cook with it, or wax poetic about it.

Exhibit #3:  Punctuation.  This is mostly under control, thanks to wonderful books like The Elements of Style (Strunk & White) and Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Lynne Truss).

Now, about those random equipment malfunctions...

It's appropriate that I drive a car with an intermittent trunk latch release lever and a digital dashboard clock that only shows the time near the end of a really, really long drive.

Speaking of clocks, the digital clock on My microwave is apparently conducting some sort of relativity experiment in cahoots with the cable TV box and the stove, because it consistently sneaks a minute or two ahead of them no matter how often I adjust it.

My tenure on Earth is noteworthy for devices spontaneously breaking or un-breaking for no apparent reason, and sometimes for no reason at all.  I've had elevators stop and wait for Me when I called out "Wait wait wait!"  Street lights blink out just as I'm driving underneath them.  I've sweet-talked a photocopier into giving Me copies when everyone else thought it was broken.  I once walked into a computer lab, and the computer I had come to fix started working the moment I appeared in the doorway.  Coffee machines jam.  Printers catch fire.  Ovens regard the control panel as some sort of choose-your-own-adventure book, baking the cake at 214°F instead of 325°F.

I also get a feeling of impending doom every time I get a new day job, pay raise or other financial windfall.  That's the cue for a whole wave of Random Equipment Malfunctions as moribund machinery and ancient appliances seize the opportunity to demand divine intervention.  January 1989 was particularly bad, costing Me a water heater element and a pump for the washing machine.  I managed to fix the toaster for free, by giving it a good cleaning and bending a lever back into place, but it was a close one.

No, I have no clue how this works.  I'm not omniscient.  I do, however, know exactly where My toolbox is at all times.


Ubi Dubium said...

As far as I can tell, I am the Rain Goddess of Camping. Almost every time I try to go camping with my family, we wind up with rain. Not just a lovely spring shower, either. Sometimes it's the drizzle all day that makes you want to go inside a warm cabin and have a lovely cup of hot chocolate. But all there is available is a damp tent and cold instant tea. Eurrgh.

Last trip, we were hoping to see a Meteor Shower from a large dark meadow near the campground. What we got was two days of steady downpour. We couldn't light a fire, the rain pouring on the tent was too loud for me to sleep, and we bailed out and went home long before we had planned to.

I generally don't think the universe is conscious in any way. But the way the rain follows me on camping trips does make me wonder a little. Maybe I should get people to pay me not to go camping with them!

Astreja said...

I think You're onto something, Ubi Dubium. We seem to have some rather mischievous Weather Gods here in Winnipeg, and as far as I can tell there are three of them:

- One god to cause an unseasonable thaw in February, just after the ice sculptures for the Festival de Voyageur have been completed;

- One god to cause torrential rain on the Folk Festival weekend in July, with the epicentre of the downpour on Saturday night when the headliners take the stage;

- And one god that patrols the Perimeter Highway (a bypass ring on the outskirts of Winnipeg) and diverts large thunderstorms to the north and south. It once caused a deer-in-the-headlights look on the face of a local TV weatherman when a storm he had predicted split in half at the West Perimeter and went around the city.