Blame It on the Fairies
He also pointed out that it is quite common, among farmers who have a fairy fort or fairy tree on their property, to avow that "I don't believe in fairies but I'm sure not touching that tree!"
Well, I'm a rational person and prefer to confine gods and fairies and the like to the wilds (and they are wild!) of my imagination, but I can only blame our first week back from Ireland on the fairies. I think one might have sneaked into our luggage and, upon finding himself or herself in the land of the free and the home of the big-box corporations, got pissed and took it out on us.
First, I was driving home from work on Interstate 70, going about 70 mph (it's called "70" for a reason!) and smelled burning rubber and realized. Oh. Crap. Yes, because my tire had blown out. Luckily, it was a back tire and, even more luckily, the driver in the lane next to me wasn't on a cell phone and saw what happened and managed to exercise a modicum of courtesy in backing off enough to let me limp onto the shoulder.
Only a few days later, the home Internet simply stopped working. Let me just say that it is hard to design and run two websites and teach an online class without Internet access.
Next, the TV started behaving oddly. We had inherited a ridiculously large television set from my grandparents a few years ago. The picture started having a blue "ghost" to it. It was unwatchable. But it's under warranty, right? Hmm.
I am teaching an online class on basic web design for writers and artists. Each Friday morning, I convert the Word file of that week's lesson to a PDF file to upload to the class's group. I've been converting Word files to PDFs on that laptop for years. I got my laptop fired up, and there was Word, and there was Acrobat Pro, but they refused to speak to each other. I had to delay the lesson a week pending my dad reinstalling the Adobe software for me.
Saturday, we had a family party in honor of Lancelot's second birthday. The Goldens get a small, cheap steak for their birthdays, and Bobby went to photograph them while they were enjoying it and discovered that our digital camera would no longer focus.
Okay. Five days. Five things, all mechanical- or tech-related. I had been making ice cream and had some good heavy cream left over, so we did put a dish of cream out on our step one night to appease the fairy. Whether coincidence or just because there was nothing left to break, the incidents stopped after that.
Of course, that was the point at which we stopped dealing with the supernatural and started dealing with U.S. corporate bureaucracy. Last year, we ditched both Comcast and Verizon for our Internet because they both suck, but Verizon owns the cables that our small ISP uses, so we had to place a service call with and wait two weeks for Verizon anyway. We got the auto shop down the street to order tires for my car, but the wrong ones were sent by the warehouse, so I still don't have a spare on my car. And Bobby called to have the television fixed only to discover that what is broken is the most common part to break on a TV like ours, and so, naturally, it is not covered under the warranty. Because that would, you know, make sense.
Personally, I preferred dealing with the fairy.