Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Rat Theory

Last week the washing machine just quit working. No it wasn't broken--the electrical outlet just went dead. But the circuit breakers were all OK. This might all be mysterious except that I was the one who originally wired up the laundry room with 110 AC, and I probably should not mess with electricity.

The next question: why now? The outlet to the washing machine has been OK for about 4 years. Simple, right, the connections in the outlet must be loose. So I go into the garage only to discover that all of the outlets (except for one) are dead. I double-check the circuit breakers. All OK. There's a GFI outlet nearby, but it's OK (it's the one outlet that works).

At this point, I am no longer sure about anything. Does the earth really go around the sun? Am I just a collection of organic molecules? Why are naps fun to take? Do I know anything at all? Funny how easily our core beliefs can be challenged, even to the point that we are tempted to consult shamans, monks, priests, or in my case, an electrical contrator, even though I swore never to call one again. Oh please, great guru, tell me what to believe. I am so stupid that I can barely move.

But first I needed at least a theory. What am I, anyway, a superstitious old goof? So my best guess was that a rat had chewed through the wires. Or possibly... No, that's all I had--just the rat.

When the contractor showed today, he seemed perplexed as well, so I told him right away about the rat (in case he was about to say it first). If I'm right, he will think I'm pretty cool. But he looked pretty doubtful about the rat theory and, probably, about my general sanity. "No, that just about hardly ever happens," he said, which is a nice way of saying it.

More later...

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