It all started pretty innocently.
I got up, brushed my teeth, kissed the wife, rushed off to work and sat at my desk sipping a tasteless cup of coffee counting the hours till the weekend.
Then the phone rang.
“The Washing machines gone”
I’m all for humor that early in the morning.
“Where’s it gone to?”
“ You can laugh, but the downstairs bedroom is flooded and Mini (the dog) is taking swimming lessons on the balcony."
It could be worse.
And of course it was.
Not only had the washing machine gone. The new 50 inch state of the art LED Smart TV was now only willing to show the shopping channel and the fridge had gone into an immediate state of automatic defrost (the morning after I’d been to the super of course – thanks for asking).
Having no other option -I’d already used up all the excuses I could think of including the important meeting with upper management that was due to be held in five minutes - I rushed home to deal with the situation. On the way I called Dr. Fix who was out on a house call but promised to arrive within the hour.
Three hours later
Mini had successfully progressed from doggie paddle to breast stroke. My wife, bless her had disappeared (she had kept a couple of good unused excuses for a rainy day) The air-conditioner had moved into winter mode, which would have been great if it wasn’t the height of summer and the computer was making noises that would frighten even the bravest house ghosts.
Dr Fix finally arrived.
Within an hour, sanity was returned and my bank account emptied. None of the appliances were of course repairable or still under guarantee, and the living room carpet would have to be replaced too. There was just one thing that puzzled me.
“Why does it always happen all at once?” I asked Dr Fix. “What is it, some kind of virus?”
I was in my best sarcastic mood usually kept for family outings, but wasn’t ready for the diagnosis.
“No”, said the smiling doctor (it only takes one receipt with multiple zeros to put a smile on his face), “not actually a virus, it looks more like apparatus delicatus problemus.”
“A common form of appliance influenza, very catching this time of year.”
So what can we learn from all of this. When your fridge goes, wash your hands before touching the TV set and don’t even think of going near the washing machine. Before touching the taps make sure you are wearing gloves and rubber boots – you can’t be too careful – otherwise you will inevitably be in need of a plumber.
And last but by no means least – make sure your dog or cat knows how to swim – appliance flu has been known to be fatal.