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I believe in gremlins. I truly do. They are real. As real as the nose on my face.

I didn’t believe in gremlins on Monday. I thought they were just phantasms from the minds of dreamers in Hollywood who wanted to make a buck.

But I believe now. Oh yes I do.

And after this, you will to.

Yesterday the Contrarian had a scheduled appointment at the VA for his usual checkup. He decided to go alone, which is most unusual, since I have almost always gone with him.

I knew the reason. He wanted to prove that he was a grown up. I tend to hover you see. I ask too many questions, and he feels like a little guy whose mom is telling the doctor the truth, when he wants to just smile and fudge about all the fattening things he eats with glee.

So he wanted to make the one hour trek alone. I packed his little bibs with all the required things and sent him on his way with plenty of admonitions to drive carefully and to mind his manners.

Since it was not yet 6:30 in the morning, I sorta mumbled most of that as I scurried back to bed, happy to have the whole big bed to myself.

I got up some time later, at a more reasonable hour for humans, and started my coffee. I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a grumpy riser, but today I was pleasantly serene. Mostly because there was no happy question: “How are you this morning?” I don’t like that question when I get up. I have no idea how I am yet. I just got up. Assessments of such magnitude take a while.

Then things got weird. I turned on the TV to see what the good folks at GMA might have to say this morning. They do not ask me how I am, which I appreciate. I heard the sound come on. I waited. And waited. And waited. Suspiciously, no picture appeared.

I turned it off.

I turned it on.

No picture. I stared at each remote, the TV remote and the DR remote. I looked for something called “picture.” Did you know there was no such thing?

I started punching buttons. I heard the voice change. But still no picture came forth. I punched some more.

The voices got louder, and then they got quieter. But form never emerged.

I got the manual for the DR. It said if there was no picture to look for the input button. I pushed that 27 times to no avail. I pushed some more buttons. I pushed them all.

I left the TV on for a couple hours, thinking it just needed a warm up. Periodically I came into the room to check. It was always black, though I suspected that it might be on when I was out of the room, so I snuck in a couple of times. Still nothing.

This bummed me. So I turned on the kitchen TV, it was fuzzy. Hmmmm. I turned on the bedroom TV. It too was fuzzy. I turned on the office TV. It was clear. (yes that is the end. We have no more TVs. )

I was puzzled. The fuzzy ones, had pictures. And the fuzziness usually means that the wiring down stairs has slipped and the Contrarian goes down and jiggles things and performs some incantations, and the fuzzies go away.

Was this a coincidence? I got that eerie feeling.

In total disgust I finished my chores. But I was looking over my shoulder most of the time.

I decided to get to the computer and get some work done to assuage my general pissiness. Fine thing, when the Contrarian got home to have to explain. The TV just died. Without even a goodbye. And it was not an old TV. Just a couple of years old. Fine way they make things these days.

So I hit the dial up. And, and, yes you guessed it. NOTHING. What the freak is this? Error, Error, Error. What the freakin’ crazy Mother of all mercies kinda crap is this?

My level of fixing expertise regarding computers is talking to them and asking them what is wrong. They can do all kinds of magical things, but answering me is not one of them.

I pick up the phone. Always a place to start. I am met with no comforting buzz. I have no idea what that noise is called, but we all know the T O N E. And I had none. Dead. Dead. Dead.

I jiggled the connecting wires. I jiggle things good. Then when that failed, I hit it a good whack. (I’d already hit the TV a couple of good cracks to no avail, but you never know.) I didn’t hit the computer, because I still am not sure that there isn’t a living thing inside all that stuff, and I don’t want to hurt anything.

I cursed. Like a sailor. I said all kinds of bad things. I knew God would understand.

Then I got scared. More scared.

I raced walked fast into the kitchen. My heart was pounding. I turned on the microwave. It hummed along. I checked the fridge. Light on. I dragged out the vacuum cleaner, swatting off the dust, and plugged her in. Whirrrrrr.

I got more puzzled. Puzzledlier. I pondered. I meditated. I asked God. I asked Mary. I would have asked the mailman. Mere woman that I am, I could do no more.

Well, to make a long story shorter, the Contrarian came home. He reported on his medical doings. All is well. I told him about the stuff. I started with the TV. He shrugged, told me that most of my attempts were not worth the piece of paper they were not written on. He started unplugging things. There was a flash when he disconnected the TV from the power strip.

His eyes lit up. He said, plug ‘er back in! I did. PICTURE returned. Well sort of. All that button pushing? Well those buttons do all sorts of things and the faces were a beet red, and the picture was squished. He spend some hours resetting all the parameters.

The computer? He said the modem fell out. How it fell out?



What did I ever do to them?

I still don’t believe in Leprechauns however. That would be stupid.

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