Refrigerators and Friday the 13th


If fifty is the new thirty, then March 26th is the new Friday the 13th. Nothing good happens on March 26th.

That was the day my refrigerator died.

Feeling lucky, we went online and found a used one. The owner said he had two and needed to get rid of one, and the price was pretty good. When he said he would meet us at a parking lot instead of his house, we (did I say “we”? I meant “I”) thought nothing of it. My wife was suspicious.

We met him and followed him to a warehouse hidden halfway down a dark alley. Sitting on a trailer in the parking lot just outside were the hulks of several old appliances. My wife told me there was no way we were buying anything from that place. I said it would be fine.

Inside the shop, we looked around. It resembled a set from “The French Connection.” There were two men there – our salesman and a silent companion who sulked nearby. The owner gave us his pitch. He had several people interested, he said, so we needed to act fast. My wife told him it was the wrong size, “Isn’t that right, Jeff?” I said it was about the same height as the one that just died. Plus the price was right. If looks could kill, I would have been charred into a pillar of ash right there on the greasy warehouse floor.

So we gave our apologies and left.

Looking to change our luck, we shopped for a new one. After three stores I can confidently state that used car salesmen have nothing on the guys who sell refrigerators. They explained enhanced features like the new LED lighting, interior air circulation, and touch pad electronics that notify us of the exact temperature inside each chamber. Of course we would need an extended warranty to ensure the enhanced features could be repaired. Almost as an afterthought the salesman added, “Oooooh. You want it delivered? That will cost you sixty bucks.”

Somewhere along the way my wife lost her purse. We had to backtrack to the earlier stores to find it.

Then my three-year-old, who is “almost potty trained,” had an accident on the car seat.

We finally bought a refrigerator, paying almost three times as much as the warehouse model. We had accomplished our task, but we didn’t feel lucky.

And when we tried to leave the parking lot, the car wouldn’t start. Dead battery.

After I replaced it, we drove home and realized the cooler’s lid had been left open and all the food we had tried to save had gone bad. It would cost us a sweet sum to replace it.

So I did what every man does at the end of an unlucky day. I took the dog for a long, therapeutic walk.

It rained.


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