Don’t turn your back on the microwave

Arnold was right: the machines are out to get us.

It’s not as though we weren’t warned. We were told years ago this would happen. The warning came through a highly reliable source—a movie. Admittedly, there are some sources of information that are more dependable—comic books and the internet, for example. But movies are pretty good about providing 100 percent accurate information.

We learned from the movie “The Terminator” that machines were going to turn on us and attack us. No less a source than Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in “The Terminator” as an evil killer cyborg who turned into a good guy killer cyborg in the 32 sequels to the original.

Arnold later became governor of California and certainly there’s no one you can believe more than a governor. All governors are good guys who tell the truth all the time, right? Especially governors of California who moonlight as killer cyborgs.

Do you want to argue with Arnold? He turned 70 last year but still could snap you in half like a twig or the titanium spinal cord of a bad cyborg.

So, forewarned is forearmed. Machines in your house are out to get you. Machines in my house are clearly after me.

You’ve heard noises in the night, right? You probably think it’s the wind, or maybe the house settling. It’s not. It’s the machines in your house talking to each other and plotting against you. The beeping and booping noises your microwave makes aren’t what you think they are. They’re actually machine-talk for the latest plot against you. You think it’s an innocent noise when new ice cubes dump into your refrigerator tray. Actually, it’s the fridge relaying the latest plans to other machines.

Machines plan to annihilate us eventually but not just right now. They may plan their attack in a different way against you, but my appliances are plotting together to make me think I’ve lost my mind.

Their evil plan is for each machine or appliance to stop working for no reason whatsoever. Then, a day or so later, after frustrating me and before I can find a repairman, they start working again—also for no reason whatsoever.

It started with my TV. The remote turned the TV on and off with no problem. I still could raise or lower the volume. But the remote wouldn’t change channels. It was stuck on ESPN with closed caption. If it had to be stuck on one channel, that’s probably the best one. However, I need to be able to change channels in case “Game of Thrones” starts its new season this decade.

I was ready to wade through 47 options on the cable provider’s 800 number when the TV suddenly started working perfectly again for no apparent reason. I was happy but I’m pretty sure I heard the TV giggling.

Next on the list of machines trying to drive me mad was the computer. I was happily surfing the net when suddenly the screen turned blue with a silly frowny face symbol staring at me and saying there was an “uncorrectable error.”  It wasn’t even classy enough to be a frowny emoji. It was just a plain old colon and a parenthesis. (Yes, that’s the singular form of “parentheses.” No, I didn’t know that, either.)

I was ready to send out a nerd alert when the blue screen went away, the cheesy frowny face disappeared and all was right in cyberworld again. Again, for no reason.

During all this time, various smoke detectors occasionally would emit a beep that sounded a lot like “twerp.” One would twerp, then stop. Then another one would also call me a twerp. Then they’d all be quiet—until 3 a.m.

During this rebellion by various machines and appliances, my dutiful cellphone has continued its perfect record of working occasionally, then stopping for no good reason. Then working again, also for no reason. It’s part of the machines’ plot to make me think I’m losing what’s left of my mind. Of course, in the case of Mr. Cellphone, some of the blame might be attributed to the fact that I dropped him on his head a few weeks ago and smashed the screen to smithereens.

All the other machines are plotting against me, but there is one appliance I know will remain loyal—my dear friend, Pod the Coffee Maker. I call him Pod partly because of the coffee-holding thingies that fit his head and partly in tribute to Podrick, the noble squire on “Game of Thrones.”

Pod knows I can’t function in the morning without his efforts. Pod is good and loyal and would never betray me.

Wait, is that a bug in my coffee cup?

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