Hanging by a string of bad luck

Andy Walker
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Real Life column

It seems every year just before Christmas the Walker family seems to go through a period of what we call bad luck.

I know right off the bat my definition of “bad luck” is pretty exaggerated. Like most middle class families, we have it pretty well. We have enough food to eat and a roof over our heads. Sure, money can be tight from time to time, but I suspect that is the case for most people.

That being said, it can still be a big aggravation when a lot of small things go wrong at the same time.

Over the past week and a half, we had two cars break down (both required towing), and our dishwasher flooded twice. I got some tabs that are supposed to clean it out while it washes but we are scared to run in again after cleaning up two floods.

As well, the tap in our bathtub won’t stop dripping. That in itself is no big deal, but for some reason it drips hot water rather than cold. This can be a huge problem since our hot water is heated by the furnace rather than a hot water heater.

We had it happen once before and it dripped for quite a while. I don’t possess the handyman skills to fix it and it took a while for a friend of ours to come around and replace the tap. In the meantime, we ran out of oil because we let it drip hot and our oil usage went up dramatically.

We weren’t going to make that mistake again, so we are letting it run cold until our friend can fix it. It is really bothering my wife – she calls it Chinese water torture.

As for the cars, one of the breakdowns involved me – almost.

I was on my way to a work assignment in O’Leary when my battery light started going on and off. I suspected it was an electrical problem and O’Leary is a long way from Cornwall when your car is on the blink. It died the next day on the way to the garage. The other car died on my daughter on the way to visit her boyfriend.

Right now, we are working our way through the problems. The cars are now fixed and, like I said, I’m working up the courage to try the dishwasher again. In the meantime, we are washing the dishes by hand. That is sort of a good news-bad news thing. It takes more effort, but there are now always more clean dishes. My wife decreed the dirty dishes had to go on the counter in plain sight so they would be done quicker instead of hidden from view in the dishwasher. So far, it has worked.

Hopefully, the dripping tap will be fixed in the next few days.

While this weekend looks busy, I am even hoping to get the outdoor Christmas decorations up.

That’s the way it is in real life. 


Geographic location: Cornwall

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