Lewis Hine Power house mechanic working on ste...

Lewis Hine Power house mechanic working on steam pump. (1920) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The only sound in the house was the flail of thumbs on a video game controller, my teen son busy upstairs in the middle of a zombie massacre.  Nick the sheltie backed his furry backside into me as I sat down at the kitchen table to remove my shoes, my usual routine when I come home from work — Nick gets a butt rub while I give my tootsies a break.

Wait a sec.. IT WAS QUIET!!!!!

For the last week, the furnace fan has been running constantly, a problem caused by a failed relay on the furnace control circuit board.  There was no break from the noise.  But here I was, sitting right next to the mechanical closet in our kitchen, the furnace a few feet away behind the metal folding doors.. listening to thumbs on a video controller upstairs.  it took me a few seconds to comprehend why it was so quiet.  Yes.  The furnace fan was not running.  Yes.  The pilot light was lit.  On cue, the burners in the furnace lit and the furnace fan followed.

Our freaking furnace was working perfectly.

A chill crept up the back of my neck, not from the cold in the house because our FREAKING FURNACE WAS WORKING PERFECTLY.  Thoughts of one of my favorite Stephen King novels, Christine, crept into my tiny brain.

The furnace knows.

It’s alive, it has to be.  How else would it know that just this afternoon someone had been at our house to give us an estimate for a new furnace?  In a few minutes, another salesman was due to stop by with another estimate.  Our furnace knows that it’s life as a furnace is about to end.  So it has decided to work, convince us that it doesn’t need to go.


My car does the same type of thing.  As soon as I take it to the mechanic it quits making that noise, decides to start up like it did when it was new.  The mechanic tricks my car, entices it with intoxicating oils, inebriates it’s metallic brain until it weakens and spills every secret ailment.  When I come to pick up my car, I see how my vehicle has been lavished with expensive parts and baubles, my bank account paying for the sickening way my car has spread itself out for the greedy gigolo of a mechanic.  I wince as he pats my car on the backside while he hands me the keys.

I am not fooled.  Say good bye, fickle furnace.  You will be replaced tomorrow.