Illustration by Mike Lee
GENERAL FORECAST: Recent deregulations in the infrastructure have produced severely inconjunct abscissions of light, and this weeks proprietary Void of Course will offer little if any discernible relief. Friday afternoons parallel of declination between Pacific Gas & Electrics and Southern California Edisons shareholders will contribute as much to a misguided direct motion into the House of Sacramento as to the prime horizontal of their own mutual reception. Surfaces should be wiped with clean, damp cloths; motorized bases should not be immersed in water or other conductive liquids. With Venus still freshly in retrograde, wait a few more weeks before changing your thermostat settings to Vernal Equinox. But go ahead and clear the dust bunnies from your toeplates and fan casings. And keep spare fuses handy!
WASHING MACHINES (www.oldewash.com/museum/lives.htm)
Though you face another week with worn agitator bearings and a loose basket, your financial outlook will increase from the one lonely penny left behind at the bottom of Mondays whites to a damp wad of three unclaimed 5-spots spun from the back pocket of Wednesday afternoons blue jeans. Balanced loads continue through the weekend and on into the middle of next week, but the syzygy of severely knotted bathrobe and hooded sweatshirt in opposition to lonely threadbare tube socks next Tuesday could bring with it as many as 14 unbalanced buzzers, some carrying on for as long as three deafening minutes. Unfazed through the vibrations, your exterior remains stainless steel or hardened pastel enamel. A Cubist sibling, friend or acquaintance offers help.
RICE STEAMERS (www.sandsantiques.com/ricesteamer.htm)
Most low-end steamers Hitachi Chime-O-Matics, especially will be portly and cylindrical all weekend, maintaining a pale-yellow or beige demeanor throughout the week. By Wednesday night, your detachable AC cord will find itself extending to its full, luscious 6 feet, and by the weekend youll soon be chiming the arrival of many small, moist white or brown friends. But whats that orange light glowing on your control panel? Have you no shame?
MICROWAVE OVENS (http://hochwald.tripod.com/microwave/)
If possible, take the week off to rethink the configuration of your buttons. The differences between Start and Cook and Stop and Clear and Time and Clock and Full Power and High Power and Turbo Boost and Quad Damage can confound even the most studied artificial-cheeseburger aficionado. Youd be wise to pause approximately halfway through your tasks this week, then rotate 90 degrees and finish. Your natural antipathy toward other appliances causes your well-insulated but still-transparent door to open from the right. Spinach soufflé plays important role.
If only they knew how lonely it is when the light goes out. Guided by the Virgo moon alone, your butter compartments will struggle with dry chunks of cheap cheese during the first half of the week, while your egg racks overflow with butter pats stolen from Norms and Dennys. But your shelves remain strong, your hinges tight, your exterior pale and unassuming. Recent concerns over intermittent groans and hummings will pass after a benign culprit a piece of untethered copper pipe, a loose drain pan or a broken compressor mount is revealed. Celebrate with a new set of word-puzzle magnets.
Heres something novel for times such as these, when Pluto takes a break from its orbit: Invite someone over to clean out yer fuggin crumb tray. Lets have a look-see. Got some sooty rolled oats and walnuts fallen from Health Nut bread, brightly multicolored Pop-Tart sprinkle-poop, absolutely unidentifiable mystery floss, sugar-frosted cat fur . . . and every time your nichromes get hot, it melts a wee bit of everything onto your springs, and then your projects dont pop all the way out of the toast wells, and some putz burns his thumb. Clean yer fuggin crumb tray!
JUICE EXTRACTORS (www.chetday.com/jfast.html)
Having survived this Marchs particularly powerful Ides without choking on a single carrot, you should rejoice and turn your affections toward annihilating organic beets, apples and parsley nonstop, if your motor can take it until Tuesday, when, for extremely complex reasons, you might want to experiment on some cantaloupe-and-gin-based beverages with a wise old friend. (Keep the rind on.) Annihilate responsibly; know when to stop. Next weekend will bring about contact with a former lover or employer bearing jicama and wanting to take a spin in your strainer basket for old times. Well . . . why not? You could probably use the potassium.
VACUUM CLEANERS (www.designmaker.com/vacuums/kids/show.htm)
Wet/dry models should finally get a week of well-deserved rest following the winter floods. Focus on occupying too much space in a closet or garage, and on remaining predominantly gray, yellow, black or red. Give some serious consideration to going on sale somewhere other than Home Depot. Upright models will enjoy ample sucking opportunities after the mud dries. HEPA allergen-filtration systems should reconsider recent investment strategies. Accept the sage advice of a fictional grandparent.
FOOD PROCESSORS AND BLENDERS (www.cycoactive.com/blender/)
So full of margarita gunk that youre thinking about getting your feed-tubes tied? Try reseating your motor-base rings, tightening your feeder caps, and polishing your pouring lips and speed-control buttons on Monday night to avoid an embarrassing malfunction next weekend. Remember: Youre more than just another three-button wham-bam-chop-grate-and-grind-you-maam blade. You stir, you shred, you purée, whip, mix, blend, frappé and liquefy with the best of them. Except this week, when youre broken. No user-serviceable parts. Mysterious sticky substance plays important role.
COFFEE MAKERS (www.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU/~geek/mov/coffee.mov)
While drip-makers and percolators overcome overbearing clients or parents with diplomacy during Venusian retrogrades, infusion-makers face a difficult week as Plutos clogged screens again mock your every downward plunge. Its not your fault but that of a misguided friend who thinks youre to be filled with the sort of fine powders suited to espresso machines and snuff boxes. Pay more attention to your instincts; perhaps its time you trust someone new to fill you with the sort of coarse but smooth grounds you need to beget your thick, black magic. Espresso is still legal.
RECHARGEABLE DENTAL-HYGIENE APPLIANCES (http://wht.asd103.org/Music/Songs/BrushTeeth.htm)
Throughout the week, rotary plaque removers will be mostly white plastic on the outside with substantially darker and more metallic compounds within. Usage should remain at a steady twice-daily rate as plaque-heavy Uranus enters the chicken-flossing season, chunky style. Replacement heads unavailable. Pray gingivitis doesnt become the Next Hip Thing.
AIR CONDITIONERS (www.novelco.com/airconditioner/index.htm)
Roguish Saturns square to the moon keeps your landlord from fitting you with the filter retainer and condenser coils youve needed since last August. But it doesnt matter. Youre broken. Youre not even a real air conditioner. Your cabinets cracked, your power cords frayed, your air filters filled with ants. If not for you, we could see out of the window. No, dont do anything this week. Not one goddamn thing. Just sit there, off, and feel the rust overcoming your evaporator coils and your stainless-steel moisture-collector pan. You never did work, did you? Just an air-conditioner sculpture, installed as an amenity to bump the rent up a hundred bucks a month. Ruthless, thats what you are.
TOASTER OVENS (http://eggroll.diaryland.com/eggrolls.html)
Angry, angry toaster oven. Not a toaster, not an oven. Rather than dedicate your hostility toward overthrowing the government as you tend to want to do when Pluto takes an orbital breather place your cheap tin rack in the bottom position, set your toast-color selector to something beige or tan, and make us some nice hot sandwiches. Well-marbled chunks of Stilton melted over Roma tomato slices and onto mustard-slathered slabs of Trader Joes whole-wheat poppy-seed bread. (Just an idea.) And when youre done, everyone will love you and let you sit on the countertop with the real appliances.
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