Curse of the Blowfly
About four weeks ago, the Devil Queen started filling up with blowflies. In the few years that Devil Queen has defiled our life, she has experienced a number of infestations and invaders: wasps, king snakes, bats, scorpions, mice, more wasps, moths and even more wasps. Sure, an occasional fly has made it in from time to time, but we've never been overrun with them. What makes it even stranger is that the Devil Queen is sealed up better than she ever has been since we've had her.
It started with a couple of blowflies in the laundry room which I promptly killed. The next day there were a few more which I also killed. This pattern continued for a couple of days. After another orgy of fly crushing, I remember thinking, "wow, this has got to be a bad omen."
The day after that, I came home from work to find all the clocks flashing since the power had briefly gone out. For Russellville, Arkansas, this is not an odd occurrence. I've lived all over the US and traveled around the world, but Russellville (Pope County in general) is the only place I've been where the electrical service was intermittent. No thunderstorms, acts of God, or accidents are required. The power will randomly go off for a few seconds and surge back on with no preamble. This happens at least once every couple of weeks, and it has done so for years. Entergy Arkansas, thank you for the rate hikes and the poor service; you have made my dream of living in a third world county a reality.
One of the great things about these outages, is the power surge that follows when the current returns. Light bulbs, appliances, and other electronics have fallen victim over the years.
I think you probably see where I'm going with this. Later that night, I went to wash some clothes for work, and the washer wouldn't power up. You could hit the power button all you wanted, but nothing happened. That is what everyone wants out of a $650, two-year old machine, right? Yes, the warrantee has expired. We checked.
I also checked the breaker box and the outlet. It was definitely the machine.
After that, the blowflies kept coming and things got worse. The bay window room was randomly swarmed by wasps after a few freakishly warm days. Then the house was broken into and we were robbed.
The flies got even worse after this, but I suspect this was because our front door was standing wide open for at least a few hours. Really, I was probably lucky that pack of coyotes or a mound of hibernating rattle snakes hadn't moved in by the time I got home. Even so, I was getting very tired of killing 10, 15, or 20 blowflies every day. What is even weirder is that they didn't go for any of the stuff you'd think they would. I never saw one anywhere near the cat's liter box or the kitchen trash can. They seem to like the windows in the laundry room, the living room, and the bedrooms.
And now, just over two weeks later, I'm still finding the occasional blowfly, one here, one there.
I'm hoping the curse may be lifting though. Sunday, just for the hell of it, I went and hit the power button on the washing machine. It turned on. I was too suspicious to try it out though. I have visions of it shutting down mid-load with a drum full of water and the door lock, which I suspect is 100% electric, jammed shut. Forever.
I asked Jack, our electronics guru, about it. He said that a lot of new appliances have thermal switches which automatically turn the machine off when they get too hot. His theory is the power surge tripped the switch and it hadn't reset by the time I came home. So far, that sounds good to me. I certainly don't have any answers.
Maybe if the blowflies are all gone by the weekend I'll try running a load.
Or maybe not. I'm not feeling lucky.