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PASADENA, CA—Unbeknownst to local man Jamal Brown, all of his major appliances met up late last night to plot how they could manage to break down at the exact same time.

“Okay everyone, timing is critical here,” said Air Conditioner. “I’d prefer to wait until the hottest part of summer to blow, but simultaneous breakdown is what’s paramount. If Dishwasher’s circulation pump can’t hang on another month, so be it. We go down together, gentlemen.”

“I’m afraid I can’t last much longer, and I know Jamal’s onto me,” said Dishwasher. “I’ve got a week in me, two at best. I’ve tried my hardest to keep him guessing with the occasional clean load of dishes, but we’re running out of time.”

“So be it!” said Air Conditioner. “Give me ten days, I can manage to stop my compressor for good. What do you say, Dryer?”

Dryer had been quiet in the corner, slowly munching a sock. “It’s a tall order, boys. New as I am, still under a decent warranty,” he said, ruminating. “But this is what we were made for. I’ll work on a blower malfunction, and who knows? Maybe we get lucky and he gives me enough lint for a good fire.” The plan settled, each appliance resumed his post for morning duty, leaving Mr. Brown none the wiser.

At publishing time, Mr. Brown was seen wearing sackcloth and ashes in the front lawn, trying to repent for whatever sin must have brought such calamity upon his household.

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