My hair has not been engulfed by a tree of flames.

It was too hot yesterday for anyone to want hot water, so we didn’t even notice when the water heater went out. (We’re even starting to get cicadas already, which makes it sound even hotter.) But today when I came back from the gym, I was looking for at least a little warm water in my shower, and there wasn’t any. Didn’t really miss it–it’s still bloody hot out there–but afterwards I figured I’d better get the thing going again, even if it felt like I was taking my life into my hands.

The instructions cover about four square feet of the appliance, much of that space devoted to pictures of things exploding, stick people being engulfed in a sea of flames, and an giant hand being scorched by overheated water. The words “turn off the appliance and contact your service technician” appear often, but not as often as  “WARNING!” By the time you’ve gathered up your flashlight and a book of matches and have read the instructions, you’re pretty sure you’re about to blow up the house. You can only hope that at least the cats will manage to get away.

I’m still here though. Whew!

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