The great office cleanup is now underway. Yesterday, I started at about noon and worked for two hours straight. Now, all I have to do—and it will be so easy, right?—is get all this computer equipment and bags of trash downstairs, out to my car, and to the dump. I am feeling the dread. But I really want that Sex and the City DVD, so it must be done.

Before I go to begin, a story. Several years ago (early nineties, I guess) my parents were in Washington, D.C. for a semester and my brother was staying at their house for awhile before flying out to California. The day he left, I picked him up there and drove him to the airport. A few hours later, I stopped back by to check on the dog. When I pushed open the front door, the first thing I saw was a bowling ball in the foyer.

Yes. A bowling ball. More specifically, my dad’s bowling ball, which probably had not been used since the seventies. Usually, it was kept in the foyer closet, but for some reason, there it was. I stepped over it, then walked further into the house, noticing that things just seemed a little, well…off. Everything was much messier than my brother would have left it, and the TV and VCR were both gone. Huh, I thought. Weird. It took me a full tour of the downstairs before I realized the house had been broken into. (What can I say, I’m a little slow.) So I pick up the phone and call 911 to report it. The dispatcher says, “Ma’am, I do you know if anyone is still in the house?” This hadn’t even occurred to me, so of course I’m suddenly terrified. They tell me to go outside, so the dog and I do. We’re standing in front of the house when about five cop cars come zooming up a few minutes later, lights going, the whole deal. Very dramatic. At this same point, my friend Gretchen happens to drive by, and she looks COMPLETELY freaked out to see me surrounded by the police until I tell her what’s going on. Anyway, the police go in, there’s no one in the house. A detective shows up to dust for fingerprints by the back window, which is where whoever robbed the house came in after prying off the screen. They got the TV and VCR, obviously, as well as some stuff off my dad’s dresser (nothing valuable, though.) All in all, could have been worse. My parents got replacement stuff, life went on.

Then, a few weeks later, a cop shows up at our house. Seems that whoever stole the TV got tired of carrying it through the woods and dumped it in nearby creek, where someone found it. The cop wants to know if we want the TV. Now, anyone else probably would have said no. Who wants a waterlogged television? But my mother is determined we can fix it. She takes it to this place, they dry it out or whatever, and wouldn’t you know it: it works. In fact, it’s my TV for the next ten years or so. I always wanted to write Mitsubishi and tell them this story, but never got around to to it. Well, now they know. If they read this. Which I’m sure they don’t. But whatever.

Anyway, yesterday, as I’m cleaning out my closets, what do I find but…that same TV. Pushed back under the eaves, where it has been exposed to extreme cold (ice storms!) and extreme heat (North Carolina in August!) for six years. Must be dead by now, I think. But just for kicks, I plug it in. Hit the power button. And sure enough: it comes on. You can’t kill this thing.

So I’ll take my miracle TV to the thrift shop, where someone else will end up with it, and it will continue on, probably outliving us all. Forget about roaches surviving the end of the world: I’d put my money on Mitsubishi. Amazing.

have a good day everyone!