My mom's phone broke the other day. This can cause some real havoc around Phoenix, with all seven of us calling her, not getting through, calling her cell phone (which she apparently turns off when she's not using it), then calling each other to see where mom was - is she okay? who spoke to her last? when? - yet trying to seem cool about it, like we actually don't call her every day.
Finally, something changed. The phone, instead of ringing and ringing, kept getting answered by some kind of phantom fax machine. As I held my phone to my ear, there was the ear-splitting sound of a fax going off. Of course, I did that about three times before I remembered not to do it.
Finally, she called me.
She said, "Why haven't you called me?"
I said, "Ma! I've been calling! There's a fax picking up the line."
"Something's broken. I hear something screaming in there. Bob's going to fix it."
Oh, well, this inspires confidence in me. Stepfather is going to fix her Princess phone from 1980.
Stepfather loves a project. Nothing inspires him more than a good challenge - propping up a 200 pound cactus with a flimsy piece of rope, fixing the roof with some duct tape. This one's the kind of problem he loves to tackle. He takes the broken telephone with him as he travels from one end of the valley to the other, looking for a good deal on a princess phone. He comes home frustrated. The salesman tried to talk him into a phone with no cord! What does he think, that Stepfather was born yesterday?
When I called my mother last night, she answered.
I said, "Your phone's working!"
She said, "Yeah, it's fixed."
"Bob bought a new one?"
"No. It fixed itself."
I'm kind of quiet for a minute thinking about this, when she says, "You know, it just needed to be unplugged for awhile. Rested."
I'm about to tell her that phones don't just fix themselves, when I think, what am I, nuts? In the world my mom lives in, things do fix themselves.
So I say, "Great!" and we talk till suddenly the line goes dead. And the fax machine comes back on.