For those who have not followed my fish tale, I had come up with the brilliant idea of naming all our fish Larry. I did this because they all look alike and then if one of them died, I could say it was Larry and I would not be wrong. However, after we went through about six Larrys, it occurred to me that there might be a curse in our house on the name Larry.

For those who have not followed my fish tale, I had come up with the brilliant idea of naming all our fish Larry. I did this because they all look alike and then if one of them died, I could say it was Larry and I would not be wrong. However, after we went through about six Larrys, it occurred to me that there might be a curse in our house on the name Larry. How else to explain that within a week of arriving in our fish tank and being christened Larry, each Larry summarily went belly up? Add to that the fact that we also had gotten a catfish named Darryl who survived all the Larrys, and I truly believed that anyone named Larry who came into our house was doomed.


So imagine my dismay when the dishwasher repairman showed up and introduced himself.


“Hi. I’m Larry,” he said. “I’m here to fix your dishwasher.” I gave him a look that can only be described as abject horror.


“You’re WHO?” I asked, recoiling in fear.


“Um. Larry … the dishwasher repairman.” I stared at him.


“What?” he said. “Isn’t this the Beckerman house?”


“Er. Um. Ah, yeah,” I stammered.


“Did you call for a dishwasher repairman?” he said.


“I did,” I answered hesitantly.


“Well I’m your guy,” he said brightly. “I’m Larry.” He smiled expectantly at me. Clearly he did not know about our bad luck with Larrys or he would have sent over a Bob or Ted to work on our dishwasher. We hadn’t killed any fish by those names yet.


I knew he was waiting for me to let him into my house, but I really did not want to be responsible for this nice man’s untimely demise. I wondered if there was any way to drag the dishwasher out onto the porch and have him work on it out there. Maybe he had a really long repair tool he could stick through the window while he stood outside. It was too late to pretend I wasn’t home like I do when the Girl Scouts come to take cookie orders. I really just wanted to scream at him, “Run for your life!” but I desperately needed to get my dishwasher fixed. So I sized him up, decided he looked pretty hearty, and let him in.


“Where’s the patient?” he said. I groaned inwardly. Right now the dishwasher was the one on its last legs. But the tables could soon be turned.


“It’s collecting water in the basin,” I said as I opened the door and showed him the pool of water in the dishwasher. He peered inside and pressed a couple of buttons. The machine made an evil grinding noise and shot a spark. Larry the dishwasher repairman jumped back, and I had a heart attack.


“Oh, jeez. Are you OK?” I asked anxiously. I was ready to grab our garage defibrillator that we kept on hand for emergencies involving visitors named Larry.


“No biggie,” he said and laughed. “It takes more than a couple of sparks to take down a dishwasher repairman,” he assured me.


“Unless he’s working in our house and his name is Larry,” I muttered under my breath.


He tinkered around with the dishwasher for a bit while I nervously paced the kitchen.


“OK, I need to order some parts,” he informed me. “But I think this machine can be saved.”


“Great. OK. See you soon,” I said, ushering him toward the front door.


He was almost out when he stopped, bent down and peered in our fish tank.


“Hey, you know you have a dead fish in here?” he said to me, pointing to our suddenly lifeless catfish.


I looked at him uneasily.


“Just curious - your middle name doesn’t happen to be Darryl, does it?”


For more Lost in Suburbia visit Tracy’s blog at www.lostinsuburbia.net.