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As household appliances go, the dishwasher is more than useful, it is a necessity. In the busy Daley household it is loaded, unloaded and used daily, no pun intended. If you consider it only a machine it is a relatively simple one-- gears and wires, pipes and switches, valves and dials. Too complicated, perhaps, for one person to build, but still much less complicated than say a car or a television set. A relatively simple machine but, still, like any machine, much more than the sum of its parts.
Now theologians may argue that machines have no souls; no spirit inhabits them. They work the same for everyone and experience no will or desire or consciousness of their own. For the most part this is true, but it is not entirely true. For this naive idea underestimates the power of evil. Evil, if it wants, can inhabit anything. That includes household appliances like dishwashers, cuisinarts or water heaters. An evilly possessed washing machine or a demonic food processor sounds ludicrous and far fetched but how else to explain what happened to the Daley family one day in June a couple of years ago.
It started out as an ordinary enough day. The morning bustle of father off to work and the twins off to school. When the morning bustle was over, Mrs. Daley, alone in the house, was doing laundry and cleaning up after breakfast. Since no one else is home we can only assume that what happens to Mrs. Daley is no ordinary accident.
Mrs. Daley cleans up after breakfast. The dishes are rinsed and stacked neatly in the dishwasher. She wipes the counters clean and admires her spotless kitchen. She takes down a mixing bowl, a box of brownie mix and her electric mixer and sets them on her spotless counter. No doubt she intends to do some baking.
Perhaps she was distracted by the telephone or maybe she heard a noise from the basement where she had a load of laundry going. In any event, she stopped her brownie making and went down to the laundry. She began transferring the wet wash from the washer to the electric dryer. Everything felt so routine and ordinary; everything appeared so familiar and safe, so domestic and unthreatening. Unthreatening until the door to the laundry closed and locked by itself . Then the old family washer, that same machine that had been washing the family’s clothes, the dirty socks and underwear, for the last eight years, did something really strange. It slid across the laundry room floor and, with great force, crushed a shrieking Mrs. Daley against the basement wall. She struggled to free herself but the washer was too strong. The last thing she sees is the washer’s door opening like a hungry maw. Falling forward she is swallowed by the machine. No one heard her screams. Her still damp body, found three days later by a neighbor, was upside down inside the washer. She had been drowned, agitated and spun dry. The washer dial still set on “gentle wash”.
Later that day the school bus disgorges the Daley twins in front of their house. They tumble into the house wrestling, swatting each other as nine year old boys are wont to do. In the empty kitchen the boys find the brownie mix and mixing bowl on the counter and get the idea that they can finish the job their mother started some hours before. So begins a frenzy of young boy silliness mixed with baking as the twins attempt to make a batter. Exactly what happens next and in exactly what order will forever remain unknown but somehow young Billy Daley winds up frozen and upside down inside the refrigerator, its dial on extra cold. His twin brother, George Daley , is found in the oven its dial is set on slow bake; a tray of perfectly baked brownies is found is found alongside him.
A couple of hours later, Mr. Daley pulls into his driveway. He gives his horn a merry little honk to announce his homecoming and pushes the button on his garage door opener. The garage door opens obediently. The garage looks the same as always --shelves, bikes, paint cans and clutter. He slowly pulls his car into the garage. Just as he begins to enter, the garage door comes slicing down and guillotines Mr. Daley and his Mercedes neatly in half.
Now there are a million theories about what may or may not have caused all those deaths on that fine June day in the Daley house. The exhaustive police investigation found no physical evidence-- no prints, no fibers no DNA no nuthin’. If a person or persons killed the Daleys, there’s no trace. So how can you explain what happened? Now, as for me, I’m not a superstitious man, but, if you want to know what I think, I think something bad got in to those appliances. Something evil took them over. It was evil killed the Daleys. What do you think?
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