Going once, going twice…

They say that things happen in threes. When those “things” that happen are broken tools, I begin to regret that I ever learned to count.

For some reason, whoever started the whole things-happen-in-threes thing applied it only to bad occurrences – plane crashes, the death of beloved old actors, dental issues – and that rule seemed to stick. I mean, no one who gets a single winning scratch-off lottery ticket assumes there’s somehow a better chance that two more will automatically follow. (At least, I don’t think they do.)

The motor went out on my older, smaller benchtop drill press on Sunday. It would have cost more to fix than it was worth, plus I have a newer, larger drill press I got a year ago, so I retired it and got rid of the carcass. No big loss, and it freed up a bit of benchtop. Then yesterday a random orbit sander died in my hand. Again, I have more than one, and the one that died served me well for 12 or 13 years.

But then last night on the local news some idiot mentioned the things-happen-in-threes rule in relation to one stupid thing or another that happened here in Middleofnowhere, W. Va., and I immediately thought of my two back-to-back tool failures.

Now, the whole things-happen-in-threes thing is pure nonsense. In fact, the only thing guaranteed to happen in threes is how many times my brainless neighbor will mow her lawn in three days. Otherwise, things do not happen in threes – it’s just that after years of conditioning, when bad things happen we start counting, and once we get to three we hit the cosmic reset button and the counter goes back to zero. So, really, it’s just dumb for me to even think that yet another shoe is about to drop out in my woodshop.

But my table saw is making a really weird noise, and I’m thinking I should maybe break something else on purpose just so I can stop counting and, thus, protect my table saw.

A.J.

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