‘Mechanical Miracle’

Miracles are far apart in these days it seems. But, “Mechanical Miracles” are even rarer in my life because I’m not a mechanically inclined person. I’m just not, and readily admit it.

That’s why I was astounded — as well as puzzled — at a “Mechanical Miracle” that happened in our home last week. Let me tell you about it:

It wuz the coldest night of the week. Now, Nevah and I turn the thermostat down to 66 degrees for better sleeping conditions. When I get up, the first thing I do is turn the thermostat up to 74 degrees — and then I get dressed for the morning.

Well, it didn’t take long until I realized that it wuz really chilly in our home and the forced-air furnace hadn’t kicked on. I checked the indoor thermometer and it read 58-degrees. I re-checked the thermostat and it still read 74 degrees. Br-r-r-r!

By then, nothing that Nevah or I could do would get the furnace going, so I called our regular furnace and air-conditioning company to schedule a repair visit. I wuz told that all its repairmen were already in the field working and couldn’t get by Damphewmore Acres until after lunch.

So, Nevah stayed in the kitchen and turned the oven on to give her a little heat and I went to the a-few-degrees-warmer basement to start writing my column. I have a little electric heater next to my desk and computer and it helped keep me from freezing.

So, there I wuz cussing my luck with all things mechanical when — voila — for no reason at all around 11 o’clock the furnace kicked on like it should have done four hours earlier. Before long, our home heated up and the furnace has ran perfectly ever since.

The repairman still got to our place that afternoon. He checked the furnace all over and could find no reason for it to quit working. The only thing he changed wuz the battery in the thermostat. Other than that he called it “a flukey thing.”

He might call it a fluke, but to me, it wuz a Mechanical Miracle.


This story wuz told to me as a true story. The guy called it his “Credit Card Blues” story. He said he got a credit card bill stating that he owed $0.00. He ignored it and threw it away. Next month he got another and did the same thing.

The next month the credit card company sent him a very nasty note stating they were going to cancel his credit card if he didn’t send them $0.00.

He called them and talked to a company rep who said it was “a glitch” and told him the company would take care of it.

The following month he tried to charge something to his credit card and couldn’t. So, he called the credit card company and the rep again said they’d take care of it. The next day he got his bill for $0.00 stating that he was very delinquent.

The victim figured the credit card company would take care of it, so he didn’t worry. But, the next month he got a bill for $0.00 stating that he had 10 days to pay or his account was going to collection.

So, he mailed the credit card company a check for $0.00, and the credit card company’s computer processed it, noting that his account was now paid in full.

A week later, the man’s bank called him asking him why he wrote a check for $0.00. He explained and they said, “Well, your $0.00 check caused our check processing software to fail. We now can’t process ANY of our checks from that day electronically because that $0.00 check is causing the program to abort.”

The victim, who had been considering buying his wife a computer for her birthday, bought her a nice birthday card instead and took her out to eat. Oh, and he told his bank to call his credit card company.


After I heard that story, I heard another one somewhat similar, involving a practical joke with the phone lines. This is an old story from way back when folks in the Ozarks first began getting telephone service. The story goes that right after phone service came to the Ozarks, a practical-joking fellow called his neighbor and told him a rep from the phone company had been by his farm that morning.

He said the phone company representative had told him that the company would be blowing the dust out of the new phone lines that afternoon and that it would be a good idea for everyone to cover their phone receivers with a cloth or bag to keep the dust from getting into their houses.

The phone company representative wanted this particular fellow to call his neighbors to relay the message. It seems that everyone in the entire neighborhood (save the one prankster) had their receivers covered awaiting the onslaught of dust — which never came. However, the wind did blow strong that day.


I can’t keep from mentioning the Kansas City Chiefs’ overtime football playoff win against the Buffalo Bills. I call the outcome of the game a “Football Miracle,” and it certainly fits. Both teams scored a combined 25 points in the final two minutes of the game. KC tied the game with a last-second field goal and won the game in overtime. I wuz glad, but I felt sorry for the Bills.


Words of wisdom for the week: “The consistent pursuit of cheap goods results eventually in consistent poverty for all.” Have a good ‘un.

Milo Yield


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