I fixed my oven the other day.

The baking element went bad. Actually, it did more than go bad. It erupted in a magnificent display of sparks and flame. It was our own little self contained Fourth of July display.

So a couple of days later, I headed over to the local appliance store, plopped down about $25, and walked out with a brand new element. The day before, I found some instructions on replacing oven baking elements online and it seemed simple enough.

Turns out, it was. I fixed it all by myself in about 20 minutes.

Now all of you handy-folks out there are probably laughing at this point, sarcastically thinking,  ‘Ooh, wow. Big deal. He replaced a heating element.’

But for me, it was a big deal. Not so much that I repaired the oven, but that I didn’t break the stove top. Or an adjoining cabinet. Or perhaps rip the linoleum on the kitchen floor.

You see, I have a track record of wrecking surrounding objects while trying to fix a simple problem.

The law of unintended consequences – sound like a pretty good reason to avoid a constitutional convention, doesn’t it?

Mike Maharrey

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