Call me when it's over

I don't believe in astrology, though I always read my horoscope in the newspaper. But I'm starting to fear Mercury-in-retrograde.

Have of you heard of this phenomenon? It's an optical illusion that makes it appear the planet Mercury is moving backward, and it occurs three or four times a year. During those periods, astrologists say, machines go wonky and communications break down. True believers never make firm plans when Mercury is in retrograde, because that's just asking for it.

At our house, we've noticed that appliances and other household items tend to go on the fritz during these periods. Or is it simple coincidence, and we're looking for connections? I'll leave that up to you.

Let's look at the past ten days or so:

Mercury went into retrograde on Saturday, Feb. 23. The next day, a tripped circuit breaker locked up my computer. I paid computer wizards $375 to recover my data and fix my hard drive. Two days later, our furnace died. We had other heaters in the house, so it wasn't a big deal, but it did require a repairman to come and fix it.

My Kindle and my cell phone both had problems in the past week, but I managed to fix those myself.

Early this morning, while I was still asleep, Kelly heard a crash in my home office. She turned on the light and found that my globe had somehow unscrewed itself from its base and fallen over. The whole world was topsy-turvy, right there in my unoccupied office.

Who knows what will fall apart next? I'm afraid to drive my car.

This current period of Mercury-in-retrograde ends on March 17, which is St. Patrick's Day. So there are two good reasons to celebrate that day. And two good excuses to drink.