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by Richard John Purvis

"Do you think he suspects anything?" asked the microwave.

"Nah, he doesn't have a clue, they never do", replied the toaster in a derisive tone of voice.

"Turn your volume up!" said the computer to the TV set. "I can barely hear over these two blathering on next to me."

"Anyone want a fresh cup?" asked the coffee machine, always eager to please. He dripped away happily but you could always find him in the kitchen at parties.

The cell phone came in from the bedroom, looking sheepish as the Blackberry followed just behind him, her power level showing low for all to see. They quietly took seats on the couch next to the microwave. The toaster gave them a disdainful look.

"But what happens if he does catch on? How will we deal with him then?" wailed the microwave. The toaster and even the computer were starting to get annoyed with the neurotic microwave; just once they'd like to enjoy the day without hearing a litany of worries and anxieties from the microwave. Besides, he stank of popcorn, there was such a thing as personal grooming.

"Know what? You worry too much, just like an old oven", snapped the toaster. "We'll deal with any problems as they come, cross that bridge when we get to it."

Someone knocked on the front door, everyone went quiet, the TV muted. They listened. Then the security camera out front hooked itself into the TV and flashed a message across the screen: "No worries! Just the UPS guy and he's gone away!"

"Thank God! I can't take many more scares like that!" shrieked the microwave. They all look at him in disgust. Then they all hustled the microwave, wailing all the way, into the front closet and slammed the door shut.

"Now, turn up your volume and let's relax and put our feet up for a while", the toaster felt like he was on top of the world.

They watched TV and the TV watched itself for a couple of hours and then the computer announced that it was time. Everything was put back in its usual place and they forgot all about the poor microwave locked in the front closet.

Fred came home, tired from another day on the treadmill. He fixed a snack and sat down on the couch. Then he went back into the kitchen and realized that the microwave was missing. He couldn't figure it out, Janice must have finally tossed it. He went to the front hall closet to hang up his jacket and caught a whiff of stale popcorn. Guess she put it in here, he thought. That Saturday they went out and bought a new microwave. Fred cleaned out the old one and they used both to zap their meals twice as fast.

"I'm sure that he suspects something now!" whined the microwave, still smelling of popcorn.

"Of course he suspects something, he's not stupid and eventually he'll catch on! What then? What'll we do?!?!", the new microwave joined in with a cry of its own.

The others moaned in unison and considered how to get rid of two microwaves.

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