It wasn't even froyo or sparklers, just regular old packet spaghetti. I put the oven of the future on for 1:23, and then about thirty seconds in I heard POP! and turned around to see it was turned off. I checked the circuit, everything else was working, so I folded my hands and bowed, and said "we thank you for your service to The Complex. While many others have come and gone, you have stayed out your entire life in bringing just that little bit more light into our lives, whether green, or blue, or red. You shall not be forgotten." And then I unplugged it and threw it in the trash. I went downstairs and said Mary, you know what? She said what? My oven has died. She said what did you put in it this time? I said only pasta, don't be so critical. She said that's a shame. I said it was. We watched the traffic go by for a while, and some of the last autumn leaves sweep across the street, and then I said, well Mary I've got a few more calls to do, then we'll go for a drive to pick up a new oven of the future, and after we've bought one, I'll take you driving. She said DL too? I said no, the DL is busy today, it'll be just me. She said okay then.

I plugged away at a few different numbers, mostly to find out if there were any new positions available in the old stores I had called before, and also a few new numbers in the magazines I bought from the skittish newspaper man. No luck, but that's the job, keeping at it. I have hope I'll find one eventually, the right job. After that I packed up a few things, just a snack and a bit of food really, and went out to the local appliance slash electronics store. They said hi can we help you with anything today? I said yes I would like a microwave with superpowers of invincibility. They said sorry we don't sell that. I said oh well which is the longest lasting oven of the future you have then? They pointed me to this gigantic thing, I think it was commercial, and visions of twenty-seven froyos in synchronized sparkling went off in my brain. I said I'll take it. How much does it cost? They gestured to the price tag. I said I won't take it, how much does the next one down cost? And so I shopped around for a bit, Mary being actually quite patient, and quite quiet, I guess the driving lessons have really made her feel satisfied, or alive, or something like that. Eventually I settled on this new modern version of an oven, stainless steel (I laughed when the salesperson told me this, I said until you have froyo, you don't know what STAINLESS means) and with some fancy LED buttons and a programmable display. I said does it do the dishes as well? She pointed to the dishwashing aisle. I don't know why they haven't come up with that feature. All you'd surely need to do is run a hose through the top. Another million-dollar Livi idea.

I bought the microwave, which wasn't actually all that more expensive than my last microwave, and considering the five year warranty, I considered that it would be worth it. Besides, I never do anything to break the warranty on my ovens. I went out, and Mary said how did you go? And I said well I'm still going, as I lugged the heavy thing out of the trolley and into the back seats. I breathed out. Then I said alright Mary, let's go drive. She said yay.

Mary was pretty good today, both at being attentive and behaving. She seems to be actually getting the hang of this driving thing, which I don't know whether to say I'm glad for, or to be downright terrified. Probably terrified. But I was warmed by the fact that she listened to me the whole time, and slowed up or down as I instructed while I was sitting in the front seat, the passenger this time, and she did some cornering and maneuvring around some boxes and things I brought with. I thought to myself, Mary's almost ready to practise on the real road. But I didn't say that to her. That time would come soon enough.

- Livi.