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  • Marie Smysor Watson

Death in the Afternoon

On the cusp of my forty-fifth birthday (and just two weeks shy of my anniversary) a long-time member of the family gave up the ghost, passed over, kicked the bucket. Not remotely the same thing as Hemingway, but still, a death to be mourned. And the object I'm speaking of was every bit as stubborn as a bull - used and bruised and abused, it just wouldn't give up. I'm taking notes...



Sharp Carousel (1999-2022)


Sharp Carousel, 23, of Galesburg (formerly of Kewanee, then Galesburg, then Macomb, then briefly Peoria, and originally Macomb) went to appliance heaven on Sunday, July 31, 2022 at her new home. Also known as "The Relationship Microwave," Sharp died while valiantly trying to melt nacho cheese. She is survived by her bereft mother, Marie, her ambivalent father, Kirk, and three younger brothers - Jack, Finn, and Sam - who have grown to despise her over the years. She never minded, giving them back their disgust in the form of perfectly heated nuggets and pizza rolls, like a true kitchen warrior.


She was clunky of shape yet beautiful in her mother's eyes. A wedding gift to her parents on August 14, 1999, she didn't even come in a box. She was a floor model from Sears, presented by one of her father's nefarious river relatives. No matter, she found her permanent home on the counter, taking up most of the space in the dank kitchen of her parents first apartment, a basement abode located conveniently across the street from a pub. From there she travelled to Peoria, then back to three different homes in Macomb and rural Macomb, then Galesburg, to two homes in Kewanee and then back to Galesburg for her final days. She was a well traveled gal, but mostly she liked being settled, gazing into the faces of her loved ones as they waited, mostly impatiently, while she consistently produced fantastic results.


She was never impatient. She kept impeccable time. Whether it was cooking scrambled eggs for Jack when he was a little guy, or keeping snacks safeguarded from Finn (her ingenious push button design eluded his ability to gorge himself willy-nilly), or cooking so many frozen specialties for the microwave connoisseur, Sam, she put out beautifully cooked food (and only a little radiation.) In her family's darkest days, when her dad lay broken in the hospital, or when her middle brother was rehomed for a time, she literally saved her mother's sanity, reheating meals lovingly provided by friends and family.


She did her job, no matter what. Even when her interior coating started to peel and her light grew dim over the years, she did what she was supposed to do. Her folks, especially her mother, are bereft without her help and protection. Her shiny new replacement is but a poor substitute for her solid presence. But, taking their cue from her long life, they will soldier on, peeling paint or dimmed light not-withstanding; whether they feel like it or not, they will keep keeping time.


Funeral arrangements are pending. Internment will be private, most likely at the Kewanee transfer station, with Brother Jack providing the music, and Finn and Sam providing emotional support.


Due to her demise, her parents will be seeking marriage counseling very soon.


RIP, Old Girl...







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