It was quite a special day last Wednesday. A sense of tingly, happy anticipation.Almost like Christmas!

It was the day our new stove was scheduled to arrive.

You're thinking: Wow, how did you swing that? It's impossible to get an appliance these days.

That's true. We started the adoption process months ago. You have to be interviewed to make sure you're worth it, because they don't hand out stoves to everyone these days. Oh, how they grilled us.

"Will you promise not to use the self-cleaning feature as an excuse for not scraping off the cheese that fell off the pizza?" Why, of course. "Will you make sure the clock is always set correctly?" Without question. "Will you use high-grade stainless steel cleansers instead of cheap abrasives?" Yes!

Then someone comes to your house to see where the stove will live. They make a few notes, and you wonder what they're thinking — are they noticing those fancy cookbooks we set outand thinking that we're putting on airs? Honestly, we thought it would make the stove feel at home. Please! We're good people. Argh, should've put the hot dog buns away, makes us look common.

Well, we passed the test and were approved to adopt a stove. Only one problem: There weren't any.

There weren't any here, anyway. They were all out floating in the Pacific. What? Did the ship hit an iceberg? No, they're on ships, but the ships can't get into port, and even if they could, there's no one to unload them and drive the appliances here, and then there's no one to drive them to your house.

But all that changed when we got the message: It had arrived. It would be coming to our home in six weeks.

And now the day was here. I got a text from the delivery guys, saying they'd be around between 8 and 11. I hoped it would be earlier rather than later, because experience has taught me that something always goes wrong. When we got a fridge a while ago they had to take the door off the hinges. Because I'd bought it at a "Doorbuster Sale," I shouldn't have been surprised.

And there was that time we had to replace our washing machine because it had become unbalanced. And by "unbalanced" I meanit was one of those internet-connected machines, and somehow got caught up in QAnon websites. The delivery drivers were missing a crucial part, which they blamed on those idiots at the warehouse. They seemed mad at me, as well, for living in a house at the top of a hill with many steps. What were you thinking when you bought this place, dude?

In any event, 8 a.m. passed, as did 9 a.m. That meant we would probably not get installation done by 11. They'd show up at 10:59, bang around in the kitchen for an hour, muttering, then call me over at some point: "You need a wangulator to connect this to your hitchamawachit. The idiots at the warehouse didn't send one over. We might have one in the truck, though."

And they always do. They have everything in the Truck. Hey, as long as you're going out to the Truck, could you get me a Faberge Egg and a Shakespeare First Folio? And they have it.

Now it was 10:58, and I was a bit annoyed: This would take the whole day. Noon came and went. Did I miss a phone call?

I checked the phone: An unknown number had been silenced. No! I missed them. They assumed, as one would, that the person who had paid for the stove and replied "confirm" to the delivery texts forgot all about it, so they can just shove it out the back of the truck and move on to the next job.

But it was a spam call. Whew. But now we were entering the realm of justified annoyance, but that's not something you can express. You can make peevish remarks to your spouse, but not to the installers. Put it this way: I'm not going to act irritated to guys who are coming to hook up a gas appliance. "He's a nice guy, make sure all the hoses are super-tight" is the attitude I want to create.

By 2 p.m., no one. At 2:30, the dog goes nuts. Ah, here they are. ... Then I hear a clank, and realize it's the postman. Perhaps the delivery guys were old-school and sent a message by registered mail? No, it's a letter from an outfit that does cremation. Don't rush me, guys. Not a good day.

At 4 p.m., I think maybe if I lie down for a nap, that will summon them.At 5 p.m., I send them a message about rescheduling. It's never answered.

Now full of pique and dudgeon, I drive to the store that sold me the oven, and explain the situation. The guys look at their computer screens, and discern the problem.

The oven is still on a ship somewhere. Expected arrival: middle of January. Because of COVID.

"But I'm vaccinated," I protest.

Granted, I haven't had my booster, so I guess this is all my fault.

james.lileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 • Twitter: @Lileks • facebook.com/james.lileks