I'll bet there's a "law" of some sort describing the tendency of household appliances to malfunction in groups of threes. I've always referred to it as "the revolt of the machines," and it seems to happen every couple of years. It's happening right now: First it was the coffeemaker (flooding); then the toaster oven (powering on and off at will); and finally the ancient fax machine (choking when I tried to fax a multi-page fax).
It was only after replacing the fax machine and discovering the problem was not with the old machine but with my employer's fancy fax server (it was accepting the first page of our faxed expense reports, then cutting off the connection) that I came to the chilling realization: Somewhere in the house, there is a third appliance getting ready to fail.
While ironing in the laundry room tonight I heard a tell-tale screeching from the washing machine. It sounds as though a belt or some such is in dire distress. Oh no! That machine has got to hold out until the gas company runs a line to our house in the next month or so and I can get a washer/dryer set with a gas dryer.
Maybe the cheap clock radio would like to sacrifice itself?