Well, we don't have AC in our little sweetie, but the idea of a short does sound likely. When I initially checked the fuse it was definitely blown. Although, when I changed it, it didn't solve the problem.
I will clean the fuse contacts as suggested and replace the 8 amp fuse again. I hope that a short didn't fry something else - but that's what fuses are for, I guess - - to prevent something important from getting toasted.
--Shorted out in Stockholm