The irony and curse of the gadget


Life is sometimes tragic, but always humorous.

I got a good chuckle this week at my book club.  Our hostess spent the first 30 minutes of our monthly meeting trying to get the hang of her new automatic wine bottle opener-which was quite handsome, I admit.

She was determined to show us how handy it was.  It took all ten of us pushing and pulling to get the thing to work.  It would have been easier and quicker to chew the cork out of that bottle. When everyone finally settled down with their glass of wine, we couldn’t remember which book we’d read!

Driving home, I pondered how we complicate our lives with gadgets that are not only expensive but need to be stashed somewhere when not in use – which is most of the time. I went straight to my gadget closet and surveyed the wasteland of seldom used, nay, NEVER-used gismos.

salad_trimmed_large There was the obsolete salad shooter that can catapult lettuce clear to Sturgis. It has developed a love affair with the nearby Slap and Chop I ordered from an infomercial during a weak moment.  It works just fine, but must be cleaned with a toothbrush.  My trusty Henkel does the trick nicely and needs only a swipe with soapy water.

There was the electric can opener I retired 10 years ago, opting instead for the old- fashioned manual variety my mother used during the second world war.  It not only performs the task, but I remember her fondly every time I open a can. Besides, I figure it works out my triceps.

toaster Up front is my Paula Deen toaster which poaches your eggs while you “toast” your muffins.  Unfortunately, I lost the instructions and don’t remember how it works.

Parked way in the back so I don’t have to look at it, is that disgusting Mr. Coffee who drools and dribbles like an old man chewing tobacco.

I replaced Mr. Coffee this year with an old electric percolator like I had in college. So why am I keeping him around?  I don’t know, maybe someday I’ll need to make a pot of decaf and don’t want that wimpy stuff to taint my good pot. percolater_coffee_ge

At left is my new Mrs. Coffee who kicks Mr. Coffee’s butt!

The one useful gadget in my cadre of gismos is my electric knife which I use twice a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It was a wedding gift and after four decades of use, the blades are bent.  It sounds like a concrete drill and grinds the turkey, rather than slicing it.   (My children smile sweetly and claim they always look forward to my ground turkey during the holidays.)

Also lurking about is my seldom-used George Foreman grill, a food processor that weighs more than an elephant, an electric mixer I only use when I bake (I DON’T bake), and a bread maker the size of a casket!

I think I’ll load all the gadgets into the bread maker and go bury it all out back.  A century from now, someone will unearth the stuff and put them in a museum.

7 thoughts on “The irony and curse of the gadget

  1. You had me laughing as I thought of all the gadgets I recently released from hibernation in my cupboard. Nothing like a good block garage sale to inspire you to clean the shelves. But you’re right — we really don’t need all the gadgets we buy.

  2. I never “got the hang” on an electric can opener. I use a manual one and it too makes me think of my mother each time I use it. My can opener has red “plastic” over the handles to make it a little modern!!

  3. Yes, keep it simple. Whenever I’m tempted to buy a new gadget, I just think about trying to find a place to store it!

  4. Emily and Becky count me in on the manual can opener…
    never could get the hang of the electric one 🙂

  5. Mother had an electric can opener. I still use it but I do not store it . sits on the counter.

  6. Well, see, you are a child of the 21st century – the rest of us are still living in the 20th century. If you want to be one of us, you must retire the electric can opener immediately!

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