Tuesday, January 08, 2008

cake or death? toast or die...

About four months ago we bought a four-slice vertical toaster (toaster and nothing but a toaster) to replace our classic toaster oven (toaster and oven toaster). The old unit was only used for your general toasting needs and it was so ssssllllllooooooooowwwww that clearly a major move needed to be undertaken. In steps the Krups four-piece faux chrome and white plastic workerbee. What you need to understand about the newbie toaster is that it’s got rotating levers that allow you to not only lower and activate toasting, but also to eject the toasted item up out of the slots for easier removal. Unfortunately, after a few weeks the right hand lever snapped or broke in some manner that eliminated the toasted goodie ejecting. Since that breakage X would occasionally peer deeply inside the unit, wriggle the lever, hem and haw, and sigh her disgust at the quality of the world’s wares. I, for one, simply used a metal object to commute the sentences of the jailed toast or bagel – no big whoop. This was our life until about 7:30 pm last night. The toaster was taken to the dining room table, call it an operating theatre, and tools were acquired: screwdrivers of various quality, a crappy little hammer, needle-nose pliers, and brute force. Things got done and snapped off, pieces flew, G. shield his eyes, and I stayed out of the way; this isn’t my area of strength. What the scene reminded me of was a NASCAR crew that’s brought in a car that just got loose into the wall and they are madly tearing and ripping at the bodywork attempting (usually in vain) to get the rig back on the road. We had G. and X. over the wall working in the pit stall while I simply sat up on the pit riser and watched the carnage. For about an hour, as other toasters turned more laps and built bigger leads, there was cussing and more ripping of cheap foreign-built parts. Once it became apparent there was no fix in sight the crew gave up the ghost and X. decided that G. could simply destroy the blasted thing. As she headed across the hall, for what only God knows, G. and I proceeded to rend the metal parts, hammer at the levels, pry even harder at the plastic face, and generally have a grand old time - as boys do. The thought crossed my mind that we should take a picture of the destroyed appliance, mangled parts and all, and post it on craigslist as a “fixer upper”. G. wanted to take it to school to show what a hardass his mother can be. Laughs around.

When X comes back from across the hall she chortles are our destruction, pushes and pulls on the now ‘busted’ lever, and…voila! it works. Oh no! Something like this escapes her lips “Oh, I see what the problem was…” To which I reply from on high, “You can see because I’ve further destroyed the metal grating and allowed you see. I am great.” Another few minutes and we’ve ‘reassembled’ the mass of parts and pushed the car back out on the track to turn some more laps and earn us some championship points. It looks a like worse for the wear but it’s running and running clean.

G. still took the mangled part to class; his mom is still a hardass.


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