Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Toaster (nothing about sex in this post.. calm down!)

I'm staying in my ex-wife's house this week and I'm going to have a whinge about the toaster. Yes, that's what I'm reduced to. I know you're doing that rolling-your-eyes thing but bear with me.

We got this toaster as a wedding present (I think) which is fine. You'll notice it's quite wide (or maybe long, depending on how you look at it). It's quite a lot wider than, say, a slice of bread. So it looks as though it was designed to toast two slices of bread at once. NO! It's not quite wide enough. If you put two normal-sized slices of bread in it they jam together in the middle, and when you push the lever thingy to make then go down they get all jammed together in a very disagreeable way.

When I use it, I try to imagine what the process was like for designing it. Did they deliberately create a toaster that was designed to toast something that's wide, but not quite as wide as two slices of bread placed next to each other? Why? What would that thing be? And why not give it, say, an extra inch of width while they were at it? In my mind's eye I see a meeting at the toaster company, the young edgy guys from design are showing off this new model that's designed to toast wider bread, and some been-around-the-traps executive (in my revisionist toaster fantasy it's ME) waves his hands to shut them up and tells them to widen it just a little bit more. They're struck dumb, his wisdom is so obvious, so humbling.

Or maybe it wasn't like that at all. More likely it was just all a bit haphazard, the toaster's an evolutionary backwater.

Whenever I use it I remember a phrase I once read in a novel (I googled it, no joy.. any ideas? Kingsley Amis?). The narrator works in a very undistinguished building, which is described as looking as though it was designed by 'an architect who worked with the radio on'.

On the other hand the toaster's worked fine for 14 years, which is longer than the marriage.


Anonymous said...

I am convinced things like Tim Tams and Wagon Wheels are smaller than in the past, but bread slices seem to be getting bigger -- perhaps the toaster was designed originally for two slices of old-style square bread and not today's long, wide and thick slices?

I think I need a lie-down now.

Baked Goods Nerd

Anonymous said...

I agree with DB. I think if you were to go to the grocery and purchase a loaf of the ordinary, store-brand (generic) sandwich bread, you could probably fit two slices into the toaster.

Loved this post by the way, thanks for the laugh.

Oh! And thank you for adding me to your blogroll! You rock!

J said...

Baked Good Nerd - yes, a lie-down, maybe in that storeroom you were mentioning in your blog :)

Swingerwife. I did use ordinary supermarket bread. The toaster's perverse. I promise I'll go back to writing about sex now.