Thursday, December 11, 2008

Smoldering News

C-List Blogger Tries To Burn Kitchen With Toaster, Film At 11. (It's a great movie, all about life and war and true love an' explosions, but 'til then, this):

Have I mentioned my toaster karma? It's terrible. Most machines like me and I like them. I like to think I'm middlin'-fair in the kitchen, too, competent with all the various and sundry "labor saving" devices that make the gas and power companies so happy.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow, something went terribly wrong between me and toasters. It may have been the time 20-odd years ago when, flush with money, I threw over my battered, dependable old Sunbeam (which had always made good toast but was no longer shiny) for The Toaster With A Brain. After a few weeks and multiple disasters, I realized that it did have a brain - a malevolent brain. It wanted to kill me. I had to be very careful when using it and, in due time (i.e., I had to save up), it was replaced with another, simpler toaster. Which also did not work worth squat.

From that day to this, the toasters have changed but the story has not. The blamed things can no longer be trusted. I have to hover, keeping close watch, ready to shut them down when the toast has reached the desired hue. Otherwise, baaaaaaad things happen.

Tonight, I let my guard down. I don't know why -- I was tired, distracted. I slapped a couple slices of rye in the machine, set it going and left the room.

Went off to the computer room, where Tam had a music video she wanted me to see. And then another one, in the course of which I realized I was smelling smoke.

Ran without stopping to think, down the hall, through the dining room and into the billowing clouds (yii!!) filling the kitchen. I could barely see the pot of beef stew simmering on the range, turned it off, opened a window, grabbed a fan, Tam came out to help and only then did it register with me that the. smoke. was. coming. from. the. toaster!

It was a two-slot inferno! Yanked the cord, red-hot coals of toast popped up (but not, by the luck that rescues idiots and fools, out) and said a Very Bad Word Indeed. The smell was like an old coal furnace with a short chimney on a windy day (with good reason. The former toast is now impure carbon).

Long story short, looks like no harm done, dinner was fine, we have vented the smoke... And I am wondering if maybe I should try the high-end toaster Brigid has blogged about. On the other hand, with my luck, it would suborn the fridge, too.

Friggin' toasters. What'd I ever do to them?


Anonymous said...

Maybe you can appease the toaster gods by finding one of the old ones you ousted and making it your own again.

Jenny said...

toaster... with a... brain...

you know, when the cylons come to kill us all, it going to be because of tinkerers like you not leaving well enough alone. I say you shoot it while you still can. :)

alan said...

og is right.

Make the toaster gods happy NOW or it will never end.

Anonymous said...

The Toaster With A Brain sounds like a product of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. You're well to be rid of it.

Anonymous said...

They are jealous of the power you hold over their (RF-ic) siblings.

Chuck Pergiel said...

Toasters went South when somebody decided they need to be safe. I too had a Sunbeam. It died and I have replacing it with craptastic pseudo-toasters every since. I think the solution is to buy a commercial toaster like they use in restaurants. I'm still saving up for one.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to send the toaster out to Idaho for some testing.

Film at 11 indeed...

Carteach said...

With your skills, why not build a toaster from scratch? That way you can be friends from birth. Who needs nichrome wire? There must be 100 ways to brown a hunk of bread. Safer ways. Funnier ways. Blogable ways :-)

Step up your machinery resonance factor and commune with the toasters down at Lowes. See which one calls out to you... "Take me home, and I'll be good to you!"
You have it within you to speak toaster... you know you do. All Geek Goddesses can!

If all else fails, have Tam threaten it with a 220v lead.

Anonymous said...

You said a bad word ! ! !

Did you sound like Ralphie's dad

working on the coal furnace


Shermlock Shomes said...

"In the heat of battle Roberta wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Indianapolis."

Anonymous said...

As long as you didn't turn your toaster into a time machine, everything will be fine. They won't be sending you to the Re-Neducation facility.

Anonymous said...

Two words "amityville toaster"

google it.

Crucis said...

My Grandmother loved toast. She had a very old toaster that worked every time. The heating element was in the center. The two sides flipped down and toast was attached to each side by a small clip. The sides flipped up and you watched until the desired degree of browness occurred. Worked with bagel, home sliced bread as well with thick jam cake covered with butter.

I've looked for one like it for years and have never found one. It had one control, the on/off switch.

Anonymous said...

Skillet. Butter. Bread, or other "toastable." My wife raves when I use them. Works better than any toaster ever conceived. Happy wife, happy life. Simple.

Bob said...

I learned a long time ago that you never leave a toaster unattended. I think that perhaps some Jeff Cooper of toasters should come up with some simple rules of handling for toasters:

1. A toaster is always ready to malfunction.

2. Never leave a toaster unattended.

3. Never place anything in a toaster that you aren't willing to see destroyed.

4. Keep your finger out of the toaster until the bread is finished toasting.

Turk Turon said...

"Friggin' toasters!"

Amen, sister!

I like Bob's Four Rules, particularly: "Never put anything into a toaster that you are not willing to destroy."

Rabbit said...

Oh, pshaw.

You need a Genuine Armalite toaster.

Rare, but obtainable.


Home on the Range said...

If you like, before you buy, you can borrow my British toaster for a
Test Toast.

staghounds said...

The best story I know with toast in it:

Sredni Vashtar