Lament for a toaster

Once upon a time, toasters just worked. My parents had the same toaster for most of my life, and up until it finally died after somewhere over twenty years, it just worked. Put some Pop-Tarts in it? You get hot Pop-Tarts, ready to eat. Put some frozen waffles in it? You get hot waffles, ready to eat. Put some Toaster Strudel in it? You get hot Toaster Strudel, ready to eat. Put some, heaven forbid, bread in it? You get hot toast, ready to eat.

And yet today, after more than twenty years of technological advances, the computer age, toasters with optical sensors to make sure they never burn anything, I’m stuck with the smell of scorched Pop-Tarts in my house. Because I had to adjust the setting last week (from the setting that worked reasonably well for toast most of the time) so it didn’t give me half-frozen waffles.

The toaster companies really need a good QA team that will tell them about regressions like this. I shouldn’t have to adjust my toaster. And I know I shouldn’t have to adjust it, because I’ve used one I didn’t have to adjust. I know it’s possible. So what happened?

Hell, I’d even settle for a toaster with a timer on it. Microwaves have timers. It works. It’s a known paradigm. Toasters have a knob that goes from “sort of raw” to “sort of scorched”, and everything in between is “I feel lucky”. Pity Google doesn’t make toasters.

(Hmm. There’s an idea. http://toaster.google.com/… Nope. Rats.)

In youth group, we’ve been talking about how to deal with death. But how do you deal with toasters that won’t toast?

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