e live in an era of convenience. Whenever we need something done there was someone in The United States who would invent something and then it would be manufactured in China that made what we had to do simple.
I used to think this was a good thing until I discovered that convenience comes with a price. That price is a whole bunch of aggravation. For example, last Christmas my wife bought me a coffee grinder so I could have the freshest of coffees before my day began. The idea seemed functional and I looked forward to the morning when I could begin to taste what coffee is supposed to taste like.
The day after Christmas I woke up a bit early yet not too early because of the festivities of the Christmas day. I set up the grinder and added the fresh beans. Turning the machine on was like walking into a hanger full of jet planes waiting to take off. My head evolved from a hangover to a full fledged aneurism. The sound was something I would never want to wake up to again. Plus the coffee tasted the same as it did when I quietly took it out of the can.
Another gift that was destined to fill a corner of my basement was a slush / juice making machine. This marvel of technology was supposed to produce the best tasting slurries and juice drinks that promised to put at least ten years on to the end of your life. How could one go wrong with a fountain of youth that tasted good?
The only problem was when using the machine to make juice one had to use a couple of crates of fruit. The concept of living longer was coupled with the thought of living those extra years in the poor house. The slurry part of the machine was not much better. After adding the juices, fruits, and whatever else one had in the refrigerator you had to add ice to make it thick.
In fact, it became so thick you had to wait until it melted to be able to take it out of the machine. The concept of a carton of juice started to make more sense. The notion of making your own bread was brought to reality with the bread maker. This large appliance took up most of your cabinet space but it did promise to fill your kitchen with the soothing scent of fresh made bread.
After adding the ingredients and the little packet of yeast to the machine all that was left to do was add water, push a few buttons, and the machine would take care of the rest. The first loaf I attempted to make came out like a hot smoldering piece of brick because I forgot to add the yeast.
The second attempt to make bread also failed because I pushed a wrong button that made the bread fume to the point of starting every fire alarm I had in my house. The bread maker and the slushy machine make such a lovely couple in my basement.
Speaking of fire alarms I am sure they have saved many lives. All new homes have to have them and the older ones should have them on every floor. They do their job well until they give off a little beeping sound that alarms you to change its batteries. When one bought their new home the instructions of how to change the batteries in the alarm simply did not exist.
If you bought one the box and thus the instructions were long thrown out. I am convinced there is some Asian person laughing out loud because they hid the battery in a part of the alarm that can never be found. I have torn more alarms off my ceiling trying to find where the battery was. By doing this many of my ceilings have multiple coats of paint. Some have little hidden drawers while others make you turn the cap off the alarm making it impossible to turn the cap back on.
The annoying appliances do not have to be large. I would like to meet the person who invented those little oil filled bulbs you plug into your wall in order to make your house smell like it came from a fresh field of flowers. After trying out one for each room my house did smell like a field but it was part of the field in which cows left what they had to leave after eating all the flowers.
By far the most aggravating invention of our modern time is the cordless vacuum cleaner. This machine had to be invented by some woman who hated men. In the days before the cordless machine one had to take out a large vacuum in order to clean the floors of the house. Because it was large most of the sound coming out of the machine was muffled. In fact, many of the new models promised a machine that was virtually silent.
The little cordless machines never made that promise. The sound coming from them is only matched by the screeching sounds of a coffee grinder. But, this sound lasts for hours. A highlight of my life is when I hear the battery in the vacuum start to die.
Technology is what technology does. I just wish it would leave me alone. I wouldn’t mind living in a time when one percolating ones own coffee, squeezed their own juice or even made their own bread. But, that time is gone. Now if I could only find the remote to my satellite driven television I could enjoy the rest of my day.
Those hated appliances from Hell.
By Jim Fabiano.
He is a teacher and writer living in York, Maine
e-mail him at: email@example.com
Copyright reserved. No part(s) of these publications may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language in any form by any means without the written permission of the author.