This morning Grumpy Guy was offered, by way of a newspaper advertisement placed by our friends at The Hudson Bay Co., the opportunity to purchase for the trifling sum of $499 + taxes (if you are reading this in the UK that’s somewhere above 250 pounds) a toaster. Not just any toaster but one that has “signature red knobs”, a rather ugly stainless steel chassis and what’s more which offers “precise control for the full continuum of the toast-browning spectrum” to say nothing of the opportunity to have my bagels toasted on one side and merely warmed on the other.
Now, it has to be said, that of all modern appliances the toaster is perhaps the one that over the decades has caused us the most grief and I am quite prepared to believe that this wondrous machine by the Wolf appliance company, undoubtedly “proudly made in the USA” (how I do hate that phrase) as it is, may well does all that it claims … but at $500+ ?
I cannot help but think that this represents much that is wrong in the world today, indeed serves as an apt metaphor for society. I am not against technology. Far from it as I am a keen first adopter whose iPhone was upgraded to iOS 9 within a couple of hours of its release earlier this week and who is eagerly awaiting the release of El Capitan at the end of the month, but the full continuum of the toast-browning spectrum is taking things a little too far (not to say the piss), don’t you think?
I recall the time when cookers had a handy device called a grill which more than adequately provided all the toasty spectrum anyone could need. Not only that but it was a personalised spectrum with a ability of the toasting operative to remove their bread from the grill once it had achieve perfection. I am even pretty sure that provided you didn’t turn your bagel over you could have it toasted on side and warm on the other. AND it came as a no-extra-cost feature of your stove.
Let us return to hand-crafted toast done under the grill … or at least in a more reasonably priced toaster.
But, to continue. I have discovered that the web contains a site by name of The CyberToaster Museum (http://www.toaster.org/museum.html) that I do most earnest commend to you a source of fascinating facts for the next pub quiz. There you can remind yourselves, as an advertisement from 1940 stated without a smidgeon of irony, that “The unwritten law of wedded bliss is plain for all to read: Don’t tempt masculine tempers with burnt toast!” … as the advert below (same company) notes “Many a second honeymoon has started over a Toastmaster Toaster”. Bet it didn’t cost $500 either.