Twenty-first Century Technology Comes to Breakfast
This is about toasters. Through the years, it seems like we’ve owned dozens of the damn things. It’s probably no more that five or six, but they all either did a lousy job or they broke. Some did a lousy job and broke.
More recently, we were using a toaster that had multiple settings, but produced just two kinds of toast: not done and burnt. So a few months ago, I decided to buy a new toaster and be guided by the old adage: You Get What You Pay For. I resolved to spare no expense in my search for a sturdy, reliable toaster that won’t break and actually produces toast done the way I want it.
Eventually, my search took me to Macy’s, where I found a big 4-slice toaster made by Breville. Never heard of them? Neither had I. But it cost $179, so it had to be good!
The next morning, we used our new $186.16 Breville toaster for the first time (I forgot to include Hawaii’s 4% tax). It did a beautiful job and, as a kind of bonus, I was entranced by all the buttons. There’s one to push if you’re toasting a bagel. Another is labeled “Lift and Look”. When you push it, the toast comes up so you can see how it’s doing, and goes right back down again. But my favorite is the “A Bit More” button. If the toast comes up and it’s not quite done, you just push that baby and the two slices go back down for another 30 seconds. Is that cool, or what!
Then, one morning, my expensive Breville toaster went haywire. Nothing worked. The toast went down and refused to come up. Or went down and came right back up again. Or wouldn’t go down at all.
It took me a while, but I finally figured out how to fix it: I unplugged the toaster, waited for a minute, then plugged it back in again. It worked perfectly.
I can’t wait for someone to telephone me in the middle of breakfast:
“Hello? Oh hi, Peter. Listen, can I call you back in a few minutes? I’m re-booting my toaster.”