I remember watching The Flinstones when I was a child. They seemed to get by without electricity and still had a few conveniences that made life a little simpler. Like the toaster which was simply a couple of little dragons blowing fire on each side of the bread. And the washing machine used an octopus to wash and rinse the clothes, which were then hung outside on the clothesline with birds as clothes pins sitting on them and holding them in place with their feet. Mind you, Wilma’s laundry may have been a continuous battle with all the bird poop dropped onto the clean clothes while said close pins were sitting on them. Hmmm…wash, poo, wash, poo. Well at least the octopus and birds had job security.
Those appliances today are technical wonders. When does a toaster not look like a toaster? When it looks like a computer. Seriously. Don’t think your computer has enough functions? Well now you can make toast with while you browse the internet. Yup, just put the bread, bagel or frozen waffle into the slot provided on the PC and by the time you’ve logged on to Facebook, out pops your toasted item. There are also toasters that leave designs or messages on the bread. You can leave the house in the morning feeling confident that your teenager will know he needs to take out the garbage, assuming he hasn’t smeared peanut butter on it first (the toast, not the garbage).
The new washing machines are more intelligent than most people I know. They’ll sort your clothes by color, pretreat stains, choose the appropriate cycle and water temperature, while doing your taxes, and checking your email. And besides drying the clothes, the dryer will press, fold and sew on that button that fell off two weeks ago. They still, however, lose one sock with every load.
This brings me to my microwave oven. I like the microwave oven. It’s handy for heating coffee, soup, leftovers and making oatmeal (yes we’re that busy….Ok we’re lazy) AND in the middle of the night when I get up to pee, the fluorescent numbers on the digital clock let me know it is indeed the middle of the night. Now I know I have to pee regardless of the time, but I can’t resist glancing at the clock to see what ungodly hour my bladder has chosen to disrupt my slumber. I also can’t resist popcorn, babies or singing along to Don’t Worry Be Happy. But I digress.
Anyway, when I was a child there was no such thing as a microwave oven, or so I thought. Turns out the first marketable microwave was created in 1947. It was called the Radarange, stood over six feet tall and weighted close to 800 pounds. I KNOW! Try wrapping THAT and putting it under the tree at Christmas, or mounting it above the counter. If memory serves me correctly, I purchased our first microwave oven somewhere in the late 70’s. I also purchased a Helen Reddy album, eye glasses with lenses as big as a compact disc, slouch socks and leg warmers. But I digress…again.
The reason I bring up the microwave oven is that not long ago our oven was taking twenty minutes to heat a cup of water, and sounding like Kermit the frog with his tongue stuck to a chain link fence post in winter. It was also manufactured around the same time as the Radarange, and that alone should be an indicator that something was wrong. Anyway, I told my other half that it was broken and we should to replace it, and he, being the I Might Be Able To Fix It guy, disassembled it, examined all parts thoroughly, and when confronted with the melted thingy that makes the microwaves, came to the conclusion…are you ready…that it was broken and we should replace it.
Off we went to buy a new microwave oven. This should have taken about ten, maybe fifteen minutes. Or so we thought. Microwave ovens today are loaded with “Sensors”. This means it can defrost hamburger, reheat leftovers, PLUS pick out a recipe from its cookbook, modify it to fit your dietary requirements, assemble the ingredients, cook it to perfection, ALL while you watch YouTube videos on the door screen. I kid you not. You can sit back and watch your favorite Brittany Spears video while your tuna casserole and your brain are cooked to perfection. Pass the popcorn!
Much to the disappointment of the salesgirl, we settled for an Easy Bake Oven with an energy saver light bulb. Works great, no animals are abused or endangered, it doesn’t need a college degree to figure it out, and my other half is happy to have his oatmeal again. Life is good.
Now if only I could find my missing socks.