Morning Star columnist Glenn Mitchell says he has a torturous relationship with a kitchen appliance. (File photo)

Mitchell’s Musings: A toast, of sorts, to a dysfunctional relationship

Columnist Glenn Mitchell has too much time on his hands thanks to COVID-19, and a toaster to time it

I have a torturous relationship with my toaster.

Now some might say you can’t have a relationship with an inanimate object but think about it.

Sure, they don’t reciprocate any feelings projected towards them, but you know you have feelings about your car, your golf clubs, your house and maybe even your washer and dryer.

I’m not sure how long I’ve had the toaster but it’s been a battle since Day 1. I thought about taking it back to Zellers in the early days and several times since, but that ship might have sailed since the store closed down and became a Target and then they closed that down and it became a Canadian Tire.

I know it was cheap, maybe $19.95 or $29.95 all those years ago, and they were stacked on pallets by the front entrance.

You recall that kind of stuff while you’re waiting for your toast to pop.

You see, I somehow bought the world’s slowest toaster and it’s been driving me crazy ever since.

I’ve learned since you always get what you pay for, which is tough on us cheap guys that never learn. I won’t mention the manufacturer cause mine could just be a lemon (I doubt it) but the initials are B&D.

I originally thought they just made tools, which maybe they should have stuck with after all.

Now I know a watched pot never boils and a surveilled toaster apparently pops up bread but this is getting ridiculous. And what do you do if you’ve waited too long for toast and you pop it and it’s only done on one side?

You put it back in, promptly get distracted, and it eventually pops up with two sides burnt beyond belief. Burned again, indeed.

Some might say I just need to adjust the settings better and I have played with them constantly, although someone else in the house does too, which skews the scientific results somewhat, but I can still declare it’s painfully slow.

How slow you ask? Well, partially thanks to the current pandemic, I’ve had time to check that out. It takes 2.52.28 minutes to turn bread into reasonably browned toast on both sides, and I know that’s a subjective qualification.

I asked Siri if that’s slow or fast as far as toasters go and she told me, via a Daily Mail article from 2011, that the perfect piece of toast takes 216 seconds to achieve. Ironically, that’s longer than my toaster.

I’m not looking for perfection here, just decent and in a reasonable amount of time, which I think would be about two minutes, tops. Maybe test yours and get back to me with the results, this all could be a tempest in a toaster, so to speak.

Of course I could’ve tossed the toaster, I’m sure it’s at least provided $20 of service by now, but that seems like a lot of aluminum and plastic going to waste so that seems wrong somehow (I’m sure we only had one toaster growing up, it should be a lifelong relationship thing, kind of like saying “I do” at the register) and like I said, I’m cheap.

I’d rather go through minor hell every morning than spend the money on a better toaster, and what if I spend $60 and have the same problem?

Then I’d be a two-time loser and I can’t risk that. No, better to be an everyday loser, er, I mean….

Anyway our dysfunctional relationship continues. Don’t even ask me about the bagel or defrost settings — yeah, I really believe by pushing those buttons some technology inside my toaster is unleashed when it can’t even toast my bread right!

As we continue through this self-isolation period and get even closer to our appliances emotionally and physically, I hope you and yours are getting along better than me and my toaster.

However, next week, just to prove I’m not always such a loser, I will share my feelings for our Maytag washer (her’s) and dryer (mine) that have been faithfully laundering our clothes since before we were married over 27 years ago.

Love may not be too strong a word.

Glenn Mitchell is a columnist and former editor of the Morning Star.

mitchchap1@outlook.com.

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