Coffee: Locomotive Blend, PennyCup Coffee
I bought a toaster. Therefore I am officially an old man.
In the spectrum of household luxuries that identify you as having crossed a certain hill into self-sufficient aged tedium, none could be a better symbol in 2019 than a toaster. It lacks the utility of an oven, the ubiquity of a microwave, and the pizazz of a food processor. It’s not your father’s starter set of china or the blender you bought in college that was a margarita-only machine for the first few years of it’s life; it’s not a pot or pan or spatula or any other cooking necessity; it’s excessive, but in the most boring kind of way.
Toasters occupy the same space as a waffle maker. They have a single, specific function backed up by a whole lot of 20th century machinery. But the toaster isn’t there to spice up Sunday brunch for you and your boo whenever she (or he) comes over. A toaster toasts bread. It’s the tired uncle that got divorced at forty-five and hasn’t remarried. It’s Auntie Marge coming home from a double-shift at the post office to an apartment full of expensive, miniature dogs. The toaster doesn’t love you but that’s fine because it treats you fair and square. It ignores your choice of bleached white breads and sugary jams.
In fact, the toaster might be the pinnacle of functioning, healthy capitalism: a completely unnecessary expense that nevertheless serves its function reliably.
I just unpacked my toaster. I cleaned it, heated it, let it air out for a few cycles. Tomorrow I’ll toast two slices of wheat bread. Boy, have I made it
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The toaster (lacking real bread) would pretend to make two crispy slices of toast. Or, if the day seemed special in some way, it would toast an imaginary English muffin.Thomas M. Disch, The Brave Little Toaster