Friday, March 20, 2009

A One-Sided Proposal

OK. I get it. I know you all don't care if I fix the damned toaster or not. You're just having a bit of fun with me. But really, 72% of the votes said that this blog would be better if I fixed the toaster. People, one of your options was more pictures of the most beautiful girl in the world. What were you thinking?

By now I wish I had never written about the stupid toaster in the first place. I know that if I am ever going to get it to work I need to go to the hardware store and get whatever it is I need. But I can't figure out how to do it.

If I bring the toaster in, I look like this big doofus who knows nothing about hardware. Which is true, but I don't want to look like that. Believe me, no guy wants the hardware people to look down their noses at him. And if I try to describe my problem to the people at the store, I cannot figure out how to tell them that I have very small nuts that I need to loosen without them laughing hysterically.

I thought of writing Peter Eland, the guy in the UK who did the picture step-by-step guide to replacing the Dualit element. But he was very, very safety conscious and carried warnings everywhere which basically said "Do not attempt to do this if you are an idiot. And even if you are not an idiot, do not do it unless you really know what you're doing."

How can I reasonably expect this guy to help me out when I tell him I need advice on getting past Step 2 - how to open up the toaster. A step, I might point out, that he considered so elemental that he wrote not one word about how to do it.

So I have been thinking of more creative solutions to this problem, solutions that don't necessarily require fixing the toaster as I originally planned. In the spirit of making lemonade when you get lemons, I am working on a series of breakfast dishes which will use toasted, crispy bread on one side of the slice and soft, untoasted bread on the other side. I will call it one-side-soft toast, so it sounds official.

I may be onto a winner here. After all, whenever you have a toasted sandwich, the outside is toasted, but the inside is soft. So why can't we just deconstruct toasted sandwich and have breakfast dishes that use one-side-soft toast? The combination of textures might even end up being quite pleasing. Some people like their eggs over easy, some don't. Isn't it time we started having the same options with our toast?

The only problem I can foresee is figuring out which side to butter, but I would guess the toasted side will be best since that will make the butter melt. But I should probably run some tests to see what happens when you drop a piece of my one-side-soft toast. It's just possible that the different surfaces and weights make the slice tend to flip over, meaning that one side tends to land face down more often than the other.

And much as Isaac Newton figured out gravity by observing apples falling from their tree, I may be close to also finally solving the problem so that bread does not always fall with the buttered side down. And all thanks to my toaster needing a new element.

I hope my idea works out because I need to do something. Today I made breakfast and LK left the room for awhile. When I was making toast (the old-fashioned, double-sided kind), I forgot to turn one of the slices around to toast the part facing the burnt-out element.

Needless to say, toasting the same side twice made it burn pretty badly. I threw it away quickly and was back at the stove when LK returned. She stopped in her tracks and said, "Something's burning." I tried to act as if she hadn't said anything, but then decided to face the issue head on.

That is to say, I tried to make her think she was crazy. "No, dear," I said. "Everything's under control. Nothing's burning." I felt bad misleading her that way, but I really couldn't handle another toaster discussion at the time. All will be well and we can avoid these marital pitfalls in the future, though, if only she ends up liking one-side soft toast as much as I do.

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