A Tale of Toasters
Matt Brown | Monday, October 12, 2009
Gather round children, and I will tell you a tale. A frightening tale of dark times filled with despair and dread. A time where there seemed to be no hope, no glimmering light on the horizon to let you know that if you keep fighting, if you just hold on, things will get better. A tale of the new toasters in the dining hall.
It all started one early Sunday morning – around 11:30 a.m. – when an innocent wide-eyed youth, possibly named Matt, stumbled over to the English muffins, made his selection and proceeded to the toaster area.
Imagine his surprise as he sees two sleek toasting machines where the comforting silver monstrosities used to loom over his early morning repast. Anyway, shocked and a little intrigued, he continued with his toasting preparations and placed his two muffin halves onto the “this toaster toasts both sides” conveyer. Unconcerned, he did his customary toddle over to the cereal, perused the selection and ultimately decided on Apple Jacks. He then returned to the toaster to see his muffin lying in the tray.
For some reason, though, it strongly resembled untoasted toast. Remembering how in the past he was forced to put the bread through twice to reach optimum toastiness, he blithely put the halves on the conveyor for one more round. He tottered off to get some fruit, only to return and find his English muffin once again doing a freakishly talented untoasted toast impression. This was an outrage!
Twice through a toaster and the only signs of toasting were slight warmth and the barest hint of brown, and only that if you squinted your eyes and turned your head to the left. He then thought the difficulty might be attributed to the fact that we live within the Arctic Circle. I mean, can you really expect a toaster to be able to toast when it feels like Hoth outside? He decided to watch his muffin’s journey through the bowels of the beast. He placed his bread thrice upon the conveyor, looked up to acknowledge a friend that was walking by and when he returned his gaze to the toaster, the toast was already out!
These new toasters have their conveyors set at mach 4. There is not a sun ray’s chance in South Bend that a defenseless piece of bread could even get a sunburn, much less achieve toasty perfection on these speed demons.
At this point he couldn’t allow the new toasters to win, so he resolutely threw his muffin halves upon the belt once more, and once again they returned with troublesome efficiency, this time, however, finally showing signs of toasting, igniting a flame of hope within his breast. So for the fifth and final time he sacrificed his muffins to this metallic beast, knowing that when he saw them again 3 seconds later, they should be done. But they didn’t show. He waited a little longer and still he saw no delicious golden brown starchy wonders. He crouched and looked down the return tray of the toaster and way at the back, nestled against the wall was his prize. Rolling up his sleeve, he grabbed the tongs and began trying to fish them out, reaching further and further into its shimmering maw. If that toaster were a human he would’ve been tickling its duodenum. These toasters do not return you your toast! You have to play hide and seek with your food. If I wanted to do that I could just go to North Dining Hall where they hide their food in secret rooms.
I want the old toasters back. Sure they were large and old but they actually did their job. Two times around and boom! Toasted. Two perfectly toasted English muffin halves arrived right in front of you. Could you ask for a better start of the day than that? I think not.
Matt Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.