Monday, October 22, 2007

One Man's Quest

I am the ultimate creature of habit. I used to wear the same color shirt every day. I found one light blue one that I liked and bought all the store had. As they wore out, I replenished them with the same style and color. The wife did what she could to mix in some other color shirts, but I hated them, and did my best to thwart her attempts to mess with my style, lame as it was.

My lunches are the model of consistency. I usually eat the same thing every day. It may change month to month, but when I find something I like, I'll eat it for a few months or more. I once had peanut butter and jelly for about a year straight.

I eat the same thing for breakfast Monday through Friday. I have a Stony Brook Farms yogurt. Usually I have Vanilla Truffle, but sometimes the store doesn't stock enough, so I have to eat a Chocolate Underground instead followed by cereal with vanilla soymilk. Sunday is Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Pancakes, with pure maple syrup. Saturday is an omelet, usually with goat cheese and onion, with 2 slices of whole grain toast. All was going well until this Saturday. My toaster broke!!!!

I then spent the rest of the weekend studying toaster sites. I have gone through about a half dozen toasters in the last 15 years, and I was determined not to buy another junk toaster. I was prepared to make an environmentally sound decision, I wanted to buy a toaster that would last me, if not for the rest of my life, at least long enough that I wouldn't feel like my amortized cost for toast was nearly 45 cents each slice. I also decided that I wanted to buy an American made toaster, cost be damned. It was my little effort to support my countrymen, while helping to protect the balance of trade and keep the dollar strong.

But it was not to be. No toasters are made in America. After exhaustive research, it appears only one country, besides China, makes toasters. England is the only other country that I could find that produces toasters. The Dualit line is a hand made toaster made in Crawley, UK. This town in the south of England is the manfacturer of the finest hand-made toasters in the world. Unfortunately, they cost between $280 and $350 each. When making such an investment, I needed to do more research to decide which was the toaster for me. The toaster of my dreams, so to speak. I must have a hand made in Crawley, England Dualit toaster. But then all the important decisions had to be made. I needed to decide on a model. While most ordinary toasters simply come in 2 and 4 slice models, and are usually stainless steel in color. But not Dualit. They offer a 3 slice model, and a variety of colors.

My first decision, of course was the number of slices. 3 would be ideal, since between the wife and I, we eat exactly 3 slices of toast at a time. Perfection. Life would now be in absolute balance.

But I had a new concern. Would a 3 slice toaster affect the feng shui of my kitchen? Everything else is in perfect harmony. Two sinks, four stove burners, two kitchen chairs. Balance. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the concept of a 3 slice toaster. So I shopped at ebay for a 2 slice model. I spent the entire day, hunting for the toaster. I battled for a few, but got sniped on a sweet red 3 slicer. I was willing to live dangerously for a good price. But it was not to be. I got sniped with seconds to go. I then focused my energies on a nice, lightly used, chrome and charcoal model. Again, it was not to be as I gave up at $79.00 for a used toaster.

I pressed onward. I was totally locked in on a nice used, but in like-new condition blue 2 slicer. I even began to call it my new toaster. I put in a solid bid, and then watched in horror as some clown kept nibbling away, driving up the price 3 bucks at a time. 14 nibbling bids later, they appeared to give up. But I worried, so I sat and watched the end of the auction. I kept a window open with a higher bid, just in case, and refreshed the pages every few seconds. Finally, I had shopped victoriously.

I won a manly toaster. Big and brawny. A beast among toasters. According to the website, I can now make 78 slices of toast per hour. I may have to make all the toast in the house from now on. I don't know if the wife can handle that much machine.

Here it is, the Toaster of My Dreams:


Ruth said...

OMG! This toaster is awesome! I love old fasion things..

Ruth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.