December 3, 2018
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It’s the 377th Week of this feature, brought to you by our How To Lose That Extra Five Thanksgiving Pounds Just in Time for Christmas Dinner diet plan. By the way, is there any of that pumpkin pie left?
Actually, this week’s post has only a passing relationship with food; it’s really about food appliances, namely the new microwave we just bought, the one that will very shortly be going back to the store for a refund.
We knew that our old (well, two years) microwave was on borrowed time, but we thought we could make it through the holidays. Well, about three days before Thanksgiving (a cooking-intensive day, just in case you hadn’t heard) the machine began making groaning noises, not the usual racket we’ve been accustomed to, but the ‘I’ll be quitting soon, thank you’ kind of noise.
So we trucked off to the big store and bought a new one. It was a name brand with a long, illustrious history, mainly associated with refrigerators, (well, okay, Frigidaire) so we had great expectations. The machine, however, laughed at our high hopes. “Expectations?” it seemed to say, “I don’t need no steenking expectations.”
The clock was (and still is) the biggest obstacle. Now, setting a microwave clock is about the easiest techie thing your average citizen can do nowadays. You hit ‘clock,’ punch in the numbers and hit ‘clock’ again. It’s off and running. No, not this beast.
“Well, that’s weird,” said Sally. “It takes the numbers and then just sits there. It doesen’t advance every minute like most normal clocks do.”
“Okay, let’s look at the manual,” I suggested. Consulting the manual just to set the dumb clock? Puh-leeze.
Yep, that’s what it took, alright. The setting of the clock tuned out to be a multi-step procedure. First, you unplug the microwave (what the whaaat?) wait a minute, and then plug it back in. Then you hit the ‘clock’ button repeatedly until you get to ‘op 4,’ which I assume is short for ‘operation four.’ Then you put in your desired time and hit ‘Start.’ Which we did. It started alright. The oven, not the clock.
“Whoah, stop, stop, stop!” yelled my dear wife, punching ‘Stop’ frantically. There was nothing in the oven, and from reading many previous microwave manuals, we knew that it’s not a good thing to run the oven with nothing in it. The Microwave Elf does not like that sort of thing.
After a few more futile tries and futile re-readings of the instructions we decided to call the ‘Help’ line. Oh yes, said the friendly rep, there was a misprint in that manual. Here’s how you do it. He talked us through the procedure, which did eventually sort of work, but not in the way he said it would. We went though so many combinations of button-pushes and sequences, that we actually forgot how we got it to work.
But work it did through Thanksgiving. Then we had the Big Thanksgiving Sunday Blizzard with concurrent power outages, which, of course, defuncticated the clock setting. So, we began again with the unplugging of the oven, the crazed punching of many buttons, the cussing and the inevitable call to the ‘help’ line, small ‘h’ this time. The rep was unhelpful at best and said, “well, you know, you can just return it to the store.”
Bottom line, the clock function still does not function, but the oven does cook, albeit with a maddening series of lengthy ‘beeeeps’ when it is done, the hearing of which nearly drove my bro-in-law around the bend. Oh, and if you don’t pull out the food immediately, the beeps resume EVERY TWENTY SECONDS!
At least the beeps don’t require you to unplug the thing every time.
Phew! ‘Nuff said. Let us move on.
You’ve been pretty busy with our trivia questions. Mary Jo, Edith, Price Lister and Eldon got the other car dealer we were talking about in the 2500 block of 10th Street: Kottwitz Motors. Good work, all.
Re: the second-oldest sporting goods manufacturer question; Terry guessed Wilson and Eldon guessed Wilson or Spalding. Neither, sorry. The answer to this one surprised me. I bet you’ll get it next week.
Well, after a three-week drought on this question, Paul, Dale and Price Lister all came up with ‘Quick Draw McGraw’ as the hybrid horse/sheriff cartoon character who showed up often on the ‘Snagglepuss’ cartoon show of the early ‘60s. As I recall, Quick Draw wasn’t a very effective lawman, but he was funny.
Tim answered the ‘twosome in the zoo-some’ question: yes, it was the Polar Bears, kind of a rarity in this part of the world, a lot scarcer than the buffalo, whose names Roger remembered as Gerta and Ben. We had a few other takes on the buffs’ names in our Nov. 12 posting.
Two questions remain: the name of the second-oldest sporting goods manufacturer and the name of the tasty food product that can be used to soothe sunburn and to condition dry, lifeless hair.
Hmm, I guess we owe you a few new ones. Okay, what do these names out of the 1956 GB city directory have in common: Geisick, Dodge and Morrison?
Corruption in government is not just a twentieth century problem. Even Lincoln had a problem child. Who was it?
This female singer with the stratospheric soprano (four octaves) voice had a memorable #1 hit in 1975 but died very young. Who was she?
Email us with your answers, comments, random thoughts, etc at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll reply next week.
Have a mega-magical week. We’ll visit again in seven days.