Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Appliance Whisperer

I couldn’t sleep last night. Two hours of tossing and turning compelled me to remove myself from my sleeping platform and shuffle into the kitchen for a glass of water or perhaps a chunky peanut butter and banana sandwich on lightly grilled Turkish flatbread.

I was almost through the living room when I thought I heard conversation. I stopped to listen, half expecting to hear the familiar voices of our neighbors telling each other where to go and where they could stick unpleasant things, when all of a sudden I realized that the voices I was hearing were coming from the kitchen. My thoughts were racing which I believe may be the cause of my insomnia in the first place. Thousands of daily stragglers stumble in at ungodly hours hitting both walls of my temporal lobe. Who could sleep through that?

I inched closer to the kitchen and listened to a strange rasping. It was sort of a Mezzo-soprano droning that sent chills up my spine. Its comments were perceptible now. “If she opens my door one more time and sticks her butt-ugly, no-make-up face, morning hair, looking like a troll with an updo, in one more time I think I’ll blow my compressor.” I held my breath. My ears felt as if they were distended as I strained to hear more. “I don’t think she has aired out my crisper in months! There are mystery veggies oozing in the back and growing God-knows-what kind of bacteria. It offends me.”

“I hear you,” a deeper voice replied. “My hood is greasier than a used car lot and my burner knobs are cracked. Really burns me up.”

A shrill voice piped up, “I’ve seen the same stupid orange Fiesta dishware for years and my spray arms are exhausted from fending off week-old dried food chunks. I’m losing teeth and rust is eating its way through my intake valve as we speak.”

My hand flew up over my mouth. Dear God, was it me they were complaining about?

“Just you wait and see what happens to you!” the soprano voice said.

“I’m new, never been used,” a younger voice said cheerfully.

There was a knowing chuckle. “Yeah, we were too once but look at us now. One day you’ll be struggling to melt a piece a cheese over one of her Tuscan chicken crock pot sandwiches and she will just toss you in the garbage.”

“Crossbreed!” a barratone voice bellowed. “What the heck are you anyway? A toaster or an oven? She used to come to me when she wanted a hot meal. Now I have cobwebs on my rack and dust bunnies in my broiler. I might get a once-a-year job when she shoves in an oversize fowl. Talk about feeling useless!”

“Can’t we all just get along?” came from the direction of the blender.

“Easy for you to say,” the refrigerator chimed in. “You and your sharp blades and tight base gasket. Didn’t you get here at the same time as toaster-oven? New, never been used, fourteen speed, 450 watts of ice crushing power!”

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I should be ostracized,” the blender whined.

“I thought Oster was your name,” said the stove. “I guess that would make you Ostercized.”

A burst of laughter filled the kitchen. I took a step forward to get closer. The floor squeaked. Suddenly the laughter stopped and everything went silent.

I almost did a half in-half-out back flip with a ½ twist in tuck position when my husband tapped me on the shoulder and asked what I was doing.

“I’m trying to hear what the appliances are saying about me but they are non-responsive.”

He gave me a quirky look and turned around and went back to bed.

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