Friday, September 01, 2006

Kettle Saga

Our electric kettle with automatic shutoff has died. I don't know what happened. One afternoon, after a couple of cups of tea already that day, it just wouldn't turn on. Given that we're pretty heavy tea drinkers, this has a significant impact on our lives. Luckily, though, there is not as much risk of burning the house down as before we had the automatic shutoff because Dave no longer works from home.

Yesterday as I filled the pot to put on the stovetop, I was struck with a major sense of deja vu. And I was reminded of the kettle saga we experienced a few years ago. Originally we had a stovetop kettle, which we really liked. Then Dave started working from home in an upstairs room. Often, he would come downstairs, put the kettle on, and return to work while he waited for it to boil. Well, one afternoon when I came home from work, the kettle had a considerable collection of charcoal in its seams. When questioned, Dave came clean that he had not only boiled the kettle dry but had boiled it black and scrubbed it to avoid my lecture (I think I had already told him not to go upstairs while the kettle boiled after a few close calls). A few weeks later, I came home and the kettle was totally black and beyond repair. So we started using pots.

Right. Dave was adamantly against buying an electric kettle. They're ugly, he said. But I knew our safety depended on it. It was near Christmas and while Christmas shopping I discovered electric kettles with automatic shutoff that look like stovetop kettles. And they don't even have a cord to trip you when you try to fill it up. Aha, I thought. What a perfect gift. I get what I want and he gets what he wants. I'm embarassed to say what I paid for that thing. I was so excited I made him open it as soon as I got home. And we tried it out and it worked a treat.

Onto another cup of tea that night. Well, I discovered that kettle on the gas element! I guess it just looked too much like a stovetop kettle. (I honestly had not foreseen this scenario but I guess I should have.) Although he'd only just put it on and it didn't appear too badly melted, it just wouldn't work anymore. I tried to get another one under warranty but sadly they just don't cover idiocy.

I decided I was never buying Dave a kettle again. He clearly couldn't be trusted. I mean, that kettle didn't even last five hours! We used pots for a few months in the standoff. Then finally Dave relented and we bought a cheap, ugly white electric kettle with automatic shutoff. And it worked great. Until the other day. And I found myself in a kitchen store yesterday looking at the shiny kettles with automatic shutoff that look like stovetop kettles. Surely Dave must be used to plugging the kettle in?

Will I never learn?!?

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