A repository for a creative life. One of the things I do is change.

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 New Life Form Spotted

Cappy Jack ©2002

I am against extinction. I am for saving at least a bit of every species on Earth, more if we can afford it. But I would rather put my money on the rich, diverse explosion of new species right under our noses. I bet they won’t become extinct as fast as some animals. “We bring good things to Life” is an apt slogan for all of the creators in a phylum of the machine kingdom, common name - kitchen appliances. May I offer a formal descriptive name for electric tools used by amateurs, Begladnogore. Through a fast paced hiccuping of new gadgets I grew to like their little burps.

From the refrigerator on down, the “time savers”, in their first rendition, had only one goal; to survive. If they could make it to the next model there was hope for long term survival. If they entered ‘can’t live without’ class their dimensional changes would slow to a standard.

“Push, push harder!”, My Mother’s entreaty to the deliveryman in front while she looked at the gap in back, “I know it will fit.” She was hoping for a mouse free margin but had to settle for a cooling space behind the Frigidaire. This refrigerator lasted a long time unfortunately, humming away at headache frequencies.  “Have some ice!” I let her drop gray cubes in my glass. No amount of soda could disguise the obnoxious aftertaste. My Mother taught her children all the features she could figure out in every new gadget.

“Watch your fingers here” and “Never, never, do this alone.” She didn’t want us to lie injured and unattended. That privilege was reserved for her.

“My fault.” Her reply when we ran away from the TV yelling, “What happened?” A screech, a cloud of smoke, or a yell for help could get us moving quickly to see what Mother and some gizmo were up to.

“I’ve got it.” My fireman’s response to a call for help; I was adept at pulling the plug behind flaming toasters, deep fat fryers, and other counter top ‘sparkys’. Wild resistance to domestic chores could be swift, like the sudden elbow to the head I got one day. The Sunbeam overpowered Mother jerking her arm around as it stopped dead in the bowl. This was her chokehold on mixers. She’d wring necks, too.

“Smells like this ones had it.”  As the little electric heart broke we’d give thanks there was no shrapnel. They threw up a lot.

“What’s this button do?” Throwing its cap in the air and puking good food all over, the blender was off in a little dance on high.

True domestication comes after rich diversity only in fits and starts or so biologists tell me. And washer begot washer in rhythms of wear and tear. The new baby was always smarter or better behaved. Christmas was a time of birth and my Father’s presents to my Mother included what was new, maybe useful maybe not, she was the judge.

“That’s your Mother’s domain” wisely got him off the hook for most interaction or instruction. They could poke fun at you as well as put your eye out. One foray into husbandry saw the electric carving knife join him at Thanksgiving in a parody of a hurried coroner at a turkey’s autopsy. That took the stuffing out of him.

A meteor might have hit my own kitchen by the looks of the barren counter top. Call me primitive. I eat simple nutritious food prepared with the hand tools I have mastered over years. At Yuletide my wife gave me a steam pressure cooker but I never use it. I had nightmares, at first, about the beast who whistled for my Mother to come get him off the hot burner. Blowing his top seemed inevitable.

“But it takes longer” My eyebrows shot up in my ‘never hurry the cook’ look. Progress was in name only and I would let several generations go by before I’d succumb to dumb doodads.

 “I don’t care. Longer is better” A tired refrain she heard so many times that it vexed her. She tried logic again.

“But you use the refrigerator, the stove and the dishwasher.”

“I don’t bet on the long shots”

“Now what’s that supposed to mean?”

Like many people who pay to save panda bears from doom, she doesn’t think twice about recycling. The ridiculous fondue geegaw, still swaddled in its original wrapper, made the bride’s maids coo.


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written using Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition