You are toast!

The Compass - - Editorial - Harold Wal­ters My Im­per­fect Slant Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever Af­ter in Dunville. He thinks it’s cool to live in the only Cana­dian prov­ince with its own time zone. He does not think it cool to live in a prov­ince that taxes books. Reach him at gh­walte

Here’s what hap­pened. I burned our break­fast toast. “Harry, my heed­less Honey,” said Dear­est Duck while the smoke de­tec­tor wailed. “You have done it again.”

There was no need to re­spond to Dear­est Duck’s state­ment of the ob­vi­ous so af­ter flap­ping a dish­cloth at the smoke de­tec­tor un­til it knocked off howl­ing, I pro­ceeded to in­spect the smol­der­ing toast.

Ah- ha! The bread was jammed in­side the toaster, bent out of shape and edged with soot.

Al­ways heroic in times of cri­sis, and know­ing the char­coal-edged toast must be removed from the toaster, I grabbed a but­ter knife and reeved it into the out­side slot. Here’s what hap­pened. An ex­plo­sive flash of light arced from the toaster to the wall socket. A jolt of elec­tric­ity shot up my arm from the knife’s blade, blew my spec­ta­cles off my face and popped my iAids out of my ears. Truly.

Okay, maybe not a hun­dred per cent.

But the toaster’s fried in­nards in­di­cated the de­vice was…well, toast, eh b’ys?

And there was an ev­i­dent need for some pro­fes­sional re­pair of the wall and its elec­tri­cal out­let.

“We need a new toaster,” said Dear­est Duck, again stat­ing the eas­ily ob­serv­able.

Need­less to say, break­fast was off the ta­ble for that morn­ing.

Here’s what hap­pened. I hie-dee-hoed to Mr. Google’s kitchen ap­pli­ances shop in search of a brand-new toaster, one less likely to trap bread in its belly and in­cin­er­ate it.

“Try to find a nice mod­ern one,” said Dear­est Duck, join­ing me at Mr. Google’s.

B’ys, let me tell you, I’ve bought cars in less time than it took to de­cide on a toaster.

The toaster that lay a twisted, smok­ing ruin on the coun­ter­top, I’d bought back in the 20th Cen­tury. If mem­ory serves me prop­erly, I pre­sented it to Dear­est Duck in 1994 as an an­niver­sary present. I don’t re­mem­ber if she was over­joyed or not.

Prob’ly not a hun­dred per cent.

“To­day, my Duck,” said I in my most mag­nan­i­mous voice, “for you we’ll go top of the line, state of the art.”

I con­fess my heart went pit­ter-pat when Dear­est Duck squeezed my bi­cep and grate­fully pecked my whiskers. That’s a lie.

“You bet your fu­ture sup­ply of choco­late chip cook­ies we will go top of the line,” is what Dear­est Duck truly said.

I asked Mr. Google to show us his most ex­pen­sive toast­ers. He dis­played his very best — a Dualit Gold, trimmed with cop­per and sport­ing a $1,100 price tag.

For frig sake, our still-purring 20th Cen­tury freezer cost less than that.

“P’raps one a wee bit cheaper,” I said to Mr. Google and felt Dear­est Duck inch away from my side.

Mr. Google dis­played #2 — a Bu­gatti Noun, a see-through ap­pa­ra­tus re­sem­bling a dou­ble-hung win­dow: $1,000.

“My Duck,” said I, “p’raps we should look at some­thing midrange.”

“Okay,” said she, shift­ing far­ther away.

Cha­grined, Mr. Google dis­played #3 — a cherry-red KitchenAid Pro Line, $500, but with free ship­ping if bought on­line.

“Oh, that would per­fectly match my KitchenAid mixer,” said Dear­est Duck, shift­ing back to close the gap.

“It would, my Duck,” said I, “but re­mem­ber you bought your mixer for a dou­ble-re­duced price at a Scratch and Dent sale.”

The re­cently closed gap reap­peared.

Oh my. We walked Mr. Google’s aisles un­til we were worn weary. We ex­am­ined a Bre­ville - $249; Cuisi­nart - $149; Black and Decker - $48.

I thought Black and Decker was strictly a power tools com­pany. I didn’t know Black and Decker sold toast­ers, for frig sake.

All the same, the Black and Decker tag was ap­proach­ing a sen­si­ble price for a toaster.

“Good price,” I said to Dear­est Duck and she abruptly left — kinda stomped away ac­tu­ally.

I de­parted Mr. Google’s shop af­ter I reached the bot­tom of his pile, so to speak. I’d lost count of the num­bers but the fi­nal dis­play was a dandy lit­tle Sun­beam two-slicer — $17.

Mosey­ing up to Dear­est Duck’s good side, I of­fered a squeeze af­ter I’d hauled on my coat.

“We asked.

I re­sponded mer­rily, like a knight with a dragon to slay: “I’m off to Wal­mart.”

“Don’t bring back a toaster,” I heard Dear­est Duck say as the door shut.

Here’s a by-the-way note: The first slice of toast I re­mem­ber eat­ing Mammy cooked on the kitchen wood­stove — a sin­gle slice of inch-thick bread skivvered on a fork and held over an open flame…

…which is how we’re presently mak­ing toast. Truly.

Thank you for read­ing. are you go­ing?” she

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