Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Toaster War

Inside every household there are unspoken, deadly wars. Years ago, a girl I lived with refused to wash any dish she hadn't used. So she would clean up after herself and ignore anything else in the kitchen. I thought it was normal to wash everything in sight but gradually became aware that this wasn't being reciprocated. So I began pointedly ignoring her stuff. We were cordial and friendly in every other respect, but the dish saga built up and up, underneath the surface, like a volcano waiting to blow. Eventually a mutual friend stepped in and peace and normal washing were restored.

Which is why I burst out laughing when I read this article by Danny Katz earlier this year. It summed up every petty domestic dispute I've been involved in over the years. Even Figman was amused, and also alarmed that there were other People Like Us out there. But it hasn't brought about a detente in this place - oh no.

We have long been waging the Toaster War you see. I bought a new toaster a while ago and it's great - even browning, lifter to get those tricky crumpets and muffins out, defrost control. And 2 is the perfect setting for me. Great for toast, and sourdough takes 2 goes but comes out crunchy and not in the slightest bit burnt. Figman, however, is a tad more impatient. (Possibly because he has a more pressing need to get out of the house in the mornings.) So he whacks it up to 4, cancels when his toast looks done and leaves the dial there. Therein lies the rub. I come along innocently, pop my bread in, wander off to check my emails or find some jam, only to smell toast burning. From the very last of the bread in the house. This does not please me and leads to curt discussions about toaster settings but nothing changes.

If I were petty and living in a share house again, I'd buy my own toaster and hide it in my wardrobe or somewher equally unsavoury, but I'm beyond that now. I'd just like unburnt toast. Is this too much to ask?