Thursday, December 16, 2010

‘Simpleton’ is Best!

I have a genuine affection for technology. Now I am not just referring to high end computers or fancy robo-gizmos, but the ordinary household hardware too. You know the stuff, it’s that fancy schmancy cyclonic suction vacuum, computerized toaster, or the fridge with an in-the-door internet monitor. Now just because I like the stuff does not mean I have a big enough vault to own most of these high-end appliances. Besides, I never have been a huge fan of mixing extreme vibration, cold, heat, or humidity with new-age electronics – that’s NASA’s job. When you want stuff to work – simple is best!

Now the exception to that rule is my coffee maker. Since I have never joined the ranks of the Starbucks set, my family makes sure I have a top notch computerized coffee appliance always at the ready. Actually they are less concerned with the coffee’s flavor quality as much as providing a ‘foolproof’ maker that I cannot find a way to screw up and make a mess. I have somewhat of a storied history of abusive relationships and bad break-ups with bargain-brand coffee machines.

Normal, less costly coffee makers, once switched on, simply pump hot water to a filter cup containing ground coffee and on into a decanter below. If you forget to put a cover down or slip the decanter into its slot, the machine doesn’t care – as punishment for your stupidity, it just shoots water, coffee, or grounds in any ol’ direction. My Cuisanart Grind and Brew is like a smart but stubborn mule. If I forget to put the filter hatch down, leave a grinder cover off, or neglect to seat the decanter properly, the pot will ‘beep’ incessantly in protest. The real test is to figure out what all that beeping means but usually it is obvious – the operator is a simpleton.

As much as I genuinely love my genius coffee donkey, I noted a newer and more sophisticated java brewer recently called the ‘Tassimo Brewbot’. Now the machine looks pretty nifty but I have to object to the advertising for this creepy little computerized beast. The Madison Avenue marketeers for some reason think it is a good idea to portray the coffee machine as a little humanoid robot that ejects brown liquids from its body into your favorite beverage cup! I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want robot coffee maker with a kidney infection anywhere near my morning cup of joe. I think it already ‘Sucks’ that my Dustbuster caught a cold recently and probably passed along the virus to my laptop. Yes I love my brave new world technology gadgets as long as they are healthier, less needy, and generally more SIMPLE-MINDED than me!