Ivan's Place
In honor of the greatest moralist who never lived
Copyright © 2004 by Bill Becker

Contact me     Home page     Table of Contents

Dear Mr. Coffee®
Copyright © 2012 by Bill Becker

Dear Mr. Coffee®,

Yesterday I bought your Precision™ coffee mill. It is attractive, and I’m sure that it will provide many years of excellent service.

On page 2 of the owner’s manual, I read “a short power supply cord is provided to reduce the hazards resulting from a person or pet becoming entangled in, or tripping over, a longer cord.”

On behalf of the millions of Americans, who routinely walk on their kitchen counters — often with their pets in tow — let me say “thank you” for your concern for our safety. (Even though some people might say that you provide a shorter power supply cord so as to eliminate the expensive copper wiring that a longer cord would require, let me assure you that I do not believe that for a moment. I’m sure that you are an honest man, and I take you at your word.)

Nevertheless, there is still a danger here. I don’t know why others walk on their kitchen counters, but I realized years ago that a daily walk on my kitchen counter was better exercise than walking outside. (And, sometimes I take my daughter’s dog with me.)

First, it is only five feet from the counter to the ceiling. I am six feet tall, so I have to stoop while I walk, thus exercising my back and thigh muscles. (Sometimes I dress up as Groucho Marx, which adds to the fun.)

Second, the kitchen counter also provides the agility training of a military obstacle course—perhaps even more. There is the microwave oven at the beginning, which leaves me only a three-inch ledge to walk upon; one slip and I would be dashed to pieces on the concrete kitchen floor 37" below.

Immediately after passing the microwave, my dishes and pots loom ahead in the drying tray, often to a height of 15". Here too is a narrow ledge, which I have so far managed to traverse safely. I cannot simply jump over the drying tray, because on the other side is the sink, 12 inches deep. It is a sure ankle-breaker if I were to miss the counter on the other side.

Then I come to the range hood, where I have to scrunch down to thirty-two inches as I pass under it. This exercise, I assure you, is not a muscle relaxant. (My daughter’s dog is only twenty inches at the shoulder, so the range hood is not a problem for him. He also loves to jump over the drying tray and sink.)

Then I come to my Mr. Coffee® coffee-maker and your Precision™ coffee mill. Here is where it gets tricky.

I like to walk about two miles a day. My kitchen counter is eleven feet long. This means that I must go back and forth on it a total of 960 times, requiring 480 full turn-arounds at just the place where the coffee mill is located. Even though I have trained myself to be careful over the years, I am also getting older. I foresee a time when, through fatigue, I might well get my feet tangled even in your short (25") power cord. I can see myself toppling over the precipice to the floor below. Were this to happen, and were I to survive the fall, I would of course have to sue you. (On the plus side, my daughter’s dog is not likely to strangle himself on that cord.)

I do not want to sue you, so let me suggest that you eliminate the cord altogether, and provide for a direct plug-in of the coffee mill to the wall outlet. It would be easy to simply unplug the unit when the coffee was ready for brewing. Navigating around the protruding mill as I made my turns would also be easy. The worst that could happen would be that I bumped into it and got a bruise.

Bill Becker

P.s.: I promise that I would not sue you for a mere bruise.

Top    Contact me     Home page     Table of Contents

Page created January 22, 2012