Monday, April 04, 2005

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Speaking of coffee — and at this time of day, I almost always am — this is my first morning with my new Mr. Coffee. My previous Mr. Coffee died in rather spectacular fashion on Easter Sunday, announcing its passing with a series of loud beeps before miraculously transforming itself into a rather large paperweight. Into the trash it went, and after a week of Starbucks I finally got myself over to Target to buy a replacement.

My new Mr. Coffee looks somewhat similar to the last one — black and tall, though slightly more rounded in profile, and with a carafe shaped like an oil can. This one, unlike its predecessor, is not a programmable model. I rarely used the programming function, and I suspect that the little electronic timekeeping gizmo was what went kerflooey in the last one. I can live without a clock on my coffeemaker if it means the darn thing will be around to make coffee for a while.

It says something about our consumerist society, though, that an appliance would fail after a couple of years of use and I wouldn't think twice about replacing it. And for a mere twenty bucks, why would I? But that we now find it easier — and cheaper — to get a new gadget than to repair the old gadget (does anyone repair gadgets anymore?) explains a lot of things about today's America.

The divorce rate being one.

I still miss Joe DiMaggio doing the Mr. Coffee commercials. I always thought it peculiar that a man who had been married to Marilyn Monroe could muster that much enthusiasm for a mere kitchen appliance.

But then, I didn't know Marilyn. I would have liked to, but I was just a kid...her candle burned out long before her legend ever did. (Oh my, I'm channeling Elton John.) Perhaps if I had, I'd have preferred Mr. Coffee too.

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