Hump Day: Penchant for impulse buying leads to cluttered kitchen

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

I did it again. I bought a kitchen gadget that I didn’t need. As usual, I was seduced by its life-changing possibilities.

If you’re like me, there’s nothing more exciting than finding a cool kitchen gadget. Literally ‘nothing’ more exciting? Goes to show you how unexciting my life is, eh? Some people get excited because they found a cure for cancer. I get excited when I find an electric garlic peeler.

Oh yeah – and it’s an extra bonus if the gadget plugs into the wall, too. Electric gadgets – oooh!

Whenever I find a kitchen gadget that I don’t need, I always seem to justify the expense, no matter how big or small, by telling myself this: ‘This is going to change my life.’ Yup, more than a university education. Yup, more than winning the lottery. Yup, more than finding out I have a long-lost twin brother who was given away at birth because I was cuter and is now very rich and in a forgiving mood. ‘Hey bro! Any room for me in your will?’ This time, I bought a kitchen gadget that I could actually use; an omelette pan. It was one of those folding contraptions with hinges.

You fill one side, throw in your cheese, ham, etc. and then close (or fold) it to cook for a bit. After a few minutes, you turn it over quickly and then cook the other side.

For something that was going to ‘Change my life!’ (sound effect of a booming radio announcer with lots of echo), I sure left a lot to be desired. When I flipped it over, half the uncooked egg flew out the side of the pan and all over the kitchen.

Ah, this was so much more convenient than just using a frying pan, wasn’t it?

After a major clean-up, I just about returned it right then but thought I’d give it another chance and just keep it.

The next day, my son decided to use it. I told him to use non-stick spray on the pan (as per the instructions that came with the gadget).

His seemed to go off without a hitch. I did find it a bit burnt, though, probably from having left it on the stove too long.

Awhile later, I was doing some dishes and thought I’d clean the pan while I was at it. As I cleaned, I noticed that large chunks of the pan’s coating had come off after only two uses! What I thought was my son’s ‘burnt’ meal was actually chunks of non-stick coating that had adhered itself onto his omelette.

Not too impressed, he was half in a panic wondering if he’d die from it or get some awful disease. I assured him (not entirely confidently) that likely nothing would happen. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that slime was oozing out of his ears and that his nose had fallen off and ran across the room while dancing a jig. Weird.

Then, I did something that it pains me to do: I returned the gadget to the store. After only using it twice, it was obvious that it was not made properly. Incredibly, the clerk wondered whether I’d used it correctly. Really? It’s a pan. I used it twice. The coating came off after the second time it was used. No matter how you look at it, it was a piece of junk.

It takes a lot for me to return stuff I’ve purchased. I think it’s a huge waste of time to continue going back and forth returning things. If you’re not sure you want it then don’t buy it. I know people who make a sport of it. They buy things and then use them for a week, only to return the items for a refund. I don’t buy something unless I’m sure of my choice. I don’t believe in buying stuff on a ‘trial basis’ only to inevitably return it.

I usually only return stuff if the quality isn’t as good as it’s bragged up to be before buying it.

I’ve owned pans for years that have gone through a lot of abuse. No one should even try to convince me that using a pan twice and having the coating flake off is normal. It isn’t.

Give me my money back! Now!

I do have a small penchant for impulse buys, though, so I wouldn’t do well watching any television shopping channels. I’m way too susceptible to suggestions that whatever is being sold on screen is going to ‘Change my life!’ I swear I’d probably end up with a case of new-age hormone therapy for menopausal women if I ended up watching an infomercial hocking it. I never thought I was the type of person able to be hypnotized, but I probably am. Television screen: ‘You need a 10-gallon vat of face cream made out of yak milk im­ported from Mongolia! Only $1,995 each!’ Me: ‘Yes, master. I need a 10-gallon vat of face cream made out of yak milk imported from Mongolia. Here is my credit card number, master. Please charge me extra for overnight shipping from Mongolia, master.’

In all seriousness, I’ve never purchased anything off television except for a series of Tony Robbins motivational cassettes years ago.

They, too, promised to ‘Change my life!’ which I guess they did, since they triggered a lifelong commitment to self improvement. With that said, I obviously didn’t finish the book on how to get cheese grater abs, mind you, but that’s a whole other very special episode of Dr. Phil.

Like I said, I’m a dangerous man to leave in front of the television armed with a credit card when there’s an infomercial on. So, if anyone wants to borrow an automatic ferret milking machine, I’ll let you borrow mine. Sadly, it didn’t ‘Change my life!’

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