IT WAS THE DAY THE TOASTER BROKE. It was a nice toaster, too. Geoff
tried to describe it to other people but they weren't impressed. Why
weren't they impressed? It wasn't the toaster's fault it was made into
a toaster. Nowadays people raved about fridges that told you in a
monotonous voice the quantity and quality of the food in it - but they
didn't care about toasters. But then, why wouldn't they care? Toasters
were simple. Put the bread in and a newly browned piece comes out.
Melts the butter and crunches in your mouth. What use were fridges
telling you how much orange juice you had? You can count yourself. You
can't toast, though. Or - perhaps - people did like toasters. It seemed
logical enough to Geoff. It was probably the phrasing. People didn't
like the word 'nice'. So he'd changed it to lovely and divine but
people then asked him how a toaster was lovely and divine when they
were all the same. What a ludicrous question, thought Geoff. Why make
toasters different? You have a working toasters, small yet functional.
If each were made different the quality of the toasted bread would be
different. So it was better that they were all the same. Except there
WERE different designs. He most likely wasn't a very good storyteller.
He should've elaborated on the functions, the satisfying sound of newly
toasted toast finally ready, or the different sizes of bread that made
the toasters look bad, when really it wasn't the toaster. Yet the
toaster nearly always got the blame. Maybe it was the word different.
His vocabulary needed a boost. He liked the words 'lovely' and 'nice'
and 'different' and 'same'. That's what his mates had told him. Of
course, they weren't really his mates, because mates were people you
love and spend the rest of your life with and have children together.
But in modern slang it meant friends. He wasn't even sure whether they
were friends - because they'd been laughing. Were they laughing at or
with him? He wasn't laughing, so it had to be at him. He didn't think
anything was funny, though. But he didn't think they were his friends
either. Appliances do not laugh at you. But they break. The microwave
broke as well as the toaster. The people who were the closest to
'mates' as Geoff had informed Geoff that he should update and replace
his appliances. Replace them? It was like replacing a friend. The
modern fridges weren't any better than the old fridges because they
stored food just the same as the new ones except were bought for a lot
more money and said stuff. Fridges were friends, but that didn't mean
they had to talk. He didn't like talking fridges. They were out of
place. They were appliances. Appliances aren't meant to talk. But he
had to have a new toaster. That was the bottom line. Once he had put
the Old Toaster on the mantelpiece he set about finding a new one.
Nothing would replace the toaster, but he needed SOMETHING to even
halfway fill the void. The man was nice to him at the store. What Geoff
meant was, that he wasn't lovely but he was polite. And he didn't
enquire any further- which was different. Geoff was panicking about who
would realise he had a terrible vocabulary. He was shown the toasters.
"There's one just in which I think you'll like, sir. Have you ever had
toast which is charred until it was black?" As it happened, Geoff had,
but he didn't like to hold grudges against his best friend, an
appliance named Toaster. He nodded his head. It would just be easier to
move on. "We've got one which tells you - and I mean SPEAKS - when it
thinks your toast is too black. The toast will never catch fire ever
again, sir! And only for a mere ?299.99!" Geoff looked at the man. He
was a nice man. But he was no different from all the rest. Geoff slowly
shook his head and bought the cheapest toaster available as the nice
man looked put out. He WAS a nice man. But he, like all the others, was
laughing at him. And appliances DON'T laugh.