The Deluded Diva Speaks... The irony and curse of gadgets and gismos

Life is sometimes tragic, but always humorous.
I got a good chuckle this week at my book club. Our hostess spent the first 30 minutes of our monthly meeting trying to get the hang of her new automatic wine bottle opener-which was quite handsome, I admit.
She was determined to show us how handy it was. It took all ten of us pushing and pulling to get the thing to work. It would have been easier and quicker to chew the cork out of that bottle. When everyone finally settled down with their glass of wine, we couldn’t remember which book we’d read!
Driving home, I pondered how we complicate our lives with gadgets that are not only expensive but need to be stashed somewhere when not in use – which is most of the time. I went straight to my gadget closet and surveyed the wasteland of seldom used, nay, NEVER-used gismos.
There was the obsolete salad shooter that can catapult lettuce clear to Sturgis. It has developed a love affair with the nearby Slap and Chop I ordered from an infomercial during a weak moment. It works just fine, but must be cleaned with a toothbrush. My trusty Henkel does the trick nicely and needs only a swipe with soapy water.
There was the electric can opener I retired 10 years ago, opting instead for the old- fashioned manual variety my mother used during the second world war. It not only performs the task quite nicely, but I remember her fondly every time I open a can. Besides, I figure it works out my triceps.
Up front is my Paula Deen toaster which poaches your eggs while you “toast” your muffins. Unfortunately, I lost the instructions and don’t remember how it works.
Parked way in the back so I don’t have to look at it, is that disgusting Mr. Coffee who drools and dribbles like an old man chewing tobacco.
I replaced Mr. Coffee this year with an old electric percolator like I had in college. So why am I keeping him around? I don’t know, maybe someday I’ll need to make a pot of decaf and don’t want that wimpy stuff to taint my good pot.
The one useful gadget in my cadre of gismos is my electric knife which I use twice a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a wedding gift and after four decades of use, the blades are bent. It sounds like a concrete drill and grinds the turkey, rather than slicing it. (My children smile sweetly and claim they always look forward to my ground turkey during the holidays.)
Also lurking about is my seldom-used George Foreman grill, a food processor that weighs more than an elephant, an electric mixer I only use when I bake (I DON’T bake), and a bread maker the size of a casket!
I think I’ll load all the gadgets into the bread maker and go bury it all out back. A century from now, someone will unearth the stuff and put them in a museum.

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who lives in Starkville. She edits a website and welcomes comments at