Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Here's to the Microwave! Ding!

"They" say our demand for all things immediate began with computers. Indeed for the fortunate with lickety split machines, it may now be so. I will agree computers have encouraged our self-absorbtion. But nope, I think our first real interaction with immediacy began with microwave ovens.

After all, the microwaves reached the mass public sooner. And as I waited the eight minutes (yes, I said eight minutes) for my computer to boot up in this little corner of civilization I live in, I pondered about this.

Overall, microwaves renew our faith in immediacy. Unless you have a smart phone, no other electronic device gives more reliable instant ah, feedback (snicker).

It is a shame we don't use our microwaves for more--they certainly can do a great deal more than heat soup, defrost the meat and cook a baked potato. Best of all, they don't have to be updated, although they certainly can be. They work, and work and work, requiring only that you clean them to sanitary standards once in a while er, I mean regularly.

Actually, I suspect other than television sets, probably no other electrical device is more widespread in American homes. True, most homes don't have 3-4 microwaves and do have several tvs. But if the tv goes out or you forget to pay the bill, you can always go over to a friend's or read your graphic novels.

With a working microwave, you eat.

For folks who have computers and use them regularly, perceived reality is that everyone has computers. Nope. Forget retired folks, of whom I am one. We can do this sitting down, bozo. It's not rocket science (although sometimes when I click the wrong application, it certainly seems I am on another planet.) Many, many young families don't have them. Especially our poor young families.

If I hit 5 seconds on the microwave instead of five minutes, no problem. If I hit five hours, it's very likely I will catch my error long before time is up. The smell also might remind me. Computers don't smell, good or bad. They just sit there.

With my microwave, I can make lumpless gravy, cook chocolate pudding in the same time you fix that cookless stuff (mine is much tastier), fix baked potatoes for three, cook chicken for a spaghetti dish or pot pie, melt the butter and chocolate for yummy desserts and so much more. I can't believe some still steam vegetables on the stove, except those that contend microwaves are dangerous. Reheated pasta dishes are just as juicy and don't taste like leftovers.

A microwave doesn't heat up the kitchen in 100-degree weather, a boon to Texans everywhere this summer.

I can't play Angry Birds on it, but then, my son won't get off his own game long enough to give me game time on his phone or IPad.

With my microwave, a solid, middle of the road standard machine, I have never thought or said the words I have said to my computer or not-smart phone.

Wave your forks in the air, a tribute to non-conflicted instant gratification everywhere.

1 comment:

clairz said...

I'm smiling, because I remember the first time we used our new microwave, many years ago. I made everyone go into the next room, pushed start and fled the kitchen to join them--"just in case." We had all heard the stories about people who cooked their own livers through careless microwave use!

I agree with you that our entry into the technological/immediate gratification age began with the push of that button. From that moment, the ten seconds you waited for the butter to soften became a unit of time during which you could do something else as well, such a stashing several dishes in the dishwasher. And so we learned to multitask in a way that left no moment unfilled.