Work of Art - Time for toast

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By Art Trujillo

On my Facebook page there’s a photo album which I call “Desperately Seeking a Caption.” I often put a humorous photo on display and invite Facebook friends to come up with a caption as inane as the photo.

This time I posted a photo I took on our last visit to our family in Copenhagen, Denmark. Surprisingly, a half dozen people jumped in.

I took the picture in the kitchen. The subject is an odd electrical object which combines two handy appliances.

But first, let me explain that in Denmark, people make a meal out of bread with butter, or if you want a real treat, a tablespoon of one of the wonderful jams and jellies that country is famous for. In fact, virtually every convenience store devotes much acreage to the bread section alone.

There are pastry shops all over downtown, where business is so brisk that we need to take a number, much like we do at any motor vehicle department. But what you can buy at any convenience store, to take home, is as good as what you find in a bakery.

I asked Lizbeth, my daughter-in-law, if she owned a toaster for my bread. “I’ve got something better,” she said, bringing me a seldom-used mystery appliance, the subject of which is on my Facebook page.

Underneath the photo, I asked, “What is this?” Khrushroo Ghadiali was the first to answer: “A toaster with a built-in radio.” I told Khrushroo, a former member of the reportorial team at the Optic, he was wrong. “Actually, it’s a radio with a built-in toaster,” I answered.

I couldn’t let the first one to guess spoil it for everyone else.

Others chimed in. A former Highlands prof, Bruce Papier, guessed it’s an upcoming version of the iPad.

Facebook friend Lupita Gonzales opined that the appliance is a multi-tasker, “just like me,” meaning her.

Clara Romero Enriquez calls it an alien zapper. And Barbara Dorris, who noticed a cord wrapped around the appliance, looking much like a stairway, wondered whether the cord led to the balcony.

There’s also a telescoping aerial atop the toaster, which would allow the user to park a piece of untoasted bread while waiting. There’s a meshed opening for the radio speaker, from which one might expect heat to emanate.

The toaster-radio became a required item at the breakfast table for the days we visited our family. But it also made me wonder who came up with this combo. I thought about the little ditty KFUN runs, “The best news around, the hottest talk in town.” Would Lizbeth’s contraption serve to super-heat the toast when there’s a hot news item on?

One couldn’t prove it by me, as I don’t understand Danish. The lyrics to many of the songs on Danish radio are in English, but the talk is in their language.

The item did a fine job, toasting the bread to my satisfaction. Most toasters we’ve bought merely raise the temperature of the bread to about 80 degrees.

One thing I learned quickly on our first trip to Scandinavia was how easily toast happens if one isn’t aware of wattage differences. I took some gadgets along, a digital camera with battery charger, a plug-in radio (without a toaster), and an electric razor.

In Denmark, at least, things apparently run on D.C. current, and one can buy adapters. But that merely helps you to plug in your American items; it doesn’t change the voltage. And that’s how an item or two became toast.

I’ll try to recapture some of the dialogue between my son and me:
Stanley Adam: Watt happened, Dad?

Me: I don’t know. Something revolting for sure. I just plugged it in. What a shock!

Stan: Wire you saying that?

Me: According to the instructions, your outlets should have given me power, not toast.

Stan: Well, when you get ohm, you can buy some new electronic stuff. Use your Visa card and charge it.

Art Trujillo is a copy editor at the Optic and a contributing member of the newspaper’s Editorial Board. He may be reached by calling 425-6796 or by e-mail to artbt@rezio.net or atrujillo@lasvegasoptic.com.