Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Toast

I "inherited" a toaster similar to this when the estate items of a great uncle and aunt were parceled out to family members before sale of the house. The main thing I remember about this couple was their chihuahua, Ladybug, who spent most of her time in one lap or the other. (I also recall the perpetually plastic-covered furniture in their living room, a decorating touch doubtless inspired by the dog's presence.)

Ladybug was a friendly little dog, which proved a welcome contrast to the chihuahua - Princess - that belonged to the other dog-loving great aunt. Move a finger and Princess would emit a muffled growl. Move an arm or a leg and the growl would become louder and more menacing. Try to stand up and walk and Princess assaulted the offender with a cacophony of barking and growling, all emitted as she sat in my chain-smoking great aunt's lap. (Come to think of it, I believe all of my grandfather's younger sisters - two of them nurses! - smoked like chimneys at some point in their lives.) An evil little dog. This is an unusual admission on my part, because I tend to love all dogs and cats and believe that with patience (and lots of high-pitched baby talk), I can befriend any of them in Doctor Doolittle-esque fashion. Princess, however, seemed beyond salvation, the irredeemable dog sinner bound for doggy hell. She probably died with her face permanently frozen in a snarl. I remember our visits to Richmond involved lots of sitting and talking, with very little movement on our part, lest we invite the wrath of our aunt's lap demon.

But back to the toaster. I always liked the reflectiveness of the bright chrome and hated to see fingerprints on the surface. Still, I didn't enshrine it as a monument to Eisenhower-era toaster technology. I used that toaster regularly, despite the vagaries of its out-of-sync heating elements: One quickly learns which sides of the toast will blacken more readily. 9" x 12", watercolor, brush & ink, pen & ink, Fabriano 140 lb. paper.

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2 comments:

jblack designs said...

I love this!

One Wink at a Time said...

Very cool. I forgot about those cloth/thread covered cords. But I do remember how the mirror-image of my young face was distorted when gazing into the shiny chromeness...
jblack, I love your new avatar :-)