Chick Wit: Collecting gadgets that collect dust

Posted: February 05, 2012

The salesman told me a snowblower would change my life, but so far it hasn't.

What a snow job.

Because it only snowed once thus far, for two whole inches. I'm not complaining, but that snowfall cost me $300 an inch.

I didn't even use the damn thing, because I'm still not walking after bunion surgery, so I had to pay someone to shovel, and he didn't think there was enough snow to use the snowblower.

Make that $350 an inch.

You may recall, I thought about buying a snowblower after six impossible winters, then finally broke down and bought one a few months ago, and have evidently saved all of us from another impossible winter. If I buy an umbrella, it will never rain on any of us, ever.

I guess it's unfair to blame the weather on a snowblower, but I do regret having bought it, at least so far. Should I wish for snowstorms?

Or write John Deere a Dear John letter?

I love gadgets, but my record with them is hit or miss. There is no in-between. Either the gadget is great or it sucks, and I have succumbed to the siren song of many a sucky gadget.

I'm talking about you, bamboo steamer.

Turns out you can steam anything in a normal stainless steel pot, with an inch of water and a lid. But only a bamboo steamer will retain water, so that it grows attractive mold.

In case you want to steam penicillin.

I'm also talking to you, costly wooden chopping board, which warps and comes apart at the seams. I am such a sucker that I even bought the Mystery Oil they sell you to keep it clean.

No joke, it's actually called Mystery Oil.

I may have nobody but myself to blame for that one. You'll be happy to know I passed up the snake oil.

I don't have any snakes.

By the way, in my view, a wooden chopping block qualifies as a gadget. Admittedly, I'm not being overly technical about definitions, especially when it comes to things I waste money on. My kitchen is otherwise full of gadgets I bought on impulse, or were given as wedding gifts in my ex-life. Yes, after my divorces, I kept the juicer and waffle iron.

Because I got squeezed and burned.

Then there's gadgets that are aspirational. I want to be the kind of woman who makes her own pasta, so I bought a pasta machine.

I have never used it.

Because I'm not that kind of woman.

Mother Mary used it to make homemade pasta, and she showed Francesca how while I watched them, sipping a gin and tonic.

Cooking is fun!

Also I bought a pizzelle maker, for the same reason. I'm caught up in some Old World Italian fantasy. Some women dream of being Martha Stewart, I dream of being Anna Magnani.

You might need to Google that, if you're under 70 years old.

Next time this mood strikes, I'm going to Olive Garden.

Once I even tried to make my own wine, which caused me to buy a gadget with a curly glass tube that you stick in this huge glass jug filled with crushed wine goop that I drove two hours to buy.

I did not crush the grapes with my own feet. I'm Anna Magnani, not Lucille Ball.

I set the huge jug on the kitchen counter, where it was supposed to ferment, for three years.

I'm not kidding. I commit.

But all it did was scent the kitchen with vinegar and then morph into purple tar.

Francis Ford Coppola I'm not.

And John Deere I'm not, either.

Maybe I'm Inspector Gadget?


Lisa Scottoline's new novel, "Come Home," will be published April 10, 2012. Lisa and Francesca Serritella's book, "Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter," is in bookstores now. Visit Lisa at scottoline.com.

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