Gay Yellen: Great Balls of… Ice?
Warning: the writer is grouchy today because the old refrigerator died.
It was a 1983-vintage custom-designed fridge that we inherited when we bought our home thirty years ago. It was sleek, streamlined and fit in seamlessly with the cabinetry. But it was too old to be repaired, so the search was on for a new one. My husband hoped it would make crushed ice.
The first model we chose had a delivery window of 4-6 weeks, minimum. No fridge for a month or more? Cancel that.
Moving down the row, we noticed a different brand’s floor model with a big SALE tag on it. It could be delivered immediately, and it made crushed ice. We grabbed it.
The dispenser options on the door display are Cubed/Water/Crushed. Hubby seems satisfied with the crushed. On the other hand, I have a problem with the so-called “cubed.”
Does this look like a cube to you? No. It’s a rectangular pyramid with a rounded-off top, kind of like a mini lump of half-spent charcoal. Those smart fridge engineers had to know it wasn’t a cube. Maybe “lump” was too down-scale a word for the marketing team. Sure, the pieces chill like a cube, but still… it rankled the editor in me.
For a visual reference, here’s a cabochon amethyst cut in a shape called “sugar loaf” that’s almost identical to our lumps. Obviously, gemologists are way more careful with their language.
Anyhoo, back to the new fridge, where we discovered that it also makes a third kind of ice, described in the 67-page owner’s manual as “Craft.” To our amazement, there’s a bonus shaping device that lurks inside the bowels of the freezer compartment that is more special and even craftier than your everyday two-way ice dispenser.
It makes balls of ice as big as billiard balls, and they are so extra super-duper that only three per day can be “crafted” to become the crystal wonders pictured in the photo at the top of this post. New ones announce themselves with a kerplunk, plunk, plunk that emanates from the deep.
Why are we engineering such useless gizmos for our over-pampered selves? Is there a big demand for a perfectly round chunk of ice so heavy it could tumble from your Scotch-on-the-rocks and knock out your front teeth?
This new whiz-bang appliance is too busy and bulky and bossy to love. You barely touch a door and it smugly announces that it’s keeping everything at a perfect temperature. Leave a door open longer than it “thinks” you should, and it sends out an annoying series of beeps. As if we didn’t already have more than enough things to beep at us. And did I mention that it looks like the backside of an elephant?
Truth is, I miss our old machine. I’m still trying to chill out about its replacement. Wish me luck.
Do you have an emotional relationship with an inanimate object? Love it, or hate it?
Gay Yellen is the award-winning author of the Samantha Newman Mystery Series, including The Body Business, The Body Next Door, and the upcoming Body in the News.