Matthew Inman from theoatmeal.com did a great piece on “Why I Believe Printers Were Sent From Hell To Make Us Miserable” that is both hilariously funny and true. Printers fall into the category I call “Infernal Machines”, to me this covers any device that despite all the technical advances of our modern society we have been unable to make it function properly (or at all). By function properly I mean work. Some recent experiences have highlighted another device that fits into the infernal machine class, that being the not so humble toaster. Whilst Matthew suggests printers are from hell, I believe each toaster when made is then inhabited by the soul of a dead criminally insane individual, who can then continue harassing us for eternity (or a least as long as you own a toaster).
How does a toaster when left on the same setting with the same bread produce such random levels of browning from raw to incinerated? The settings on a toaster appear to be to be either a random number generator (the random number being the number of pieces the toaster will burn), or an ingenious dial where the cooking level between each setting say 2-3 or 3-4 is either based on a logarithmic or exponential scale. My toaster seems to alternate between the two but has a leaning towards an exponential scale.
Clearly Jasper Fforde’s Toast Marketing Board have serious quality control issues. The idea that a toaster can consistently produce pieces of toast that meet your requirements is as absurd a stapler (another infernal machine) that works properly. The only chance I think we have of saving the toaster is if the boffins and NASA decide that their astronauts need some nice warm toast whilst in space.
It would take several decades and about $50 million to perfect but no doubt it would work perfectly (or destroyed in a large explosion on first use). If they make a cordless drill that looks like this:
I would expect their toaster to look something like this: