We’ve recently come into possession of some old coffee pots and teapots. One is ceramic, one looks like it was taken from a cowboy’s campfire, and one seems to be a metal approximation of frilly lace. My favorite is a vintage, battered copper teapot that has been in Kish’s family for generations — and that looks like it might have inspired the children’s song “I’m a little teapot, short and stout.”
In my view, at least, they’re much more interesting and visually appealing than the bland glass and plastic-topped Mr. Coffee-type pots that you see everywhere these days. They harken back to the days when coffee was brewed in a working pot, and then transferred to a fancier container to serve guests after a nice meal.
Generally speaking, I’m not a superstitious person. I don’t pay attention to black cats or walking under ladders or spilling salt. (I make an exception, however, when it comes to sports teams — in which case I believe in jinxes, karma, cruel fates, and the undeniable reality that everything I do has a direct and profound impact whether my favorite teams succeed or fail.)
I don’t worry about bad luck on Friday the 13th, either. Why? Because on Friday the 13th of October, 1978, Kish and I had our first date. We went to Dick’s Den — its evocative motto: “Why Not?” — a campus bar and live music venue on High Street. We drank beer, sat for part of the time with another couple that happened to be there, and listened to a band that didn’t require a cover charge. Obviously, I was a big spender who knew how to show a girl a good time.
So, I have no fear of this dreaded day. How could I be superstitious about Friday the 13th? It certainly hasn’t meant bad luck for me.
By law, every American office must have a microwave in a common area that is made available to all employees. Any office worker will concede that the zone around that microwave is a crucial part of the rich tapestry of their work space.
Educated noses in the office can learn a lot from the smorgasbord of scents in the microwave zone. Is that the heady aroma of maple that I detect wafting from some mid-morning oatmeal that will linger, cloyingly, for an hour or more? My God, has Jim reheated that pungent fish and rice dish again? And how about the subtly nuanced aroma of blended chemical preservatives that floods the area whenever a frozen entree is zapped? The welcome dinging of the microwave timer acts like the bell Pavlov used with his dog, and summons the office epicures to revel in the sight and smell of whatever appetizing radiated fare is removed from the pristine microwave chamber.
The delightful experience is compounded when reusable microwave dishes are left to soak in the sink below the microwave. Each has the unmistakable pink smear of sauce residue that has been permanently bonded to the plastic by countless doses of radiation, thereby allowing the diner to enjoy the taste of all previous reheated meals along with whatever he has chosen as today’s sustenance.
Curiously, on our floor the microwave is positioned directly across from the door to the men’s restroom.