Humor by Chason Gordon. See below.

The Original Consumer Report on the Dishwasher

Every meal must end as God intended with the cleaning of dishes, to remind us that our culinary reverie is only that, a brief respite from a life of labor, be it in the fields, be it beside the fields, or be it under the fields. We clean what we have wrought, in order that we may eat again upon new beginnings. Perhaps you have a maid, who scrubs the dishes cursing your name, or perhaps you do the scrubbing yourself, and must watch with sadness the weakening of the bristles, or perhaps you stonewash your dishes, often shattering them in the process. In any case, you likely curse this act of moderation which necessarily tempers your bouts of excessive eating, but curse no more, for as piping takes away those dark feces borne from our body, so it can bring raging torrents of water to our dishes, automatically cleaning them, in what is called, the dishwasher.

Standing in cube-like form at three feet high, three feet wide, and three feet deep (three dimensions!), the dishwasher, with its variously sized slots, can hold dishes and glasses and silverware, washing them with soap and water while you discuss its processes in amazement (often yelling for the device is quite loud). There are two racks which slide out. The bottom rack contains many high plastic pillars which secure your plates as they buckle against the force of the jets. Sometimes you will hear them shaking, but must not run to assist. In the middle of this lower rack is a stable for silverware, where they stand in close proximity to be cleaned, a scene reminiscent of many depression era photographs of mass washings. The arrangement is necessary however, as you cannot have the silverware laying about on the racks, fraternizing with the dishes, for they could easily fall through the gaps, and like Chaplin running through the gears in Modern Times, will disrupt all of capitalism (I believe I read that film properly).

Ah, but the upper rack. This space is reserved for your dishes of a lower stature. Glasses, bowls, Russian dolls, all may sit here in their balcony seats and still experience a watery catharsis. You must watch however not place items here that are too tall, for many dishwashers often have spinning jets on the top, and cannot, as has been previously reported, bend themselves to avoid the taller objects.

The dishwasher has three settings, although we can look forward to more as our needs match the imagined needs of the manufacturers. First there is the “Gentle” setting, meant for your most delicate of dishes. In fact, if you put your ear close to the dishwasher, you can just barely hear a voice going, “Now why do you think you’re dirty?” Oh if that were only the case! Next is the “Regular” setting, which is as American as apple pie. It is the setting of the great worker, the toiler in the field, the man of moderate tastes, who asks only for what is fair and is never greedy. In any case, it will leave your dishes as they were before your meal, which is all you can ask in this life.

Finally we have “Pots and Pans.” Now it would seem fairly obvious what this setting is for, but sometimes it is not literal in its description (as the accompanying Mencken essay explains), for although “Pots and Pans” can be taken as a description of the object, it can also be taken as a description of the gravity of the dirt upon the object. Pots and pans typically have more heavily built up dirt, but plates and bowls can have this as well, depending on what was served on them, and how much time elapsed before they were placed in the dishwasher. Thus according to this interpretation, anything can fall under “Pots and Pans,” and since you are jumping ahead, anything may also be placed under the “Gentle” and “Regular” setting, according to the needs of the dishes. I hope this is understood.

Well there you have it! Imagine the time you will save (if any of you lack the proper funds, you can always purchase the hand-cranked dishwasher – it is a slow and tedious affair, but such is the life of poverty). Be warned however that you must wash only dishes in the dishwasher, as so it is named, and not babies, animals, or your car. They still have their place in the era of the slow wash, where elbow grease is our only setting, and pressure is more than a button.

Chason Gordon

copyright 2011

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This entry was posted on 09/14/2011 by in History and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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