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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

I bought myself a series of presents today. Not Christmas presents. I’m thinking of them more as New Year presents. They are part of my new Zero Tolerance Policy for stupid dumb annoying nonsense.

The first thing I bought – or succumbed to buying – was a new electric pancake griddle. I made my yearly donation to Crap Products, Inc so that I can make breakfast for another year.

Ralph wanted to know why I keep buying the same griddle if it doesn’t last more than a year. Fair question. The reason is that there is no such thing as a Not Crap griddle. Trust me.

We are at a point in our cultural advancement that no amount of money can buy anything that is designed to last. We live in a disposable world.

Lest you think I kid about buying this idiot griddle every year, when I was finally fed up with everything sticking and the temperature going up down up down today and went onto Amazon to re-buy it, I looked at my past order to see when I last succumbed.

January 2023.

So I tithed my Pancake Tax and bought the griddle.

The next thing I bought was an omelet-sized cast iron pan. I have several cast iron pans, but they are too large for omelets. For omelets I have a nonstick pan. I replace those about once a year, too.

I replace them when the nonstick sticks, when the flakes of whatever coating is on there ends up in my eggs, the coating that is supposed to kill you anyway. But I figure a few years of my life is a small price to pay for omelets that slide off the pan. I make a lot of omelets.

The problem is these things last shorter and shorter spans of time, and the price just keeps going up. There is slim to no chance of me spending $40 on another Crap Omelet Pan. Rather than continue to fight this battle, I decided to go cast iron.

It isn’t nonstick, exactly, but it’s good enough for my purposes. The coating will never come off. It won’t kill me, unless Ralph eventually gets tired of listening to me complain about pans and decides to clonk me over the head with it. It was $25 and I will literally never have to replace it as long as I live.

I’ll probably swear a little for a while, until I get used to how eggs work on a cast iron pan on an electric stove, but the good thing about omelets is that if you mess them up you can just call them scrambled eggs.

My Zero Tolerance Policy leaves no room for nonsense kitchen tools that don’t work.

Ralph also wanted to know why I don’t use my cast iron pancake griddle. Fair question. The reason is because I have en electric stove. And there is no way to cook anything evenly unless you play the Move Things From Here To There Repeatedly game. Unfortunately you cannot keep moving pancakes around. You have to plunk them down and wait until they bubble then flip them over. There is, as far as I know, no recipe for scrambled pancakes.

So if I cook pancakes on my cast iron griddle, the inner parts get burnt and the outer edges stay raw. My Zero Tolerance Policy does not include getting a gas stove, because sadly that is outside of my control.

My Zero Tolerance Policy also includes getting a set of measuring cups that I can actually read, not ones with number stickers on them that wash off after a few weeks, or ink that does the same. Not ones that are silver with little silver numbers etched into them that can only be read by tilting them at a precise angle into the light and then squinting very hard. Alas, those are harder to come by so I will have to continue my search.

Last… for today, at least, I bought a paper wall calendar.

Last year, right about this time, I made a laundry list of everyone I know and care about, and I put all of their birthdays and anniversaries into my contact app because I was trying to be a better person, one who actually remembered important things.

Then a week ago I wished a friend a happy anniversary, only to find out it was actually her birthday. Because my app decided to change the label. This week, I missed my sister-in-law’s birthday because after making sure I had everyone’s birthday in the app, it deleted them.

This coming year I will have Zero Tolerance for stupid apps that eat birthdays and change labels. Do you know what paper doesn’t do? Erase the dates you write on them.

All of my Gifts To Self will be here on Thursday, then I will sit down and enjoy my pancakes and scrambled omelet while I fill in little boxes with birthdays that will still be there the next time I look.

I know I can’t buy my way out of all the nonsense, but I can darn well try. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness clearly never ruined their cake by adding three-quarters of a cup of oil instead of a half.

Photo: bye, nonsense griddle! I am not even going to wash you today.