Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Useless Appliances Hall of Fame

One of my favourite passtimes is to shop for utterly useless appliances. Year after year, I love to clutter my home with new home making( wrecking) appliances. I have seen that a lot of people mute their television when it is time for ads. Iam one of those very few people who loves commercials, and actually look forward to seeing them. I don’t mind seeing those telebrand shopping commercials over and over again . I love seeing salesmen trying to sell products, I actually would like to believe all that they tell ! My husband has issued a clear warning that I need to take his permission hereafter before I get one of these gadgetries home . The other day I made a list of appliances that I have bought in the last three years that I need to get rid of. Here are the top ones in the list:

Five in One Air Lounge:

This one undoubtedly makes to the top of the list. One of the very first useless buys. I don’t know what was I thinking when I bought it . The television commercial promised that it was the most comfortable bed that was extremely light in weight. I had a lot of things on my mind when I ordered it on the phone. I would no longer need to move the heavy leather couch from one place to another( Not that it was ever moved). I could watch my Saturday night movie DVDS lying comfortably on the “air lounge”. I could go camping with my son and husband to the hills and use it there.( We’ve never gone camping in three years). I could inflate the couch and tie it to the SUV and drag it all the way to the hills( Yes, that’s what the commercial said). Plus there was a holiday for three nights and two days worth three thousand rupees that came along with it. Whenever the commercial was aired as I watched tv with my husband, I would deliberately tune in to that particular channel, so that Rahul too got the feeling of what a worthy deal it was. He refused to buy it all the way. One fine day, I could no longer supress my urge to buy it and ended up ordering it on the phone while Rahul was away for a week.
The five in one airlounge was promptly delivered within a week at the same time Rahul had returned home from his travel. I asked him which place he would like to go on a holiday with the voucher that came along with the buy. Though he was fuming, he didn’t want to pick up an argument on the same day that he arrived. I had bought a new movie DVD on the same day for the inauguration of the five in one air lounge. I promptly called up the number on the holiday voucher to make a reservation for the holiday. The executive who received the call politely said that this offer can be availed only on a weekday. When I chose Manali as my favorite destination, he revealed that they were running full on all the places in North India and the only choice that was left for me was Kanya Kumari. Now asking my husband to spend thirty thousand rupees on airfare that too on a weekday to avail the three thousand rupees holiday was too much to ask. Never mind the holiday, I decided to inflate the air lounge with the free elec tric air inflater pump that came along. That is when I realized that it was not as easy as they showed it on TV and I needed Rahul’s help. As I watched Lord of the Rings, I couldn’t really concentrate on the hobbits and elves thanks to the discomfort of the plastic screeching under my load. The movie was finally over and then there was a new revelation. Deflating the airlounge was another ordeal altogether. After trying to deflate it for two minutes, I announced that it would be better to drag it to the study and leave it there so that it saves us the trouble next time of inflating and deflating. Come next Saturday, Rahul says that he would rather watch the movie on the leather couch. I too follow suit. Within three weeks, the five in one air lounge was deflated, neatly packed and shoved into the loft. “May be we could take it to Rishikesh when we go rafting and camping “ I consoled Rahul.

The Apple Cutter:

The thought of having beautifully sliced apple pieces for breakfast minus the seeds, prompted me to buy this. My shopping cart suddenly had loads of apples the week this was bought, and Rahul didn’t know why. Very soon the blades of the apple cutter dulled, and I needed to hit an object from the top for the apple cutter to completely slice the apples.

The Vegetable Chopper:

Perfectly sliced potatoes that I could make french fries with, and the curvy spirals of cucumber that I could decorate my salads inspired me to buy the vegetable chopper. Cleaning the chopper took longer than manually peeling and cutting the potatoes. My soggy sad french fries could never taste the same as Mac Donald’s hence the vegetable chopper was duly buried deep inside the cupboard.

Microwave Egg Boiler:

Dropping the egg into a pot of boiling water was getting too difficult. My son was in his growing phase. Getting soft, medium and hard eggs in three to four minutes directly from the microwave was a nice idea, hence this one was bought. Very soon my son developed a liking for eggs, not for eating, but for playing around with them. Imagine my disappointment when I returned home one day to find my son playing a throw ball game with the eggboiler and four to five eggs. I realized this was turning out to be a risky proposition and hence the age old pot boiling method was resumed.

Popcorn maker:

The realization dawned upon me only after I bought it: Who eats popcorn to satisfy one’s hunger? It is way too easier to buy a basket of caramelized popcorn( or just name the flavour on earth) than wait for the popcorn to pop out and put a stick into the machine so that the popcorn doesn’t burn!

Rocksalt Lamp:

I was quite impressed with the rock salt lamp when the salesman enumerated its benefits. Rock salt , apparently, was formed over a 250 million years ago when the light and energy of the sun dried up the original, primal ocean; a cycle which repeated itself for millions of years in the region creating this type of rock. Rock salt, he said, purifies air by creating negative ions and filtering the air By removing moisture from indoor air, things such as bacteria , virus, respiratory allergens and even spores(!) cannot remain airborne. They fall to the floor by gravity and die, especially in an ionized environment. It is known to improve immunity of an individual to repeated respiratory infections
The day I bought the lamp ,I chattered the benefits ( point wise, yes, Iam good at it thanks to my profession) to Rahul and insisted that it be switched on the whole night next to my bed. Ah! The pleasure of reading a book under its golden glow with my chi (life energy) all pepped up!
Unfortunately, for me, I think the forces of gravity acted the wrong way and I think instead of the bacteria falling to the floor ,they settled on me, and I had the worst of my colds the next day which has lasted for a week now, and as I am writing this blog. I am somehow scared to switch the rock salt lamp on again.

Profix Scratch Remover Pen:

Now who wouldn’t want a quickfix for the scratches on a black car , that are so many in number that it would actually cost a little less than the depreciated cost of the car itself to get a fresh paint job done? This scratch remover pen seemed an answer to my problem. It is a resin in the form of a pen that fills in the voids in the scratches and cures in the presence of UV Sunlight. Now there is the catch. The instruction says, you need sunlight for the resin to melt the paint adjacent to the scratch and cure it. It also mentions in fineprint a warning that it should not be used under direct sunlight. The foolish me, tried to use it in shade and then asked my driver to drive the car immediately to sunlight. The scratches didn’t get fixed at all. The next time I tried it in sunlight, but I guess the extreme ultraviolet rays of Delhi Summer cured the resin at the tip of the pen itself and I can no longer use it.:).

There are a couple of appliances in my mind now that I want to write about, but then I realized I could go on. In dentistry too, I like to indulge in similar useless gadgets that I buy and rarely use. The current one on my wishlist is a Five in One Presterilizer which washes, ultrasonically cleans, washes, disinfects and dries the dental instruments before they can be shoved into the autoclave. I would have bought it by now, the only thing that is holding me back is its price that is a little over a lakh and a half Indian Rupees. For as long as I cannot afford it, the grapes definitely look sour and I just hope it is as useless as my Five in One air lounge cum sofa ;)