Every morning over breakfast, I examined myself in the reflection of the toaster. I didn’t have another mirror in my house, the one in the bathroom falling victim to a drunken toothbrushing incident. So I was forced to preen over my favourite appliance.
Tellingly, Sophie, my new girlfriend who rarely came to visit, hated it. She would start yelling at me as I groomed myself in the wavy, imperfect likeness.
“What the hell are you doing?” she stamped.
“Getting ready for our date?” I asked.
“That’s ridiculous. Why can’t you just buy a mirror?
I shrugged. I could barely afford to go out, let alone throw money around on luxury items like a mirror. Especially when I had a perfectly good toaster at my disposal. A thought suddenly occurred – if I did get a mirror maybe I could attract a better date.
“Well, we’re late for supper. Can you at least make me some toast?”
“It’s not that kind of toaster,” I admitted.
Sophie stamped in an expected disapproval.
But the toaster still sort of worked. In addition to it’s reflecting duties, it also doubled as a filing cabinet. When it stopped browning my bread due to electrical failure, I began keeping my pencils, rulers and notes inside. It amused most of my visitors to watch me use a Sharpie, replace it and then press down the lever, causing the contents to be lowered neatly inside.
But my date was not easily amused. Nor was she impressed, snowed or tickled.
“Are you trying to get me to buy you a new toaster?” Sophie asked.
“Are you trying to change me?” I retorted.
I liked my toaster filing cabinet. But while I claimed to be attached to its aesthetic, I secretly hated throwing things away. Hidden in my closet was a dumpster’s horde of treasures. Included in my collection of lame belongings was a phone that wouldn’t dial but made a decent garlic press, an overheating alarm clock that kept my tea warm and pens that lacked ink but, if prompted, could give an effective stabbing.
Fortunately for Sophie there were no pens close by – they were all safely tucked away in the toaster.
“One day I’m going to throw that fucking thing away,” she threatened.
“Who, Andy?” I asked, motioning towards my treasured toaster. “He’s family.”
I picked up my beloved appliance and kissed it viciously, on the mouth.
“Whoa,” she said, finally stunned.
“That was so gay.” With that she turned to leave.
“Wait,” I yelled after her. “Andy can be a girl’s name too!”