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In which Dronon has a small electrical accident and then scoffs it off with retail encouragement - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
In which Dronon has a small electrical accident and then scoffs it off with retail encouragement
A couple of nights ago I pulled out my mixer/electric egg beater. It's the mixer my mom used to have in the kitchen when I was growing up, and when I moved out, she gave it to me. (It's a hand-held, 3-speed white General Electric 100W/115V mixer, catalog no. 56-M17). I don't know how old it is, but it's old, and in no condition to sell on E-Bay, given that it bears signs of having overheated and melted part of its plastic exterior at least once.

When my mom used to beat eggs with it, our TV set used to get a little extra static snow on the screen. The only time I remember the mixer malfunctioning was around 1985, when I was in grade 7. I had just learned about electricity and motors in science class, and I offered the only idea I had about what might fix it, which turned out to be the right answer. Ever since then, it's worked just fine.

So a few nights ago, I was just starting to plug it in - the plug wasn't even all the way in yet - when suddenly there was this loud SPAK! and the outlet and my fingertips were covered in soot. No shock, no smell, no blown fuses or switched-off circuit-breaker switches.

I don't really know what happened. The mixer had been sitting on the counter for a couple of days where I do my kitchen stuff, and I suppose something might've gotten splashed onto the plug or onto the outlet and I didn't notice. FYI, the mixer still works, and both outlets still work too, after I tested them while wearing rubber gloves and using slightly more expendible appliances.

Now at this point you're probably screaming, "NO! Buy a new mixer! Don't use those outlets!! Call building management to check the wiring!!!" None of this have I done. Actually, I haven't cleaned up the mess around the outlet yet, either. (Feel free to present arguments.)

Part of the reason for my denial is the stubborn part of my nature, but the other reason (tongue-in-cheek begins here) is a wonderful sign on a local store. My bus to work takes me through a crappy part of town, and when I first moved here, I noticed a rather unusual building off the street. It was kind of cubish and was not neighboured by any other structure, only parking spaces all the way to the sidewalk. This seemed odd, given that urban spaces near the center of the city tend to get filled up. I think the building might have once been a single-screen movie theatre. At the time, it was an adult video rental store. Then it closed for a while, and in the last year re-opened as a convenience store.

I love its huge sign. It makes my irony meter go off the scale. It makes me want to shout, "FINE! I will, starting with your sign!! I choose to not follow its instructions! ... Hey, wait a minute."

What's even better is that I'm not alone. On the wall outside one of the many empty storefronts in our downtown, someone put up this big poster, with no explanation. What can I say? I love this kind of thinking. :-)

(Edit: Apparently the latter is also a tribute to a local low-budget adman, Nick Hill.)
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From: momentrabbit Date: September 29th, 2006 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
At my previous place of work, one morning the familiar scent of melting plastic started wafting through the place. A minute earlier one of the employees had come out of the back room complaining that the kettle plug had shocked her when she'd used it. I hadn't had my coffee, so the logical question hadn't occured at the time - I asked now. "You.. did unplug it, didn't you?"

   "Why would I do that?"

I went to the car, got my linesman pliers, and came back in. The plug was smouldering, half the insulation on the power cord had melted off. And the kettle was still boiling water.

It was very satisfying to unplug it. Lots of sparks and crackling. Left soot all over the socket. (Yes, it would have been wiser to cut power at the breaker. None of the breakers were labelled, and we had servers running on some of them without UPS. It was a very silly place.)

I cut the cord at the kettle, tossed the cord in the dumpster, and suggested in future to avoid using sparking electrical systems.

IN sign news, I saw a 'TAKE OUT' neon sign where somebody had obviously been in a literal mood. Only the 'TAKE' word was still physically there. :)
kfops From: kfops Date: September 29th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, one thing for certain is that something arced. Beyond that, I wouldn't offer advice! Though chances are it is the mixer plug. Though that soot looks familiar, but I'll spare you my electrical adventures!

I love the "Discount Everything" sign. But I've noticed pictures of the Kern Hill Furniture Co-op guy showing up everywhere since he died. He's a local piece of culture, that's for sure!

Wow... there're even YouTube Videos of him!
dronon From: dronon Date: September 29th, 2006 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh neat! I had no idea the face was that of a local fixture. Toronto's low-budget ads were nowhere near as charismatic. There was Blaine Lastman, legitimate child of our dearly detested ex-mayor, who would dress up in striped jail clothes and try to sell furniture, and then there was Crazy Joe.
plonq From: plonq Date: September 29th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Come on down!

His kids are running the business (and doing the low-budget ads) now, but they didn't inherit their dad's charisma.
kfops From: kfops Date: September 29th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apparently the sofa-making-machine was powered by personality.

I can't believe he left it on all night!
rhinoscillator From: rhinoscillator Date: September 30th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, there was Mister "I Buy Your Jewellery". ("Oh, yeah!") And it's not a TV ad, but I can't help but like Boris The Mover's phone messages.

I'm still hoping to see those late night ads for whatever Chinese restaurant it was - they used to run on CBC now and then during The Prisoner and Spitting Image. There was a woman who was always in them, looking vaguely distressed by the whole experience, and when they wheeled up a cart of food, I remember her doing a double-take, with what looked like an expression of absolute horror... perhaps it'll pop up on YouTube some day.
6 comments or Leave a comment