Saturday, March 08, 2008

r.i.p. mr coffee

Dead coffee maker sitting on my kitchen counter. Promising hot coffee, brewing nothing. I plugged you in and left the kitchen to doodle in the other room. After 5 minutes, a severe lack of coffee aroma in my apartment. Negative aroma. Coffee maker, you have one task in life: make coffee. You stopped doing that. You pooped on my weekend routine. Spoonfuls of Dunkin Donuts beans ground up for what?

You've been with me since Freshman year of college. I didn't use you much for coffee then. I used you to heat up water for my ramen Cup Noodles. After that, you had a three year hiatus when I never made coffee. Then I brought you to my first Chicago apartment. Your on/off switch broke in 2004. You were ON in perpetuity, and the new ON/OFF became plugging-in (on)/pulling plug (off). Most people would have gotten a new coffee maker at this point. Not me, boy-o. I use things until they die, until they run into the ground, until they become a complete safety hazard.

I should give you a proper burial. Smash you on the sidewalk outside a Starbucks. But I'll probably throw you in the trash, sprinkle you with ground coffee. That'll be good enough. A fitting tribute. You were never a great coffee maker, but you were good enough. I suppose I understand. Like the way I feel about my temp jobs, y'know. Never doing a great job, but never striving for greatness. Clockwatching. Farting around the internets. G-chatting with Annie about how one of the American Idol contestants looks like our favorite inmate from HBO's Oz. I'd feel guilty if it interfered with the job I'm paid to do, but I get the job done and then some -- I am, apparently, pretty okay at what I do. Pretty okay enough that they keep extending the time they want to keep me around. I'm the duct tape in the office machinery. Competent enough to avoid getting canned. I didn't break the copier, but I did break the PDF file converter with a Power Point file too large to be converted whole (How was I supposed to know a 9 MB file would crash the system?). Nobody expects greatness from a temporary situation. It's shocking how a mediocre level of functionality is considered an "awesome job."

So, Mr Coffee, I sympathize. Or empathize. Two words I use interchangeably and probably incorrectly. You did okay for yourself. Even if you spent half of your life semi-broken. I'll forgive today's disappointment. You made pretty okay coffee in your life, and that's what counts. Cheers.