March 15, 2005

... Unless You're Hungry ...

It must get boring down in the basement of the big pots and pans company.

Under a single hanging lightbulb slaves away the copywriter gnome, crafting the fine "Directions and Care" paragraph; sculpting the "Our Promise To You" blurb; and literally composing, under the most ungracious conditions and against all computable odds,the vaunted "Limited Lifetime Warranty". That one includes addresses, phone numbers and time zone references. Astounding work.

So, explain the following.

Somewhere in paragraph 3, after advisement against using electrosol dishwashing detergents, and after the highly practical instruction to use only non-abrasive pads or plastic mesh puffs for cleaning the patented Never-Stick Never-Scratch Never-Succumb-to-Aunt-Betsy's-Glass-Melt-Egg-Brick Surface, comes this [and I'm quoting it verbatum, from the real honest-to-goodness insert in our just purchased cooking technology]:

"The oven should be completely preheated before placing pan in oven as temperature may exceed 350 degrees F during preheat period. CAUTION: For safety, please keep pet birds out of kitchen."

Pet Birds.

(Oh, and, emphasis added by me).

Yes, I guess when you're shackled to a quill and a stone in the warranty-writer dungeon, you might do just about anything to amuse your constituency. Perhaps there is a very keen ornithological mind behind such a warning.

My psychobabble instinct would tell me the writer in question feels trapped, like the imagined kitchen-dwelling caged creature, and is projecting his lust for freedom into my kitchen, the home of my beloved, carefree, no-stick pan.

Or maybe he's trying to send a code to the outside world. Perhaps "pet birds out of kitchen" is some secret anagram cipher for "locate nearest kin". I don't know, I'm too lazy to look further into it.

I will now have a grilled cheese on wheat, and for a moment wonder why Polly doesn't ask for a bite. Eventually I'll remember where I put Polly before I sparked up the stove.


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