Strap in kiddos, we’re talking about anthropomorphized kitchen appliances today!
So, my hubby and I recently bought a house. We were warned before moving in of the accoutrements we would need: Lawn mowers, washer/dryers, the works.
But there was one piece of the puzzle we were missing to make this house a home. A garbage can. Call me crazy (and you will, by the end of this post), but I wasn’t about to lovingly bathe our old garbage can in the tub like some mangy golden retriever caked in last Thursday’s pork-and-kraut leftovers to pack in a truck next to our furniture.
My goal: A cheap, water-tight bin that held a trash bag full of grossness.
My husband’s goal: CHROME BABY! AS SHINY AS THE GREASE LEFT BEHIND BY THE AFOREMENTIONED PORK AND SAURKRAUT, BORDERED WITH BATMOBILE-BLACK TRIM, AND AS CLOSE TO A HUNDRED DOLLARS AS WE CAN WASTE WITHOUT STUFFING TWENTIES DOWN THE THROATS OF THE TOWNSHIP WORKERS DRIVING THE GARBAGE TRUCK!
(My husband would like to point out the garbage can we purchased was, in fact, less than $50.)
Such is life. However, I did agree with him on certain points. A metal garbage can—all sleek, polished, and Jetsens-y—would really class up our kitchen, because, let’s be honest, the 1980s cabinetry and Tuscan wallpaper aren’t really doing much for the contemporary ambiance. And so we hit up Amazon.
Funny thing about modern-living—most normal household objects are now automated. My vacuum putts around the living room by itself--possessed by love child of Mr. Clean and that Pinesol Lady, my shower has a critter that automatically sprays cleaner when I’ve fled from the tub (and sometimes before), and my iPhone can call in airstrikes on third world nations while reminding me to pick up milk when I get to the store. (Thanks, Siri!)
A garbage can doesn’t need to be automated. Except they are.
All of them.
The cheapest garbage can we could find needed FOUR D Batteries to function, you know, because of the infrared technology and radiant AI that automatically opens the lid when it senses your presence nearby. Totally unnecessary...and yet...
So, having the garbage can that opens for you is cool. Handful of potato scraps? Grab two fistfuls of slimy refuge and hover over the garbage can. Then, with a chorus of angels crescendo’ing in the background, the lid will open, and you can toss away your peels without care.
And then, something strange will happen.
If you’re like me—polite to a fault and perpetually terrified you might do something to anger the ever-present shade of your mother imbedded in your psyche—you’ll find yourself grateful for this piece of inanimate, obscenely overcomplicated piece of technology.
And then you’ll thank it.
You heard me. You. Will. Thank. The. Garbage. Can. For. Opening.
I mean, on a basic level, everyone likes to feel gratitude for a job well done. The difference is, thanking a coffee-house worker for handing you a cup of joe or a bank teller for counting out your paycheck is logical. Thanking a garbage can for opening when you have your hands full of shredded vegetable matter is something the author does when she has one too many plots drilling through her skull.
But it seems natural. And fun. Toss away that carton?
“Oh, thank you, garbage can!”
It’s super attentive and thoughtful.
Until it starts to aggravate you. And I’m not talking the-batteries-are-dying-and-this-is-a-pain-in-the-butt. I’m talking the lid closes before all your potato peels are inside the can. Then, the gratitude shifts.
“Damn it, I wasn’t done! Open. Open up! Garbage can, OPEN UP!”
And before you know it you’re shrieking like a banshee, stomping on the linoleum because the garbage can copped an attitude and you have places to be in your living-room and can’t be bothered to wait the five seconds it takes for the sensor to register your righteous indignation.
But the garbage can tries to make up for it. Occasionally, you’ll walk by and that little-lid-that-could will rocket up, just waiting for a moment to shine. The garbage can is overzealous in its attempts to serve you, and, like a puppy rolling around for treats, you have to let the damn contraption down gently because you have nothing to offer the insatiable garbage maw.
“Garbage can, stop.”
“I don’t have anything!”
And soon you’re avoiding the garbage can like it’s the creepy bearded homeless man proclaiming the return of Jesus while dressed only in the sport’s page of last week’s newspaper.
Last I checked most people warned about leaking roofs and shoddy electrical work. I’m worried about the coming technological singularity. I might have something still packed away that’s vaguely similar to a leather duster for my Matrix-esque defense against the rise of the tech, but I think I might be on my own.