Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Averting Nuclear Threat Through Judicious Use of Caffeine

          I think I may know what's going on lately with that mysterious bundle of brinksmanship, nuclear threat, and starvation that is North Korea.

          K bought a new coffeemaker the other day. It makes lovely coffee. We've successfully had this lovely coffee exactly two days out of the four we've owned it.

          When coffee failed to materialize again this morning, K spoke a string of Very Bad Words that shocked even Casey (since she is the chief cause of Very Bad Words at our house, she has become accustomed to them, but these particular words were Very Bad Indeed).

It's complicated…

          A certain amount of careful prodding revealed that the flimsy plastic base the carafe sits on is the key to the correct operation of the entire coffee-making system. This base, in addition to looking expendable, is fiendishly difficult to attach correctly to the rest of the machine, and at the same time exceptionally easy to detach, leading to no coffee and Very Bad Words.

          So, a word of advice for the industrial designers who specialize in coffeemakers.

          Coffee is made in the bleary dark hours of what was just recently blackest night, by Insufficiently Caffeinated—and possibly Insufficiently Rested—Persons. Coffeemakers, therefore, need to be less difficult to operate than spoons. Flailing in the general direction of the coffeemaker should be all that is necessary to make it work correctly.  Coffeemakers that inexplicably require the fiddly correct placement of a cheap-looking plastic disk in order to perform their life-saving function of coffee delivery should make it very very easy indeed to place this disk correctly and almost impossible to unseat it.

          Otherwise, you'll end up with Insufficiently Caffeinated Dictators grumping around, refusing to answer their special red phones, threatening to attack their neighbors, and looking for the launch codes for the nuclear missiles.

          I think we should all chip in and get Kim Jong-un a nice new coffeemaker. One that's extremely easy to operate.

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