Plastic Fatigue or: A Tale of Two Pities
Undoubtedly, a malign convergence of the stars in the constellation Plastic Objects accounts for the trove Entropy has seized from our home this week. Deploying its dreaded ultimate weapon, plastic fatigue, Entropy has claimed a perfectly good electric kettle by destroying a small but necessary latch. Sailing under the banner of Planned Obsolescence, Entropy has seized an otherwise perfectly good WaterPik by introducing some sort of polymer-porosis to its hose, causing water to spray everywhere but in the user’s mouth. Entropy also bagged a flap necessary to prevent our dishwasher from flooding.
I had the sad and somewhat visceral duty of discarding the DeLonghi electric tea kettle and the WaterPik. They enjoyed useful life for years beyond their terms of warranty, and their service was much appreciated. We were able to retrieve the dishwasher from Entropy’s lugger and procure a replacement part, but now I fear for our toaster and panini grill….
Obsolescence is the ally of Entropy. Seeking to replace my indispensable electric kettle, I would have thought that every store would be well-stocked with electric tea kettles in time for Christmas by now. But I was mistaken. Ace Hardware had one white plastic Black & Decker electric tea kettle. Even if I could have warmed up to finding the white plastic cute, the kettle had no lid or any way to introduce water into its fetching little plastic body except through its small pert spout. Lowe’s did not have a single electric kettle. It took me a long time to discover this, because traffic on Union from S. 19th to Center St. was backed up due to construction unannounced until it was too late to change my course, and so it took more than ten minutes to gain half a mile.
Rather than discovering that kettle obsolescence had metastasized to Kmart and Target, I came home and ordered a wonderful electric kettle with the automatic shut-off feature so coveted by ADD wives. Until it arrives, I shall focus my complete attention, such as it is, on the process and progress of boiling water in our gutted percolator.
Stores have stopped selling things, manufacturers have stopped making things, and so, I posit that this consumer will also need to find a new line of work. Good luck, Economy.