My friend Spike believes that a kettle is just a kettle, nothing more and nothing less. “Why complicate life”, he says.
It’s a fair point so I asked him to prepare his argument and type something up, which he didn’t want to do. I told him I’d publish it and eventually he did it – so here it is.
Kettles are Kettles - by Spike Hancock
We live in a consumer world and the “market” feeds this. So we buy more and more useless stuff that we don’t really need. But this is the way the world works selling us more and more things.
I’ve got a claw hammer, that belonged to my father, it’s old but it does what it’s supposed to do and the design of the hammer hasn’t changed since Roman times. I don’t need a hammer gun that drives in nails at 30 per minute. It complicates my life. I still need the hammer though and my old Dad’s hammer will do just fine!
My wife on the other hand is kitchen gadget mad. We’ve got electric ham slicers, electric knives (which she’s only used once) and an electric knife sharpener. I do all the knife sharpening and I do it the old fashioned way (only takes a few minutes).
All these gadgets clutters the place up. We end up storing all this stuff, that we hardly/never use and then can’t find the things we really need as cupboards, draws are filled with useless junk.
My wife is a great collector of Tupperware or should it be Tuppa Wear – I don’t know? Now I can’t argue with Tupperware because it is useful, it has a place in the modern kitchen and it’s a great invention, but…
Lots of companies make it and they make it in different sizes and different shapes and there’s the problem. We have lots of different brands, which means lots of trays and lots of lids. It’s a nightmare finding a lid and a tray that go together.
I just don’t have the time or the patience. If I had my way I’d throw the lot out and just use cling film.
Variable Temperature Kettle
My daughter bought her mum a new kettle which allows you to set the temperature. “This is probably the one electrical gadget she was missing”. Why we needed one, God only knows but it was a present. She then threw out the old perfectly good kettle for this new one – she didn’t have room in the kitchen for both.
I found this very annoying, “what was wrong with the old kettle”, I said. “This is better, you can set the temperature!”. “why?”. “Because you can make herbal tea and cupa-soups!” “But we don’t drink either?”.
“You can boil water with the new kettle – if you must.”
Back to the Hammer
Like the hammer, the kettle needs no improvement. The only thing that’s happened to it in modern times is that we’ve all gone over to electric kettles instead of stove kettles.
So “boiling water” was like a concession to me, if that’s what I wanted to do. That’s exactly what I want to do!
I swear that my wife, Carol, has only ever boiled water in our new fancy temperature controlled kettle. Amazingly I’ve never seen her just “heat up water” with it. There “I rest my case”.
Despite what everyone says, 90% of the population just need a simple device that boils water.