Appliance of science

PUBLISHED: 20:03 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:44 11 May 2010

THERE is someone out there who decides that when coming up with a new design for a piece of equipment, there has to be added complications. It is, I suppose, because we live in the age of technology. Or is it because these people believe they are so cleve

THERE is someone out there who decides that when coming up with a new design for a piece of equipment, there has to be added complications.

It is, I suppose, because we live in the age of technology.

Or is it because these people believe they are so clever and innovative that they have to make life difficult for the rest of us?

Nothing, you would think, could be more simple than getting a new toaster to work.

Yes, an ordinary, everyday toaster.

But now these gadgets come with all sorts of added devices.

Indeed, it comes to a point where understanding the workings of an Apollo spacecraft on a moon mission is less complicated.

As can be seen, we have a new toaster.

It looks attractive sitting there ready to devour a piece of best sliced.

But it comes with all sorts of buttons and a built-in programme that has turned a simple task into one that is now really demanding.

Working the right buttons, there appears to be a choice of light toast or medium toast, or dark toast. It's all toast, isn't it?

Then there is a button that can be used to eject the piece of best sliced while it is still being turned into toast.

I dare not touch that particular button because I still remember the classic Morecambe and Wise sketch when the toast was almost launched as high as the ceiling.

And this new device has the capacity to make a toasted sandwich.

First thoughts on having such a programme added to the toaster was that all the cheese would surely melt into the machine.

There would be endless operations of clearing out pieces of Cheddar and Red Leicester.

But those clever design people, obviously, have the answer.

There are toasted sandwich bags which do not, so it seems, actually catch alight when placed between the waiting jaws of our latest piece of equipment. Then, of course, there is the task of actually getting open one of these sandwich bags.

Perhaps it's an old-fashioned attitude, but real toast is when you can smell the burning and listen to the sound of it being energetically scraped with a knife.

Those days, it seems, are something of the past.

Oh well, pass the marmalade.

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