Is there a word that describes things that are inherently stupid? Like the fact that hotdogs come in 10 packs and buns come in eight? Or the fact that a package of Poptarts is TWO servings? Honestly. Who the heck only eats ONE Poptart? Or when it says on the package of Planter’s Honey Roasted, “May contain nuts”?
Is this all one department somewhere? Is there a factory hidden in some nondescript industrial park in an obscure suburb where the mission statement is, “Our goal is to be the Number One irritant of consumers everywhere!” Because I am convinced it takes serious effort, coordination and a solid business plan to create products of such intense and unrelenting ridiculousness.
And, it just so happens that I have a specific example in mind.
Last month I wrote a guest post for Dealusional and recounted in glorious detail a shopping trip to Macy’s where we scored huge on the discount meter. I mean, we redlined that baby. And we were proud.
One item on that raging list o’ cut-price booty was a butter dish. Why did we need a butter dish? Because ours is chipped. We have a wee bit of a problem with any dishware not made of reinforced titanium. I have three kids. I also have granite countertops. *Crash!* “Sorry!” is heard in our kitchen more often than “What’s for dinner?”
So as Himself and I were perusing the kitchen department, owing to our really, really wanting a dutch oven and a kitchen knife able to cut items more robust than overripe peaches, we spotted a butter dish and remembered a recent conversation where we discussed what life was like for people who don’t have chunks missing from every dish they own. Oh, how we envy those people. We want to be like them. We think that those people – the unchipped people – must have better, smoother, richer lives with fewer embarrassing dinner party moments wherein they try to pass of the magnitude of chips as the sad consequence of a nasty infestation of kitchen squirrels.
So when the butter dish caught our eye, into the pile it went.
The butter dish was then dutifully washed by one of the children and put away. Note that I said “put away,” not “filled with butter.” Putting butter into the butter dish and putting said butter dish into the refrigerator requires a level of forethought, planning and execution that is a challenge for the average teenager. It matters not that the child in question gets straight A’s, plays several musical instruments, can type or text at 90 words per minute and juggles a social calendar that rivals Paris Hilton’s. Putting butter IN a butter dish is simply asking too much.
For this reason, we didn’t use the new butter dish right away. It took me a little while to remember that we’d purchased it. But one day while setting the table for a family brunch I mused, “Two butter dishes would be helpful here…” and then thought, “Hey! I have a second butter dish! How Martha-y of me!” And I rummaged around cupboards till I found where the kids had hidden it. (Another ongoing challenge – deducing where a teenager will think to put things. You know, like butter dishes. Or forks.)
I found the butter dish, unwrapped a new cube of butter and put the cover over the it, where it then sat, hovering a good 3/4 inch over the plate.
I picked the cover back up, looked in it and looked back at the butter (as if I might have overlooked a baboon hiding in the lid or failed to notice that the cube of butter was actually the size of a pineapple). All looked fine so I tried again.
No go. The cover was NOT going over the butter. So what did I do next?
The axiom in my family for these sorts of situations is, “If force doesn’t work, use more force.”
So I pushed the lid down.
When I then lifted the lid up, this was the result:
I shouted for Himself, indignantly brandished the butter filled butter cover at him and demanded an explanation. (Because the best thing to do in situations like this is yell at innocent family members.) Himself looked at the clearly dysfunctional butter situation and remarked that the dish must be for a long, slender cube of butter.
He is probably right.
Except, I do not, I will not, I categorically refuse to buy butter based on shape. I have three children, I buy what’s on sale.
And truth be told, I have not seen butter of the long, slender shape for quite some time, so even if I were irrational enough to let the butter dish dictate my grocery shopping habits, it’s unlikely I could accommodate this little piece of Diva crockery.
That there even exists two shapes of butter which requires that attention be paid to the size of butter dishes to ensure that cube and dish will be anatomically compatible is proof that society as we know it is doomed.
We used the butter dish, taking the butter from the lid to spread on our various foodstuffs, until it was all used up. We advised any guests unfortunate enough to dine with us for the next week or so that we would be setting the table with a trick butter dish and then let them figure it out.
A local charity is sending a truck round the neighborhood this week to pick up donations of household goods.
Guess what’s in our pile?