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When I think of things that are “classic,” I think of cars made in the 1950s and one liners delivered by Henny Youngman. Wine vintages can be classic. Artistic eras. Rock music. People like to apply it to questionable behavior, when so-and-so got drunk and puked at a black-tie dinner, and it was “just classic.” In my neighborhood, there is a “Classic Car Wash and Propane.”
This place is just classic too. The propane in particular. I grill using that propane, and let me tell you, it’s truly classic. I’m not sure about the car wash because I never use it, but just looking at how popular it is and all the attendants around it taking cash, I think, yes, it very likely is classic. The one thing I don’t understand is why the gasoline isn’t classic. Isn’t an independent gas dealer these days the very definition of classic? Anyway, this has prompted me to go around my house identifying things that are classic, like the sheet of copy paper that’s taped to the ceiling in our office. Not only is this a classic example of my not having dealt with certain of this house’s aesthetic and operational shortcomings, but the previous owner’s taping of a piece of copy paper to the ceiling to cover an improperly recessed junction box is, I would submit, simply classic.
Ever since I got into the site “Wines till Sold Out,” I thought it would be good to start my own flash sales site. Wines Til Sold Out sells selected wines at steep discounts (or so I am enthusiastically willing to believe) until the lot is gone, which can take anywhere from a few minutes to half a day. This got me to thinking: how could I cash in on this idea that someone else came up with? Then, I had it: Hosts Til Sold Out. Same basic concept, except instead of selling wines you sell hosts to churches.
These are neither blessed by sacred rite yet nor heavily regulated by the state, keeping red tape at a minimum. In these tough economic times, everyone could use a financial break, even churches. There must be lots of competition and market gluts, and manufacturers of altar breads would probably be amenable to moving old product by dramatically slashing prices. (I’m thinking out loud here.) There are some kinks to work out yet but I’m going to run by my wife the idea of using a slice of our nest egg (or children’s college fund!) to invest in this scheme.
“Hi There. I know this is an ad for sales, but it turns out we live just down the road from each other. How’s it going? I’ve been thinking about you ever I noticed you selling these tickets online. I’m sorry, I can’t beat around the bush any longer, I think you’re smokin’ hot. Got a couple secs to shoot the breeze? I’ve used this site before, and I guaranty it’ll rock your world. Even though we don’t know each other and I’m responding to an ad in craisgslist about tickets to a rock concert that happened more than a week ago, I’ve saved snapshots just for you. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay). That’s how fascinating, and hot, you sound from your craigslist rock concert ticket ad. Section 103, you say? Row J? Very hot! I’ll message you once I see you logon to the site below.”
Little did I realize, when my wife and I agreed in December of 2011 to (finally) lay to rest our ailing kitchen range, that I would come to miss the ol' galoot. That GE dinosaur, with a self-cleaning feature rendered useless by its failing door-latch, had been something of an irksome child to us over the years, acting badly when guests came a-callin' by failing to get sufficiently hot to cook a pizza, and reeking of natural gas whenever you turned it on (which, I’m told, is not a good thing). But our kitchen had been custom-built back "In The Day" and the architect had apparently decided that s/he would design the whole kitchen around this funky GE appliance and its smallish, oddly structured frame. Far more learned men than I have failed to find a range that fits our kitchen's dimensions. Virtually every oven available required a kitchen renovation. But two ovens would fit, we learned, two ovens designed by a country much-beloved for its cuisine, though not necessarily for appliance manufacturing. But Italians must possess ranges that work! We decided against the cheaper Bertazzoni, at $2,200 (plus tax and shipping!), because Consumer Reports gave it a rating of 24 or so out of a possible 100. Instead, we opted for the $3,000 Smeg, which we want to pronounce “SMEEG” so as not to blush, but are forced to have it rhyme with “beg” whenever we call for a service appointment (which is often).
This range is the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. If I were a range, I’d ask it out on a date. But I’m not a range. I’m the weekend cook in our household, and every time this damnable, overdesigned Italian hunk of metal is set to simmer something, the electronics get confused and try to light already glowing burners. After five seconds of the ignitor snapping angrily, all the burners shut down. Meanwhile, this past spring, I spent a weekend in a barn that had a $200 gas range with pilot lights, and never did the burners shut down. Not long ago, I might have have a technician fix the gas smell on the range I already owned, instead of having one come out to fix burners on the expensive one I had chosen to replace it with.