Tuesday, April 6, 2010

the fine print

In the cafeteria/canteen at work is a microwave (featured in a past post, actually). I probably use it every other day. It's a little white LG.

To me, a microwave should really only have 3 buttons:

1. One more minute
2. Go
3. Stop/cancel

Don't need anything else. If you're cooking for less than a minute, chances are you're standing there and can just open the door when there's 37 seconds left if you need that precision. And have you ever used a power level less than 10? Or defrost? Or set it to start running 4 hours from now? Actually, I could go for a "totally power off" button- over its total lifetime, your microwave in standby (e.g. the clock) uses more energy than the cooking bit.

Today something about it caught my eye. At the top of the microwave are the "shortcut" buttons. Here you'd you'd typically press "popcorn" and it would automatically run for 8 minutes or however long it takes to turn your popcorn into a charred brick. I often wonder if they test their shortcuts on what they're really designed for, or if that facility burned down years ago.

The header of these buttons read "Aussie menus". I thought that strange coming from a South Korean company. Is it different for every country? I'm pretty sure they don't have a button for "American menus" in the US. Or so informal? What's the equivalent? "Yankee vittles"? "Kraut fare"?

So what's on the aussie menu? To quote:

dinner plate

Does this seem particularly Australian to you? No kanga bangas (kangaroo sausage), meat pies, anzac biscuits, chika rolls, fish and chips, or afternoon tea. No button for damper- not even a button for popcorn!

I reckon that "pizza" is vague- frozen or reheated? And what is a "dinner plate"? Isn't what's on the plate that counts? And how much different is rice from risotto that you'd need two buttons? Who is cooking risotto in the microwave anyway!

1 comment:

  1. We as Aussies are weird & our appliances are even weirder, this proves that.

    I expect your camera to be present for our dinner tomorrow night.