Land of Broken Toys

By misled Emmet
Every house has one, covered with shame.
Now that every consumer in the country is shopping, shopping, shopping there will be embarrassing additions. Guaranteed.
At Cobb Manor, we called it “The Land of Broken Toys.” It is the special (undercounter) area where past purchases live, never to be seen again. At The Cobb, the star entries are a ridiculously expensive blender (used five times) and a waffle maker, used a little more than that.
The blender was a QVC purchase obtained under that sleepy condition in front of the television called “I need that.” If you watch those pitchmen (and pitchwomen) for long enough you will absolutely NEED that item. Especially if Blue Eyes says “I’ll go half.” I won custody of the blender and used it aggressively for…several weeks. Hey, it would give me all those good vitamins and protein and maybe I would drop a few pounds.
Always a good thing.
But if you are really hungry at 11:45 in the forenoon, you are much more likely to pick up a roast beef sandwich at Megunticook Corner or a fabulous burger at The Helm than make a smoothie. Forget all bags of frozen fruits and vegetables in the freezer. I think they are all now afflicted with the dreaded freezer burn, but I just can’t throw them out.
I had to have a slow cooker. I figured the antidote to the winter darkness and cold was to cook a day-long beef stew or chicken and veggies. It now takes up half the counter and I wash is down every few weeks. I know I used it once. Maybe twice. Bad purchase.
The waffle maker was a good idea and at one time was used quite a bit. Now, it is caked with batter and impossible to clean, at least by me. I might get a new one.
Our friend Aaron Galloway of Blake FM has carefully researched this “Land of Broken Toys” phenomenon. He has issued this top-ten alert just in time for Christmas shopping. I suspect Aaron has a lot of time on his hands, much like I do.
Anyway, his top useless gift is the sleep monitor, of which I am unaware. This is some electronic record of your sleep patterns. I cannot imagine what use this would be, unless to schedule afternoon naps in time to wake up for Pardon the Interruption. I have never been interested in cocktail shakers (number two) because it has no application to beer. But I have seen this purchased and passed around at holiday events.
Cobb Manor, like your house, once had a bread maker, didn’t it? I know I bought one and used it once. The bread was perfectly acceptable and the aroma filled the house for hours. Then it just disappeared one day. It has not been missed. I simply drop into ABC Bakery in Rockland and buy my fill.
We already covered the juicer, mention by Galloway. One machine I was never tempted to buy was a pasta maker. It always looks like way too much work and they sell pasta at the neighborhood grocery store in neat little packages. Another item I was never tempted to buy was a digital photo frame. Likewise a fondue pot. I have enjoyed fondue (at other people’s houses) many times, but do not want to bring the mess to Cobb Manor.
Blue Eyes has a pile of workout DVDs and actually used them religiously. She is like that. I am not. She has a ballerina frame and I get more like Santa Claus every decade. Galloway says to avoid them at all costs. Most likely you will be like me and just stare at them. Especially if they have pictures of Jane Fonda.
I have seen those foot spas in stores for decades. I know that they will never be used, but quickly banished to the Land of Broken Toys. Walter G. and I discovered the chocolate fondue fountain in the Golden Corral last spring. It was fun for three minutes, but I would hate to have it in my house. Suppose I did use it?
When you are making your Christmas shopping list, beware these items. You have only so much room in your house.
Lawn sale anyone? Juicer? Waffle maker?