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Kitchen chores an exercise in futility

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hanging up my wine glasses, it occurs to me that the wine rack people really got it right. I can slide 30 glasses up there without bending over to put them away.

Everything else I do around here, I have to hunch over to do it. Why is everything at knee level? Haven't we evolved? Even Neanderthal man was standing upright.

I'm amazed more entrepreneurs haven't caught on.

The oven people made an attempt. They thought: Why make people get down on all fours and stick their heads into 450 degrees just to see if something's bubbling? The microwave's not down there, so why should the oven be? And so ovens got installed at eye level.

The mistake they made was keeping the bottom one underneath it. So not only is there pressure to bake like crazy because you now have TWO ovens, but you've got to have buns of steel for all those squats you're going to do checking the top oven, bottom oven, top oven, bottom oven.

The refrigerator people are making an effort. They're making them taller and all-around bigger so you can go high, deep or wide with your groceries and leave the lower drawers for extra sticks of butter and food that's expired that you're too tired to throw away.

But the dishwasher people, they're just living in denial. They can dress that thing up with all the rollers and baskets and stainless they want, but at the end of the day you're still bent over fishing around for a baby spoon down around your shins.

And they think people want the three-hour delay feature so they won't have to hear the noise. They want the three-hour delay so they can go bake something in the top oven and get a nice stretch before assuming the dishwasher position — a full bend at the waist you're stuck in the whole time you're shuttling pots from the washer to the lower cabinet. Like your kitchen has a 3-foot ceiling or something.

And you just stay like that as you walk to the laundry room, where you have to reach down to get clothes out of the washer and then down a little further to shove them into the dryer.

By now you've morphed into an ape and you head into the playroom, your arms swinging around in front of you, grabbing as many cars and trucks as you can with each pass. Then you sling them into a basket and figure you'll go ahead and empty trash cans while you're down there.

Someone yells for you to grab Monopoly, at which point you drop and roll over to the game cabinet.

But then you remember the dishwasher. And you know it's just a matter of time. You crawl back to the laundry room and kneel to empty the dryer.

You pull yourself up to crouching, while you fold clothes and put them in a basket. Your back pops a little as you straighten to stand to reheat your cup of cold coffee in the microwave. Then you open the dishwasher with great excitement because you know what's next. You grab two wine glasses, head over to the wine rack and stretchhhhh, stretchhhhhh. Cro-Magnon man never had it so good.

I'm telling you — it's the best part of the day.

Kitchen chores an exercise in futility 04/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 12:44pm]
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