Friday, February 26, 2010

How to fix a toaster

The other day I broke my Most Valuable Appliance: the four-slice toaster.

Apparently, this is what I get for cleaning the kitchen. I should have just left well enough alone. After I emptied out the crumb trays, I took the whole thing and turned it upside down, shaking more crumbs out.

When I plugged it back in, one side of the toaster didn't work. That is, when I pressed it down it popped right back up. If I kept holding the handle down, it would still heat up. But to me, it kind of defeats the purpose of having a toaster if I'm standing there there holding the knob down the whole time.

Now I had a four-slice toaster that would only toast two pieces of bread. For a few days it didn't matter, as I never needed to toast four slices at once. But the other morning when I was getting ready to make bagels for everyone, I was finally motivated to investigate the problem.

Not knowing much about toasters, I unplugged it and peered inside, wondering what had gotten jiggled loose. How much of a gamble would it be to open the thing up and try to fix it? Right now I at least had a working two-slice toaster. If I tried to mess with it I might end up with no toaster at all.

In the end it was not fear but laziness that prevailed. I didn't want to go find a screwdriver. But, I thought, I broke the toaster by holding it upside down and shaking it. Maybe I could fix it the same way. So, that is exactly what I did.

Every once in a while you have one of those moments where the illogical thing you do on a whim turns out to be the thing that works. No one could be more surprised than I was when I saw that all four slots of my toaster were back in business.

**My apologies to all the people with broken toasters who thought this might be a helpful tutorial.**

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