Friday, July 29, 2022

The Red Kettle


Some years back a friend showed me her fancy new tea kettle that boiled so quickly I suspected Superman's eyeballs were the heat source.


But I didn't drink tea much at the time, so I didn't add this Super Kettle to the list of things I'd get "one of these days."


Fast forward to this year.


Holden Sheppard posted a picture of his kettle on Twitter and I didn't realize he meant his red kettle sitting on the stove in the background. I though it was some sort of Aussie phrase for a body part.  (Holden is fondly known as Hubba Hubba Shepherd here at Shark Central.)


That reminded me of the kettle I'd seen lo, those many years ago. I do drink tea now  but I also use boiling water to warm up the coffee pot and the coffee mug before I turn on the coffeemaker (this is a very neat trick but I only started using it when I began working from home and wasn't rushing to catch the 9:03 train.)


So I bought a red electric kettle.

It was darn cute.



I washed it carefully and plugged it in.


Superman was elsewhere (maybe working out with Holden Sheppard).

It took a while to get the water boiling.


So I compared the using the kettle with boiling water on the stove.

Same amount: 1 cup.


Ready set go.


Stove was more than 30 seconds faster.


What you also need to know is I don't pay for the natural gas that fuels the cooktop burners.

I do pay for electricity that runs the kettle.


So long kettle.



As is my habit when I have appliances (or pretty much anything) in working order that I no longer need,

I put it in a transparent plastic bag and hang it on the railing in front of my apartment building. 


It's a time honored tradition in Brooklyn.


So, on my next jaunt out, I put the kettle out to find a new home.


Only when I was on the train did I realized I'd failed to include the instructions with the kettle. I rather hoped it would still be there when I got back.


But, as I  came up out of the subway and walked up the street I saw "my" red kettle.

In the hands of the only man on our street that I really truly dislike.



He's an older guy, works (or hangs out) at the barbershop by the bodega.  I actively dislike him because he torments the homeless guy who lives on our block. Once he even used a squirt gun to spritz the guy with water....and was laughing about it.



It was all I could do to not grab it out of his surly mitts snarling "you do NOT deserve the red kettle."


I settled for a disdainful sniff. He's probably used to that since it's pretty much my standard response to him.


But I'm kinda sorry my cute red kettle is now gone.



Have you regretted giving something away?


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Regrets regarding my shedding of the unused and unnecessary are many. Several years ago, when we downsized from a huge family home to a phone booth sized in-law apt. (remember phone booths?) I gave away items so soaked in memories that their liquid still leaks from my eyes from time to time. I feared, once the item goes, the memory goes too. (Cliché alert) So far so good, but then again how would I know? Can you forget if you forgot?

Kitty said...

My maternal grandmother was very artistic. She used to stencil things -- trays, furniture, crockery -- For which she made her own stencils. A distant cousin (once removed) asked me if she could have something Grandma B. had stenciled. I gave her a large tray and told myself at least it was remaining in the family.

Mister Furkles said...

Mister Furkles: -- this computer thinks I'm 'unknown'
Yes. When I was ten years old, my great aunt gave me a nautilus fossil her gardener found in her backyard. When I went away to college, it was given, with my consent, to the state university. It was only a couple of years later that I regretted parting with it.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Yes. My daughter recently reminisced about a specific "maze" type jigsaw puzzle that was difficult to do. Back when, the kids and I lived in a home where the dining and living room were 1 space. We always put together many 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles each winter and that one was always fun.

I have sooo many puzzles now in my home. A few years ago, I whittled them down. I was sure I had asked them about the ones in the to-donate pile. sigh...

Trudy said...

Like Carolynnwith2Ns, I recently downsized, so much stuff went to charity or the tip, and I still ended up moving into a house so stuffed with stuff, that I literally couldn't get into some rooms.

There are some things I regret getting rid of. My shoe collection, my little electronic kitchen scales, a fluted ceramic flan dish that was a wedding present from my cousin Helen.

Downsizing one husband, something I definitely don't regret.

Barbara Etlin said...

Books! When we moved from a house to a condo, I donated way too many books, many of which I have rebought.

Rena McClure Taylor said...

I'm giving my wedding china (Syracuse, Wedding Ring pattern--white w. platinum band) to a niece when she marries Oct. 1. (Yes, she wants it, she told her mother when Mom hinted it might happen--she'd put it in the antique china cabinet another aunt is giving her.) I only used the set four or five times, but I have fond memories of the china, along with the white lace tablecloth and silver candlesticks at those distant anniversary tables. I tell myself she'll use the china and make her own lovely memories--and I'll have no regrets for giving it away.

Luralee said...

When we left Brooklyn the antique couch didn’t fit in the truck. It was missing a leg since we broke it off getting it into our first apartment. It got stuck halfway up the stairs to our second apartment and then again in the door. The telephone guys had to squeeze around it to hook up the phone. It needed reupholstering, so we went to some vast upholstery supply warehouse in the east village and picked up everything we’d need and then put off working on it. Months later, I came home to find my husband had
ripped all the upholstery off down to the springs. I was eight months pregnant. There was now no comfortable place to sit.

We never quite finished the upholstery. I pushed the couch against the wall so the back didn’t matter, right? Anyway, I miss that couch. I wonder if anyone rescued it or if it ended up in a landfill.

We furnished that apartment with recycled street finds. A wooden chest, theatre chairs, electric piano, orchids, multiple globes, books, picture frames, and an African thumb piano. Pickings aren’t so interesting here in bland suburbia land but still, I’ve dragged home a pair of garden benches and a cozy coupe. My neighbors must think I’m nuts. I sometimes wonder if anyone regretted throwing those things out (the thumb piano is especially cool)

NLiu said...

Baby clothes. Husband forced me to give them away because we moved countries. But they were so cute! And I did need them again. Oops?

At least I passed them on to a friend who used them.

But I regret *keeping* some of my grandmother's china instead of letting my cousin have all of it. She would have looked after it better.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Ugh...! So many "things" and I do try to remind myself that they are just things. But the biggest regret is an antique dry sink I gave to one of my nieces. Shortly after, she and her husband had a catastrophic roof leak and that adorable dry sink got ruined. It was one of the very first pieces of furniture I purchased after Jim and I got married (over 30 years ago).

By the way - putting hot water into a kettle or any type of vessel before adding the brew water is called "hot the pot." My grandmother used to say it: "Don't forget to hot the pot before you make the tea."

Leslie said...

Beatles records - singles (45s) that were apparently worth a bit of money.

When I was young, I somehow acquired a record collection that probably belonged to my mom (stuff that pre-Boomers liked). Most of it bored me, but I found a few I liked. I also came across some Beatles singles that I listened to, but wasn't all that into. But my older cousin (he's 5 years older) has always been a hardcore fan of the band, so I thought I'd do something nice and give them to him. That did not go over well with my parents. At the very least, we could've sold them.

I still have no idea whose records those were because they didn't seem to be my mother's taste and back then, my dad was more a "damn hippies" type when it came to music and hated anything to do with rock music (fast forward to him coming with me to see The Who in 2002 and 2004...)

Beth Carpenter said...

My father HATED new clothes, but once every few years my mother would drag him in for a new suit, which would then hang in the closet for six months before he wore it to church. But once when he opened the new bag, it turned out to be an even older suit. Mother must have accidently donated the new one. I like to think some bargain shopper with short legs and a seconds-on-pie waistline aced a job interview in that lovely gray suit.

Craig F said...

To me the amount I miss something is directly proportional to who I gave it to.

I really miss my comic book collection and old PlayStation, but the place I gave them to has done so much in getting some kids connected because of it, I gave them some watercolor pencils and a couple of pads of drawing paper.

They are now having competitions about super hero design.

Michael Seese said...

Regarding the kettle, take satisfaction knowing his electric bill will go up.

Stuff given away...

Like almost everyone else, back in the 70s I THREW AWAY baseball cards that would be worth a fortune today.

And in the 80s, I sold a mini-guitar that was so uncommon that today I literally cannot find pictures of it on the Internet.

AJ Blythe said...

I used to regret things I gave away, but as I am getting older, I am losing those regrets. I am sick of clutter and if something can be used by someone else, I'm happy.

Did you know a US advertisement for an electric kettle made headlines in Australia recently? We pretty much only use electric kettles here so the advert making it sound like a new invention in the States caused a stir.

Janet, the reason your kettle didn't boil as fast is because your (America's) electricity is 120 volts while Australia's is 230 volts. And we do a similar thing in Oz - everything gets put on the footpath for others to take.

Steve Forti said...

We got an electric kettle a few years ago and it's amazing. Boils faster and with multiple precise temperature options. I'm a convert.

LynnRodz said...

I usually don't regret giving something away, but the only thing I can think of is my collection of Nero Wolfe books when I moved. I keep telling myself, I'll replace them, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

The kettle has been around for decades. Here in France we couldn't do without it. I think, as AJ said, the reason why yours didn't heat up as fast is because of your 110 volts. Otherwise, there's no comparison to how quickly you can heat up water.

Beth your comment about your dad had me laughing out loud.

John Davis Frain said...

I agree, Lynn, regarding Beth's dad. And I adore the seconds-on-pie waistline. I feel like using its cousin in a story right now!

Shah Kou said...

My virginity(all those years ago). Well, I don't regret getting rid of it—it was just sitting around doing nothing anyway, but I do regret giving it to THAT guy.

Shah Kou said...

...Oh, and I too, walked down the street a few weeks later and saw "it" in the hands of the one man I now disliked.
Like you, I had to settle for a disdainful sniff.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

A really silly thing. My daughter's collection of ragged beanie babies - all terribly worn and well-loved. I don't know why but I miss all those little stuffed animals. My daughter loved them so much. We used to do scavenger hunts with them at each of her birthdays. I can't believe how fast it all went. Those days with a small child shadowing me every step. My daughter will be 30 her next birthday. And I still feel 25 most of the time.