Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Dormeyer Power Chef

This is my great-aunt's Dormeyer Power Chef mixer. Which great-aunt? The tall great-aunt who didn't swear like a sailor like the other great-aunt!
I assumed ownership of the Dormeyer Power Chef mixer; my great-aunt no longer needs it. It works really well and I like the way it looks. The first thing I found out about the Dormeyer Power Chef is that it's kind of fun to read the list of its functions* out loud, really fast, emphasizing the first syllable of each word (it was a quiet day, what can I say):

Juicing
Beating
Beating
Creaming
Beating
Mixing
Whipping
Mixing
Mashing
Adding

The second thing I found out about the Dormeyer Power Chef involved myself. Once again, I realized that I can't leave words alone. I looked at the list and I thought, "Okay, I understand that there are different kinds of beating and mixing, but redundancy is a real problem here. Couldn't they have taken the time to substitute appropriate synonyms or more descriptive terms?"

Yet, quite quickly I had to concede that "...the list has a nice momentum and sense of urgency, despite its obvious repetitiveness--or perhaps even because of it. In a literary sense, a rough form of poetry emerges--a small, fierce word storm fills the room....The ten-word gerund rocket [I made that term up just 'cause I could] creates an epic juggernaut of batter-blending intensity..." (It was a very slow day.) For example, let's use a ten-word gerund rocket to capture a temper tantrum:

Pouting
Stomping
Stomping
Moaning
Stomping
Kicking
Howling
Kicking
Wailing
Flailing

Once I had accepted the list as rough poetry, however, I found that I still had a few quibbles. As I worked on the temper tantrum experiment, I found that it was hard to get the perfect last couple of words to land the gerund rocket neatly and with force. Uneasily, I fell back on rhyming--as shown above. This gerund rocket challenge is also evident in the original list shown above. After building up a certain amount of dramatic tension ("Beating Beating Creaming Mixing Whipping"), the list collapses weakly with "Mashing" and "Adding"--a definite anti-climax. I decided that the Dormeyer people should have tweaked those last two words:

Juicing
Beating
Beating
Creaming
Beating
Mixing
Whipping
Mixing
BOWL SCOOTS OFF TABLE! BEATERS SPRAY BATTER EVERYWHERE! SPRAYING! SPRAYING! BAKER DOWN! BAKER DOWN! CALL 911! CASUALTIES! REPEAT! CASUALTIES!
Cleaning
Wiping

As you can see, I felt I had to resort to petty sensationalism to land the gerund rocket.

The Dormeyer Power Chef: A heckuva machine.
The Gerund Rocket: A heckuva literary challenge.