And the point would be…

There I am Sunday morning watching TV and one of those commercials for a kitchen gadget came on. This one is for Pasta Express which promises to cook your pasta in just minutes! As always, this too can be yours for only $19.95.

Well, I’m watching the commercial and I don’t get why anyone would pay $20 for a monofunctional piece of plastic crap. Their instructions are interesting (if you’re watching the commercial “elapsed time 8 minutes” flashes briefly). First of all you have to boil water. Then you pour the water into this cylinder with the pasta and wait 7-10 minutes. Then you upend the thing over the sink and drain the pasta. Let’s review how you make pasta in a pot–the old fashioned way: you boil water. You put the pasta into the pot. You wait 7-10 minutes depending on the cooking time. Then you either pour it into a colander or you lift out the insert from your stock pot and drain.

How exactly is this gadget an improvement?

At the same time, I have something of a soft spot in my heart for these intrepid inventors. Every summer, my family would go to the county fair. My dad used to love going into the building where the vendors would be hawking these gadgets. There they’d be throwing spaghetti sauce on tile samples and mopping it up. There was the man who used a stick blender (back before they were considered an essential kitchen tool) to make whipped cream out of skim milk or peanut butter from a handful of peanuts. I remember how years later I invested in one by Cuisinart and Dad was convinced I’d be taken.

Seen: Busting Out and the 40-Year-Old Virgin. The former is a documentary–I’ll link to the review when that’s up. The latter was a freebee that I wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise. The first half is your typical moronic aging jock movie, but it morphed into something with actual depth by the end.

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