life is fucking with me, aka never let anyone else ever touch your waffle iron

i have a fantastic waffle iron from the 50’s or 60’s. it’s the same model as the one pictured below.

my buddy

i grew up with the very same one. it was my dad’s and he used to make waffles for us pretty regularly. i loved them.

when i got older and moved out, i bought a waffle iron of my own from salvation army. it was some piece of shit from the 90’s, it looked artless and tank-like but worst of all, it made terrible fucking waffles. no matter what i did, they would be too dry or under done and would inevitably stick to the damn iron and get torn apart on the way out.

so i tried another used piece of shit 90’s waffle iron. more of the same.

i was depressed. i thought i’d never have the same quality of waffles that i had growing up. then a miracle occurred: the exact same model of waffle iron that i grew up with showed up at salvation army. it even came with the original instruction booklet. you better believe i snatched it up, went home, and made waffles. guess what, they were awesome.

i’ve been using that GE waffle iron on a regular basis ever since. i guess it’s been with me for about 10 years now. i couldn’t even begin to guess how many waffles it has made for me, my wife, and all our friends.

but something horrible happened today.

paul and kate stayed here last night. this morning, i started making waffles for us but had to leave in the middle of it for a massage appointment and left kate in charge of making the rest. it’s stupid easy: when the orange light on top goes out, open the thing up and put the batter in; close the lid and the orange light comes back on; wait till it goes out and the waffle is done. i even made a joke to kate that i was over-explaining the process, and then ran out the door.

when i got home, jenn mentioned that the waffles they made weren’t so hot. they were a little underdone. i thought, “that’s weird. how can you mess this up?” i didn’t give it another thought though, and later on i went to use the last of the batter. that’s right, i was going to eat waffles twice in one day. so i plugged the iron in…

…and the orange light wouldn’t come on.

i fucked around, changing the heat setting, trying different electrical outlets. nothing worked. my amazing waffle iron was dead.

i couldn’t believe it. i left this indefatigable workhorse in someone else’s hands for 30 minutes, and it died. there were no indications of why it stopped working. i was at a loss, and quite upset.

thank heavens i have learned how to be somewhat handy in the last few years and am able to provide a happy ending to this story. i got my tools out, took the damn iron apart, hooked the volt meter up to different points along the wiring, and found the problem. here it is.

not because of any misuse by anyone but due simply to years of regular use and heat, the ground wire corroded and finally broke where the plug attaches to the internal wiring. all i did was cut off the remaining ugly wire, remove the metal guts of a butt splice, and crimped the negative plug wire back onto the internal wire, like so.

i tucked it back in and put the rest of the iron back together, and voila. the orange light has returned!

it strikes me as absolutely fucking incredible that the stupid little wire would wait 10 years until the very minute i left the iron in someone else’s hands to suddenly break. if that’s not god telling me that me and this waffle iron are cosmically linked and never, ever to part, i don’t know what it is.

i love you, buddy.

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