Maybe I’m nuts but…I rarely, if ever, read the user’s manual on small appliances. Oh…I know I SHOULD…but WHY? We’re NOT talking about rocket science with these things and it SHOULDN’T take a brain surgeon…SHOULD IT?
We recently came to the conclusion that we needed a space heater at our home. We concluded this because we were…cold…and we would rather have not been. Off we went to the space heater store where (Much to my surprise) they had more different kinds, sizes, brands and decor styles of space heaters than I could shake a stick at. Forced air, ceramic, ultra sonic, radiant…the list went on and on.
When I got the thing home and took it out of the box, I found a 14 page user’s manual. REALLY? 14 pages? This thing has 1 switch and a thermostatic dial. THAT’S IT!!! I cautiously peered into the manual and took note of the part that said I would need to keep it at least 3 feet from the wall. Okay…why then is the cord only two and a half feet long? At the end of the cord (the end that goes into the wall) is a little tag that says…don’t use an extension cord.
This, I assume is where the rocket science part comes in.
Using all the collective knowledge I had stored up, I grabbed one of those multi-plug bar outlet thingies that has its own circuit breaker built in (Score one for rocket science) and a 6 foot cord. I also noted that the manual warned against having the heater within 3 feet of furniture. Okay…a quick yet thorough assessment of the living room surroundings revealed that only the exact center of the room (as designated by a civil engineering crew and a GPS locater) would be suitable AND would require the moving of the coffee table.
At this point, I began to fondly recall the purchase of my blender. I took IT out of ITS box, plugged it in (The blender by the way, has a longer cord than the space heater) and within five minutes, I was sipping on a masterfully designed margarita.
My AM/FM/MP3/Soothing Sleep Sound clock radio didn’t even need to be set. It does that all by itself and doesn’t need to be a minimum of 3 feet from ANYTHING.
The mini-fridge/wine cooler was chilling my favorite vintage within SECONDS without the need of survey equipment and satellite imagery for proper placement.
But this, an appliance with not a single moving part, a unit of simple but functional design, this SPACE HEATER was SCREWING with me, and my floor plan. I decided to use my powers of deductive reasoning combined with a somewhat apprehensive (And little used) application of PURE logic. If the space heater had to be at least 3 feet away from furniture, why was it raised only 1.5 inches off the FLOOR where the CARPET IS? If it could be that close to the deep pile, scotch guarded, sculpted, berber…it could certainly be TWO feet from my recliner with the built in massager (Which by the way was another no-brainer in the realm of set-up)…couldn’t it?
So, I did the only thing that made sense to me. I did the one thing I could think of, given the fact that moving the coffee table would completely (And utterly) throw off the carefully plotted balance of the ENTIRE living room (And I’m sure irritate me into a funk from which I would suffer grandly) and I did it with the greatest confidence.
I knew, KNEW, I should have NEVER opened, or even GLANCED at that 14 page, written in 6 languages, including Aramaic (Which hasn’t been spoken fluently since John the Baptist tried to install a hot tub at the river Jordan) complete with diagrams and stern warnings (Useless) user’s manual. I should have discarded it straight away or used it as a leveler for leaning tower of CD’s.
I should have…but…I didn’t. I HAD opened it and I HAD scanned over it.
Because I’m sure nothing would take off the chill on a nice relaxing evening like a 3 alarm HOUSE FIRE…and because I really don’t know how I would ever explain to a cellmate why I had been busted by the space heater police (Who, as I understand, are a secret but VERY powerful branch of NASA) That grand piece of warmth producing…metal…is now, and will forever be, adding 10 degrees to the tile floored entry way far, far away from any piece of furniture I have ever owned and equally far from where it could POSSIBLY do any good whatsoever.
I WILL however be moving my blender closer to the couch.
Or…maybe I’m nuts.
I’m Craig Andresen