Do you remember your grandmothers coffee pot? Maybe it was a percolator, either electric or cooked on the stove top. How about the coffee pot your parents used? If you're around my age theirs was perhaps the first 'drip' coffee pot you ever seen. Today we have hundred-dollar or more coffee pots that look real spiffy, like they belong in Capt. Kirk's quarters, or something. I hear the best coffee pots are the vacuum type, these make coffee by pulling the water into the coffee, instead of dripping it on, or bubbling it up to the coffee... Sounds kinda interesting, and expensive!
We here at our home tend to believe in the KISS approach to things... KISS as in 'Keep It Simple Stupid'... not that horrid glitter rock band from the 70s. So, as you might imagine, our coffee pot is nothing fancy, just a cheap drip coffee pot we paid about $25 for at one of those big box stores. Over the years we have had many of these inexpensive coffee pots, some with lights and alarms, white coffee pots, black coffee pots, one coffee pot that had the pot built onto the hot plate... I hated that coffee pot, and it cost us more than any other coffee pot we ever had... about $65.
Anyway, where I'm going with this is; I think our parade of coffee pots has a significance to it. You see, I think our coffee pots tell me where we are going in our society. We're real tech savvy, but we lack some basics other generations had.
Let me explain:
Of the last three coffee pots we have had every one has a had a glass pot, right? I mean, after all there has to be a pot in coffee pot! But these pots are different, these pots can't pour you a cup of coffee with out getting coffee all over the counter top. Oh, the pots are nice, they look real swell, this latest pot has a spout that makes the coffee pour like a waterfall... A waterfall of coffee all over our kitchen counter. Me, being a guy, I always grab a kitchen hand towel to wipe it up. This makes my wife upset, as she says the coffee stains her nice white towels, but I do it anyway, because, well, I'm a guy!
My real problem here is, I can't understand what ever happened to that good old fashion coffee pot that poured smooth into the cup, not into the cup and on the counter. It's kinda like what passes for popular music today. I cringe when I hear what the kids are listening to, singers that use all kinds of fancy mixing devices to make them sound like anything but a person that has singing ability... they all sound like robots to me. I wonder whatever happened to a group of solid musicians that could play their instruments, write original songs, AND SING! But what do I know, I'm a Jethro Tull fan.
Then there is the general lack of manners people seem to have, especially when they talk on their cell phones. I think some people believe their cell phones are connected to other phones by a big long invisible string, why else would they be talking so loud all the time. I guess they think they have to make the invisible string vibrate to send the sound wave to the person they are talking to?
Last December I took my wife and son to a local pops concert of Christmas music... what a show! My son takes piano lessons here in our town, so I knew being a kid he would not only like the Christmas theme of the night, but would enjoy all the different classical sounds as well. At the beginning of the concert, everyone was asked to turn off their cell phones at least twice. But sure enough, just as the Conductor, George Kent was about to cue the band, a cell phone goes off being held by someone ten feet away from him. Mr. Kent is a nice man, I could tell because his reaction was much kinder then mine would have been.
When I look around me, at the manners many people have today, the way people can be when they have an urgent call on their cell phone from someone that wants to talk about the big game, or going shopping on Saturday, or whatever, I think of my coffee pot. As silly as that may sound. When I hear those robot sounds coming from a teenagers radio, I think of my coffee pot. And when I go shopping and the clerk ignores me, or never thanks me for my patronage, I think of my coffee pot.
We live in a world with technology our grandparents could have only dreamed of, yet we are regressing as a society, at least that's what I see. After all, few, if any of the people I see on the street, have grandma's manners. Here at home I have lightening fast internet, a car with eight air bags, a digital TV, and camera. But a coffee pot that spills coffee all over my kitchen counter every time I use it! If this was my grandmother's coffee pot, she would say something about it in Italian and toss it in the garbage! What do I have to do to have a coffee pot like grandma's that won't spill my coffee? Do I really have to spend over a hundred-dollars to get a coffee pot that will pour smooth?
Just a few feet away from my desk is a little souvenir I bought when I was in Arizona -- a ceramic tile that reads, "New and Improved can't beat Tried and True"... the guy that said that was a genius!
Mr. Goodness is a former radio broadcaster, and political activist.
He was the state chairman for the Constitution Party of Rhode Island, 2004-2006.