Have you ever done something you regretted so much that you would give anything to undo it? Have you ever wanted nothing more than a time machine in order to go back and roofie yourself to prevent something horrible from happening? Have you ever felt remorse welling up in the pit of your stomach, a veritable fountain of bile waiting for any excuse to spew? Many of you will not be able to relate to the dire circumstances I have found myself in, but I will relate them nevertheless.
Last night, in a fit of delirium, I thought it would be fun to go over to the apartment my friend was apartment-sitting and take advantage of the espresso maker there by having a late night coffee. Little did I know that only 2 hours after suggesting this idea, I would rue the very moment I ever thought of the words “go,” “espresso,” and “tonight” in the same sentence.
In times past, I relished going to said apartment in order to enjoy its civilized air, an air that comes the breath of a person living off a real salary and not the peanuts of a student stipend. This apartment has nice things in it: mixing bowls with rubber on the bottom, a digital oven, a flat screen television, etc. In hind sight, these were all indicators I should never have been there in the first place.
Amongst the fineries of this apartment are an espresso machine and a coffee grinder, two appliances that go together like Cairo tap water and hair loss. In my ignorance, I thought I knew how to work both of them. Step one: plug them in. This proved very easy to do with the espresso machine. I just plugged it right into the converter box that adapts the electric current for appliances made to work elsewhere i.e. the U.S.
Having plugged in the espresso machine, all I had to do was grind up some coffee beans. There was only one knob on the KitchenAid Pro Line coffee grinder, so the actual grinding part seemed essentially fool proof. Unfortunately, the machine was dealing with no mere fool. I am a fool with a college degree and a passport, a fool of the most dangerous kind. You see, the converter box had two sockets: one labeled 110V and the other labelled 220V. The numbers appeared to be meaningless afterthoughts, more decoration than anything else, but I soon found reality to be quite different.
I went to plug the coffee grinder in. The only plug open on the box was the 220V one, and I thought, “Well, I might as well try it to see if it works.” There are a few things wrong with this line of reasoning. First of all, why didn’t I check to see what kind of voltage the appliance itself called for? Even if I had the pathetic excuse of not knowing where to look, any dum-dum can check the bottom of a machine where these nuggets of information are usually hidden. Second of all, I had unknowingly begun playing Russian roulette with electrical outlets, one outlet leading to freshly ground coffee, and the other descending to a coffee-less pit of despair and self-loathing, a pit that can easily be avoided through the least amount of research. I didn’t even ask my friend for his opinion even though he was standing literally a foot away from me.
I went to plug in the coffee grinder and…..now that you’re burning with suspicion, this story will be continued tomorrow. It will involve international statecraft and the fall of capitalism, so stay tuned.