Mailbag – Toaster Edition

Happy Boxing Day, gentle readers…Your Gormogons took the day off yesterday to spend with our families.

Nevertheless we wish you all a Merry Christmas.

The Czar was celebrating with his extended family, and by celebrating, Dr. J. means impaling serfs on pikes for sport.

Mandy, well, he was locked in the Castle, doing who knows what, but Dr. J. suspects it was something sinister as Mandy Jr. was cackling alongside of his old man.

The GorT clan were enjoying melange laced delicacies.

Volgi took some time out from enjoying the Pope’s Christmas greeting in 46 of 65 languages to wash his car. We don’t question Volgi’s eldrich ways.

Puter was of in some corner playing with knives and muttering ‘Stabbie, stabbie, pokie, pokie.”

Dr. J. spent Christmas Eve listening to mass from behind a stone column, Christmas morning opening presents with the Lil Resident and Lil Medstudent. Indeed, he received a brand Sith Lord robe from the family and was most appreciative.

Seriously, this is the robe.

Operative JW writes:

Dear Dr. J., 

I believe the TV/toaster example is a bit of a stretch. My wife and I have been married not quite 35 years and purchased the third TV of our marriage earlier this year. We replaced the first when the channel changing knob was stripped too much to actually change channels. (Younger readers can ask their grandparents about knobs). Our second was replaced when color TV wasn’t. The thing is, despite inflation, we spent just over $300 on each purchase. Amazing when you consider the change in the dollar and in TVs in that time. I’ve lost track of the number of toasters but we’re on our second in just seven years. 

Best, Operative JW

JW, you bring up two interesting points. The first is regarding Dr. J.’s toaster analogy being a stretch. Dr. J. is speaking anecdotally regarding the toaster. He, is on the cusp of purchasing his third one in 11 years of marriage.  That and the fact that you’ve lost count makes my point. 1977 was not only the year Star Wars was released, but also during the Carter Administration. It was at that point in time, the late 70s and early 80s where our society’s overall consumer demands experienced a paradigm shift away from quality and customer service oriented purchasing, and migrating more towards a savings uber alles approach to many items. The sheer number of $9 headphones Dr. J. went through as a yout’ with his Walkman (and the number of Walkman knockoffs, sheesh).

Television sets, given their price point, etc… were indeed more of an exception, as the expectation of durability never wavered. Indeed, given the lack of moving parts in modern TVs, breakdown is less acceptable. Back when Dr. J. was a yout’ our Zenith had a lifetime service contract, and we enjoyed a couple of picture tubes and several ‘minor’ vacuum tube replacements. Dr. J. was shocked that it lasted as long as it did from a parts availability standpoint more than anything else.

Merry Christmas

About Dr. J.

Dr. J. was born the son of a New Atlantean sharecropper who cornered the market on notoriously delicious seaweed Himanthalia elongata (popularly known as Thongweed). With his newly minted seaweed fortune, Mr. J. the Elder sent his son to attend the Academy of Sorcery, Alchemy and Surgery where the good doctor apprenticed with the finest sorcerer surgeons in New Atlantis. Dr. J.'s areas of expertise grew to include bleeding, cutting for stone, trephination, medical divination with outstanding spatial and temporal resolution, cybernetic sorcery and medicinal alchemy. When King Orin of Atlantis fell ill with the Ick, Dr. J. stepped in with an elixir he devised from a combination of minerals, herbs and saps. Curing the king, Dr. J. gained significant notoriety which afforded him the luxury of time to devote himself to his side hobbies which include porpoise racing, the study of supply-side economics, cooking and raising his lovely merchildren alongside his lovely bride the archconservative Mrs. Dr. J.