Empty mugs, silent phones prove nothing lasts very long

So, a very, very, very bad horrible, awful, terrible, rotten thing happened to me this week.

No, I’m not talking about the 2017 NBA Finals just yet — that’s another column for another day. (Editor’s note: Kimerer’s column deadline preceded game four. It did NOT precede her deep depression over how game three ended.)

Ahem, I digress, the predicament of my Cavs notwithstanding, I refer to a dark cloud of a different sort and source. Friends, I am talking about a tragic occurrence within the very walls of Casa Kimerer. A death in the family.

Spoiler alert: not really. Don’t be sad and don’t be afraid to keep reading.

A beautiful soul cut down before his prime. A devastating loss so sudden and surreal I can hardly believe it happened, lo these many days later.

But happen it did, and right in front of my very eyes.

There he was coughing and shaking and sputtering and gasping and there was little to nothing I could do. I kept trying and trying to shock him back into rhythm but it was futile. Toward the very end, I even some hands-on life-saving intervention via a modified version of the Heimlich maneuver.

Ooh, I’m not sure I’m allowed to call it that anymore. I heard that you have to send royalty commission to the Heimlich family if you use that particular term in reference to choking scenarios. Hmm. I digress.

Let’s just say I was trying hard to stop the gagging and sputtering. And that was just me fighting back tears in anticipation of what was obviously the end.

Okay, fine, maybe I accidentally helped him go not-so-gently into that good night when I whacked him on the side with my fist in a last ditch effort to breathe some life back into the little bugger.

To no avail.

Very early last Wednesday morning I threw in the kitchen towel and bid farewell to my beloved Keurig coffee maker. Time of death: 5:47AM.

In other words, no joe-to-go on the way into the office that morning. #dunkinrun

Dang Keurig. And this is, like, the fourth one I’ve had in the past six or so years.

What the what? I mean, why is nothing built to last these days?

Don’t even get me started on my flipping cell phone. That is clearly an ongoing conspiracy perpetrated on the consumer public by smart phone / tablet providers. They absolutely make these suckers with an expiration date that corresponds to your contract. Creeps.

Ditto the computer manufacturing conglomerate. I swear they put a self-destruction chip into those laptops owned by folks who opt out of the extended warranty plan.


This isn’t news, nor is it new. The concept of “Planned Obsolescence” has been around since mass production became a real thing here in the U.S., between the 1920s and the 1930s, according to most economists.

It was defined as “a business strategy in which the process of making a product obsolete is planned and built into it from its conception” in an article in Popular Mechanics magazine that listed eight popular products that were actually created, ironically, to fail.

The article is from a few years back, so the list is skimpy by 2017 standards, but it includes ink cartridges, video games, textbooks, fashion trends, computer software, cars and consumer electronics.

In fact, I need only do a quick scan of my office or closet to see a veritable cornucopia of things that will scarcely outlast the life expectancy of a common housefly. Stupid constantly-jammed stapler and lousy busted shoe buckles.

Whatever happened to the good old days when refrigerators and dryers and cars lasted for decades? Ah, how I long for the pride in workmanship and overall resilience of the good old days and ways.


Maybe I’ll take a stand against all this throwaway society business and pull out the old percolator to make coffee the old-fashioned way? It’ll taste better anyway!

Yeah, who am I kidding. By the time you finish reading this, I’ll have already burned through at least four K-Cups in my new quick brewer.

Kimerer is a Tribune Columnist who loves revisiting yesteryear — within reason, yo. Contact her at www.patriciakimerer.com