While packing the cupboards before moving out of my condo, I found a crock pot. I had used this trusty pot for cooking during the cold months, which in Minnesota means everything on either side of August – but behind that crockpot, I found another.
The second crockpot looked vaguely familiar. It’s aluminum base was streaked by my six-alarm chili and the porcelain pot bore the calcified remains of my infamous Jambalaya, but what puzzled me is that I could not recall using it.
Normally, an extra anything would not be unusual but you have to understand the nature of the condo. My home is in Southern Minnesota and while I worked a hundred miles away in the Twin Cities, I camped during the week in a place so small that I had to cut IKEA bookcases into thirds in order to wedge them in.
So what explains the extra crockpot?
Even more troubling was a third crockpot, snuggled behind the second. It was a small affair, with a heavy glass top and a base the color of baked beans. Admittedly, I eat beans – but I swear, I have never cooked a baked bean in my life. Again, the pot looked familiar. You see them all the time to keep food warm at gatherings but I have no clue how this one got there.
But then things got scary – while cleaning under the bottom shelf, deeper than I thought the cupboard went, the back of my hand brushed against a hard plastic object. It was unmistakably the control knob of yet another a crockpot. In a panic, I flailed wildly under the shelf, chucking into the hallway, a clattering cacophony of crockpot after crockpot.
I uncovered Hamilton-Beach bases without pots and RIVAL pots without bases. I discovered old clay pots with no lids and modern creations so elegant I was not ever sure they were crockpots. I found faded earthen slow-cookers with handmade Navaho designs and a mysterious pot so darkened by soot that I could barely make out the print of a mastodon.
Had I uncovered a vein of crockpots that ran all the way down into the motherlode? Is it possible that I had discovered a potential product that not only violated the laws of supply and demand but the laws of physics as well?
That night I dreamt of making my fortune by marketing my crockpots, I would become so wealthy that I could hire Bill Gates to skim the leaves off my pool.
Back home the next morning, I asked my wife, “Honey, when is the last time we bought a crock pot?”
She set her fork down and rested her chin on the palm of her hand to ponder. “I don’t know,” she said, “should I pick one up?”