Of the dining room table with flaps that fold up and allow the dishes to be washed in place, I wrote: “Sound impractical? What if the dishes were glued to the table, so they didn’t move as the soapy jet stream hit them, or need to be re-centered once clean? This gets better all the time.”

To which Jeff responds: “No, this is getting worse. You should’ve stuck with the reloadable dishwasher-cabinets idea. How am I going to eat off of dishes stuck to the table? What if I want to spin my dish to get at the particular food on the other side? Or, suppose I want to share something with my wife (suppose I had a wife)? If that doesn’t stop you from creating this ridiculous invention, consider what happens if one piece gets a chip or breaks or something — do you have to replace the entire thing? (What, you may ask, might break immovable dishes? Wait until my future alleged wife and I have children — I’m sure they’ll find a way.) As for me, I’ll stick with individual, modular, and replaceable parts (spoken like a true engineer, eh?). If I want new dishes, I just replace them, not my entire house.”

All great ideas meet resistance at first.

Robert Doucette: “These folding table/dishwasher stories have been reminding me of a lame joke I read in my youth (remember Boy’s Life?). I’ve been holding off on this joke for quite some time, but maybe if I tell it we can discuss something else for awhile — maybe something about money. Hell, I’d prefer one of your Ostrich recipes over another week of dishwasher stories.

“It seems there were two mountain men. Today these would be members of some wacko militia or a pair of Unabombers (Duobombers?), but in my carefree youth, mountain men were quaint characters who lived in Montana & West Virginia, but mostly inhabited these lame stories. Well, these mountain men got a letter that their citified cousins were coming to visit. Not wanting to spend more time than necessary with the cousins, they devised a plan.

“Two weeks later the cousins arrived. The mountain men — let’s call them Zeke and Josiah — welcomed their cousins and soon they were all sitting down to a fine mountain meal of grilled trout with a wild raspberry glaze. (Generally, mountain men dined on roots and road kill, but I’m trying to go against type, here).

“During the meal, the city cousins were surprised to find their plates were nailed to the table (ok, see, I am leading us back to the dishwasher stories). After the meal, they volunteered to wash the dishes, and asked about the nailed down plates. Josiah (or maybe Zeke) said not to bother and opened the door and called for his hounds. Suddenly, three or four large dogs ran into the house, jumped on the table and licked all of the plates clean. (Now you see why I don’t like being reminded of this story.) Then Zeke said, ‘That’s how we wash the dishes here in th’ mount’ns,’ slipping into mountain patois.

“Well, the city cousins suddenly remembered a stockholder meeting they had to attend and packed their bags and left. Once they were out of sight, Josiah turned to Zeke and said, ‘Well, Zeke, y’know it took us only a couple weeks to teach the dogs to do that, but it’s gonna take months to teach ’em not to.’

“Now, Andy, I know plenty of other crappy stories like that, so stick to money and don’t make me tell you anymore of them.”

I give! I give!


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