Satan’s Spa

Pansy Cradledew bought a new kettle recently. Tempting though it is to use this as an excuse to regale you with my all-encompassing kettle theories – and believe me, you will be impressed – I’d like instead to say a few words about the particular make of kettle Ms Cradledew purchased.

There is an egg-shaped window in the side of the kettle which enables the pleased-as-punch kettle owner to see at a glance the water level of the water that has been poured out of a tap or spigot into the kettle. It may be argued that I could rewrite that sentence so that it is less ungainly and doesn’t mention the kettle three times, but I want to be absolutely clear and I am writing in a rush. There is a pot of tea to be brewed, and I cannot type and make tea at the same time. You try it, and see how difficult it is.

When the power is on, but the kettle is switched off, that is, when it is plugged in to the wall socket and the wall socket is switched on but the kettle remains in its default, at rest, idle state, an internal light is activated, and through the egg-shaped window the excited kettle owner sees a blue glow. This has the effect of making the water look not unlike a tropical sea, or at least a tiny portion of such a sea, on a blazing hot summer day – no small benefit when one lives in a land of ice chaos.

Depress the switch underneath the kettle’s handle, however, and the blue glow is instantly transformed into a glow that is bright red. The kettle is now on, and begins to boil the water which was poured into it from the tap, or spigot. Gradually, it begins to bubble. As it approaches boiling point, the combination of seething, bubbling water and a blood-red glow makes it look like a scene from hell. Satan’s spa!

I may write about further kitchen-based excitements at a later date, but now it is time for that pot of tea.

7 thoughts on “Satan’s Spa

  1. I will warrant that this kettle falls far short of the usual Jesuitical rigour with which you normally select kitchen appliances.

    Would Gerard Manley Hopkins have constructed such towering works of poetry if he has allowed himself to become hypnotized by shimmering kitchen baubles?

    Snap out of it Key, get a grip and knuckle down. You owe me a novel by sun-down.

  2. Dear Doctor Pastry,

    Last night I dreamt of a kettle that had a built in screen.
    The screen displayed messages from the ‘other side’.
    The only message I received was from Les Dawson (or it could of been my grandmother).
    I never saw the complete message as I was trying to repair a broken Gibson Flying V electric guitar. Each time I turned away from my work on the guitar to watch the kettle screen more damage was inflicted on the instrument.
    Please, Doctor Pastry, could you supply a calming explanation of my unsettling visions?

    Yours in hiding,

  3. Kettle useless – buy cattle instead. Offer them biscuits and muffins in an attempt to persuade them to make the tea, thus leaving your hands free to type.

  4. In view of your earlier comment, Sal, you need to reread it. The piece is about Pansy Cradledew’s kettle, not my own kettle. I think you will find that the Key kettle is suitably rigorous, in a Jesuitical way.

  5. ‘I cannot type and make tea at the same time …’

    It’s the fab new kettle that is causing the above problem, you know. Discard it immediately, and glance at a (more-or-less) typical liquid-cooled computer project (eg for quick inspiration. Then send out for a discarded gimbals (ideally from the bridge of a scrapped submarine), by whose agency you can stylishly suspend an ancient classic Remington or similar (see in a vat of drinking water.

    By typing with suitable vigour you will raise the temperature of the fluid, and when it starts to seethe just tip in some loose tea which, when suitably steeped, may be enhanced with a little milk, and supped through a drinking straw while you continue to work. The beauty of this system is that you will undoubtedly work up a tremendous thirst by typing at the speed required to make decent tea.

    The fab new kettle, I’ll warrant, offers no such pleasing Protestant symmetricality; by comparison, the attractions of its polychrome light-show seem somewhat meretricious.

  6. On advice from fellow denizens, I am eschewing the offending kettle (I suspected it might have been a flapper…) in favour of Bossie, a bovine model. Will see if I can feel it in my water.

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