Friday, June 27, 2008

Reasons I hate my life, Vol. LVXII

I drink something cold every day. Diet Coke, Diet Mountain Dew, Water, Iced Coffee, whiskey, you name it. Hey, I need hydration. My favorite way to enjoy cold beverages is over crushed ice. Must be a family thing, as I distinctly recall that as a kid, my parents were so excited that some company finally offered a standalone "ice crusher." (No, it wasn't as cool looking or sleek as this one, since this memory springs from the late 70s or early 80s. And of course, the 1979 version of a countertop ice crusher was much preferable to the "old school" way Sam and Bettye used to make crushed ice prior to the arrival of this technological marvel: cubes from the ice tray dumped into a towel, which was wrapped up and then banged with a hammer. Ahhh, the good old days).

So I love my crushed ice, filling each and every glass, for each and every beverage. When I bought my first home, and bought my first fridge, having a built in ice crusher was simply a "mandatory." And when I bought my second (and I presumed final) home, I got another in-door ice crusher and used that thing incessantly. So much so, in fact, that the GE repairman had to visit twice over 6 years to replace the unit.

Well, here I am stuck in apartment hell, storing perishables in a plain white "cooling box" that I refuse to call a proper refrigerator, because A. it's a top and bottom design, which I hate, and B. the motherfucker's got no ice crusher. Yeah, it has an "icemaker," and that's a step above filling ice trays (which in the early college days, was just one of many bones of contention between me and less OCD roomies), but I have to insult my chilled beverages with these graceless, lumpy "cubes" and not the beautiful tiny particles of shattered frozen water that I love so.

And the "cubes?" Jesus fucking christ, they're not even "cubes." They're the weird, crescent shaped "slices" of ice that almost every ice maker puts out these days (which were only made more palatable by, you guessed it, being crushed). Of the many, many reasons I hate these despoilers of drinks, let me offer two: First, their rounded shape on one side fits perfectly into the curve of the cup or glass, meaning that when you tilt the beverage to take a sip, instead of getting a perfectly mixed whisky and water, gently making its way way through a "filter" of tiny ice particles to arrive expertly chilled in your mouth (and allowing you to chew on a few random pieces of ice along the way), you get a huge fucking "ice dam" that takes up the entirety of the glass to mouth area, not allowing your cocktail to pass, or if it does, to only do so only after a stop and start "lurch" that makes you dribble like the village idiot. No smoothness, precision, control or consistency to the drinking experience there. Second, when you're trying to grab some ice "crescents" out of the freezer to fill up your glass or cup, if you get more than one or two in your hand at a time, they slide out of your grip like a mound of jello covered in bacon grease and wind up back in the freezer, or more likely, on the goddamned floor, skittering across the (now) cheap vinyl flooring. Six handfuls and a whisk broom and pan later, you finally have a cup ready for the main event (only to look forward to the aforementioned "ice dam" to exacerbate the tension said cocktail is supposed to relieve).

Fuck. Maybe it's time to make my weekly pilgrimage to BB&B to pick up a sleek new standalone ice crusher, and find a place for it amongst the 12 coffee makers on my tiny, faux formica countertop.

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