Chimp-resistant, I could understand

Three items from the vast category of things I just don’t get.

* Every Seattle apartment we’ve lived in has had a 30-inch electric stove. But until we moved into this place, all of them (four different stoves) have had three small burners and one large burner. Why do they make stoves with this configuration? And why does anyone buy them? Geometrically speaking, there’s always room for a second large burner diagonally opposite the first one. Could this possibly save more than $2 per unit? If they’re really looking to save money, why not make a stove with just three burners?

* Some of our dishes are marked “chip-resistant.” Far from being meaningless marketing, these items really are essentially impossible to chip. Others chip if you drop them from a height of six inches, over the rug. But it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with price. Our expensive dessert plates are chip-resistant, and so are some bowls we got for $1.25 each. There’s nothing unusual about the appearance or feel of the chip-resistant pieces. *So why don’t they just make all ceramic chip-resistant?*

* My local supermarket started carrying parsley root a few months ago. I’ve never bought it. I’ve never seen anyone else buy it. But they keep getting shipments in. Do supermarkets carry items that no one buys just so they can maintain an image as the kind of place that caters to the parsley root crowd?

Not that I have anything against parsley root, mind you. I just haven’t gotten around to it. I hear it’s something old Russian women put in soup. If they’re lucky, they cook the soup on a stove with big burners and serve it in chip-resistant bowls.

7 thoughts on “Chimp-resistant, I could understand

  1. Andrew Feldstein

    An hypothesis: The burner configuration you describe could be a result of the wiring in the apartments not supporting the regular 220V line a normal electric stove requires. Perhaps they are required to use a 15amp 110V regular plug, and therefore can’t support the extra juice of a second large burner?

  2. mamster Post author

    Andrew, I tried to confirm or deny your hypothesis on Google, but I failed. I did determine that for the brand of stove we’ve had most often (Roper), the stove with two 8-inch (large) burners is $10 more than the one with one 8-inch burner.

  3. Kathleen

    There may be space for two large burners, but perhaps there wouldn’t be space for two large pans at the same time? I have a huge stove, and sometimes I have issues when I’m using the big frying pan.

    I have had these stoves before too. The thing that annoyed me was that a family size Papa Murphy’s pizza wouldn’t fit in there! Not that I had a family at the time, but who wouldn’t want a family size Papa Murphy’s pizza anyway?

  4. mamster Post author

    Kathleen, good point. But now that I have a two-big-burner stove, it’s definitely not a problem. There’s generally room to have two large and two small pans going at once. And the oven is exactly the same size on the two models of stove.

    Maybe I should call up the manufacturer and see how long it takes before they hang up on me.

  5. stacy

    on the vanishingly small list of things nyc really does do well, there’s this — all of my apartments, no matter how cheap, have had gas stoves.

  6. Neil

    Mathew – instead of calling the manufacturer, write. Either email or snailmail. I’ve taken to contacting companies when I particularly like or dislike thier products, or even if I have a simple question. Not only do I usually get an answer, I almost always get something free for my time. I’ve gotten coupons for free product, actual product shipped to me free, and even a check in the mail paying for a product I didn’t like.

    Maybe they’ll send you a new oven.

  7. mamster Post author

    Will do, Neil, although I still think they’ll consider this an obnoxious question. I’ll phrase it politely.

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