The Coffee Pot From Hell

Apr 03


Okay, so it’s the Coffee Pot From Heck (it’s not that terrible), and if you want to be literal, it’s a coffee maker not a pot. But I had to get your attention.

So what’s the problem? And what does the Coffee Fairy have to do with it?

It’s complicated, as is life itself if you haven’t already noticed. I got the wrong coffee maker and it was everybody’s fault: mine, his (the husband), Amazon’s, sorta, and Cuisinart’s, for sure. The Coffee Fairy is in the clear.

Me, you can understand. Not being the most perfect person ever to cross your path, I do make mistakes. Like this one: not checking the right mailing address on my order from Amazon. Some of the stuff I get from them goes directly to my Mom, but the coffee maker wasn’t supposed to. I even paid a little extra to get it quickly because the old machine sputtered and refused to make a single cup more (it had led a long and productive life) and the French press doodad just wasn’t cutting it (maybe I was using the wrong beans or something).

When my new coffee maker didn’t arrive on the day Amazon promised it (they’re usually very good about these things), I bugged the doormen, then gave up because I was going to the Caribbean (poor me) and figured that when I came home, brown and happy, it would be there, in the package room, waiting for me.

Well. I came home brown and happy but all that was waiting for me was 531 emails and that inevitable pile of junk mail. No coffee maker. I went to Amazon to see what the hell (or heck) was the matter. . .

Whoops. My bad. I guess I had spent so much time trying to find the perfect pot—one that would look cool, fit the space, and make a decent cup of coffee—that I forgot to check the address.

Hey, it could have been worse. They could have sent me the adult diapers (which we euphemistically call “pull-ups”) that are delivered on a regular (you-should-pardon-the-expression) basis to my mother.


JoeDiMaggioMrCoffeeBefore all this, I had checked my local friendly hardware store and guess what, they still make Mr. Coffee! And I bet Mr. Coffee still makes good coffee. But alas, the model they had was too big and let’s face it, not all that cool, so I went online and found one that could best meet my decaffeinated needs at Amazon.

I picked it up from my Mom’s and set it up in my lovely but not large NYC kitchen, where even an extra toothpick can destroy the delicate ecological balance. It fit the space and looked pretty spiffy. One thing, though, it didn’t work. No lights lit up. No power. And needless to say, no coffee.

BlackCoffeeMakerDeep in the fine print in the instruction manual, I found a number to call, and maybe this is hopelessly naïve of me, but shouldn’t the person in Customer Service be happy to serve the customer? This one didn’t seem to be, but evidentially divulged the info that we could send it back to them directly, but since it was purchased from Amazon, there’d be a $10 charge. (Turned out there was $20 more in shipping.) Didn’t seem fair if the damn thing didn’t work, but what the hell. I was in too deep already and this black and chrome model looked nice in the kitchen.


WhiteCoffeeMakerHowever. When the new one arrived it was white. Not as cool. Not what I wanted. But really, send it back again? I think not. So we plugged it in to give it a test run and guess what? It didn’t work.

No way! Two defective identical (except for the color) items? What are the odds of that happening.



Okay, the score so far is no hits, an error for me, an error for Cuisinart, and a strike out for Amazon.

Now it’s Lou’s turn at bat. When the first coffee maker hadn’t worked I suggested gently (NOT) that we try other outlets. He did try a few in the kitchen and tested them with some gadget he has among his many, many gadgets and announced that there was power and the machine was defective. But now, faced with the second one with the same problem (!) I cajoled (okay, forced) him to try outlets outside the kitchen. And guess what, it worked. It also worked with an extension cord connected to the outlet where the coffee maker needs to be. And that’s where it sits today in all its whiteness.

I coulda had the cool black one.

I spent $50 in shipping alone for a coffee maker “on sale.

I didn’t get the machine of my dreams.

Where HAVE You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?

And guess what? I have yet to get a good cup of coffee out of the damn thing. Maybe I don’t have the formula. Or the right grind. Or maybe it doesn’t work that well when you’re only making a few cups. (Those single-cup machines are great, but ironically, they take up more room on the counter.)

Oh, well, life is full of disappointments, and this is pretty low on the totem pole. Still, isn’t this just one more example of how complicated everything has gotten? This coffee maker has all the bells and whistles: gold filter, timer, carafe, charcoal filter. It comes in a nifty package extolling all its virtues and an instruction booklet complicated enough to pilot a rocket to the moon.

But all I wanted was a good cup of coffee. Yeah, right, and a coffee maker that was the right size, the right color, the right price, the right design. I know you shouldn’t “should all over yourself,” but maybe I should have been less fussy, less fickle.

Maybe I shoulda stayed true to Mr. Coffee. He’s looking good to me right now.

Maybe I should email or text (no one writes letters or phones anymore) the Coffee Fairy: She looks helpful.

Or maybe I should just switch to tea . . .


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