Well, the fifteen-year-old Braun died last week, and what with all my anti-consumerist talk I’ve been boiling water on the stove and then dribbling it over the ground coffee in its filter balanced precariously atop a wide-mouthed jar that was the only thing in the house that would hold it right. Which has got tedious.

And yes, I went online and found all these bargains but couldn’t really tell what they were like.

So this morning since I had to go to Walgreen’s to get some meds, I dropped in next door at this yuppie high-end kitchen supply place with the intent of kicking me some tires, which turned out to take less kicking than anticipated since they carried only one coffee maker, their focus not being on appliances. It was the Cuisinart model DCC1200, which has got more switches on it than a 747 cockpit.

But of course being a careful shopper I knew that even though it was love at first sight, it wouldn’t do to just consummate the relationship immediately, so I told the nice girl I’d think about it.

So I came back here and messed around here for a couple of hours not making the marmalade out of those very, very bitter little oranges that Carol gave me and which have been growing old while taking up half a whole shelf in my refrigerator.

And then I thought that since it was such a gorgeous afternoon I could hop on the Segway and run down to take another look at that Cuisinart. And might as well throw a piece of heavy cord in my pack in case I needed to lash anything to the Segway handlebars.

And when I go in the nice girl asks, “Will that be cash or charge?” and we laugh while she gets a boxed one out of the storeroom and the owner wrings his hands with pleasure over the sale.

I get out to the curb and rig a sling to hold it onto the Segway so that I can take it home like a hunter with a deer strapped onto the car. And when I get it home and claw it out of the packaging I see that it’s a good-size buck, too, with a footprint worthy of the granite countertops of a McMansion.

And then I lose myself in the instruction manual. Such a well-thought-out machine with a luscious redundancy of features, like for example its triple-level filtering. Yes, there’s a little filter between the water reservoir and the heating element for those whose water is not up the standard set by Hetch Hetchy, and then there’s a metal “gold tone” filter, whatever that means, and then you are encouraged to use paper filters inside the gold tone filter.

And there’s a little light that comes on to tell you when you need to activate the decalcification routine.

And we won’t even get into all the things you can program it for, like the hotplate temperature and how long it stays on after the coffee is brewed.

And now I’ve flipped all its switches and run the preliminary cleaning cycle and ground some Sumatran from Spike’s and brewed a trial batch, I’m drinking my first cup and see that with a machine of this quality I’m going to need to start buying my beans from Ritual Roastery down on Valencia, they being tastier and costing only about half again as much.

I think this is what they call a hidden cost.

A Market Street fire escape I like:

fire escape

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