A Copywriter’s Blog
Trial by Fire Ben Levy 5, June

I am a person who reads directions.

This is partially because, as a copywriter, I appreciate the fact that some poor bastard had to write all those words. I feel like someone ought to read them. Even if it’s just me.

And it is partially because I enjoy looking smart in front of other people, and one of the best ways to do this is to know precisely how to operate something that someone else doesn’t.

There. Now you know my secret.

However, I did not read the directions to my new toaster oven. This is because it’s a toaster oven. I am familiar with it’s purpose and general means of operation. It is an oven. That toasts. This knob controls heat, that knob controls time.

(Well, it doesn’t actual control time. Just a tim-er. Although I would totally pay more for a toaster oven with time-controlling functionality. Are you listening, Cuisinart?)

Right. As I was saying: I didn’t read the directions to my new toaster oven because I understand how toaster ovens work. Except maybe this one. Because I spent every morning last week failing to make toast. No matter how few minutes I set on the timer, I received a charred lump of yeast product in return. Every day I adjusted the setting. Every day blackened sadness.

Finally I set the damn thing on “so few minutes I’m not even sure you’ll heat up before the buzzer goes off”. And then, out of sheer stubbornness, walked away from it.

Very shortly thereafter I had to soothe the dog, who was inexplicably upset. I explained to her that everything was fine, we’d go for a walk in a minute, and hey doesn’t it seem very smokey and hard to breathe in here all of a sudden?

I would write more, about how I had to turn on all the fans in the apartment, open all the windows, and how impressed/terrified I am by the sheer amount of smoke that can be generated from a small slice of bread. But I can’t. Because I have to go read the directions to my toaster oven now.

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