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Saturday, April 3, 2004

JAPAN LITE

Amazing instant anywhere electric mug!


It used to be that we only had to deal with funny Japanese English. But with the flood of goods imported from China, we now have a different kind of English written on the boxes of products we buy.

This new English is grammatically correct, but enough to make you wonder if you're not watching a late-night TV commercial promising you instant washboard abs.

I recently bought an electric mug. The box insisted it was a "NEW!" one. Well, glad to know I'm not buying a used one at that price. It's actually not a mug at all, but a plastic jug that holds 2 liters of water and has a heating element inside. Furthermore, according to the box, it says I can "boil water instantly." Can you imagine boiling 2 liters of water instantly? So, if you added instant hot water to instant coffee, wouldn't that give you instant-instant coffee?

The box goes on to explain major points of this electric mug:

Boil water within seconds anytime and anywhere. The previous "Instantly" has now become "within seconds." Rome was not built in a day, but it was built in seconds. Lots of them. So I suppose this is not exactly a lie. Rome was not built instantly, however. Besides, "instant Rome" would surely be too hot.

But can you really boil water "anytime and anywhere" with this mug? How about in the Paleolithic era? In the mountains without electrical outlets? This is truly an amazing mug!

You can do it yourself. Well, this is a relief. After maintaining my job, paying my bills and taking care of my health, knowing I can boil water by myself is a comfort.

Reaches boiling point within seconds. They're really insistent about this boiling point thing. Let's see exactly how many seconds it does take. OK, I just boiled two cups of water in six minutes. In all fairness, however, I should say it reached the boiling point instantly, in 360 seconds.

Save energy time because boils fast. Now we've gone from instantly to within seconds to just "fast." But at any measure of time, if it boils so quickly, I don't think we need to worry about wasting a few quick seconds of "energy time." True, we could all use more time in a day, but a few extra seconds isn't going to do much. Unless you're building Rome, of course.

Suitable for travel and picnic. Um, picnic? As long as your picnic is inside your house near an electrical outlet, then this electric mug is very suitable. But can you imagine buying enough extension cords to get to that picnic under the cherry blossoms? Only if everyone in Japan took their extension cords and linked them together could we truly have our electric mug with us anywhere, at a picnic. And if you wanted to use the mug while traveling, you'd need a retractable cord for safety, since traveling can involve high speeds. After all, you'd hate to be on the highway, 50 km away from home, and have the car in the next lane drive over the cord, yanking the plug out of the socket at home.

Use electric mug for all your needs. You mean I can pay my rent with this thing? Clean the "o-furo"? Take the dog for a walk? Or maybe it is limited to those needs involving an electric mug with a heating element. Great, I can wash my socks in it, on a picnic, anytime and anywhere, by myself.

Suitable for boiling. Why do they think someone would buy an electric mug anyway? To freeze some shrimp? I wish they'd stop bringing up this boiling point thing, anytime and anywhere.

I'm getting so impatient, I'm rather about to boil over myself.

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