Consumer Reports several years ago had a 7-page feature boldly titled, “Life in the Fast Lane.” “Everyone could use more time,” the first page stated. There was a one-inch photo of a pod coffee maker that can save three minutes per cup.
Wow! I thought. Three whole minutes. If I used a certain pod coffee maker, which I don’t because I like the sound and smell of several cups trickling through my old coffee maker, I could save three minutes.
I paused to consider what I might do with an extra three minutes. Nothing came to mind.
The coffee makers shown only make one cup at a time and tastes only “so-so” whereas my regular coffee maker can make up to eight cups, should I need an extra shot of caffeine one morning, and tastes great.
The good news, the article continued, is that speedy appliances can save us more than two hours every single day. Following pages showed the products that would make this possible, presuming we used every one in a single day.
Next was the kitchen page. Three superfast kitchen stoves, priced from $1,530 to $2,200. Each were estimated to be three to four minutes faster at heating water for pasta. I filled a 10-inch pot half full of water. It took six minutes to bring it to a full boil on my old gas range — about the time it would take to get a package of pasta out of the pantry, open it and chuck it in.
I tried to think of what I might do with that saved three to four minutes. Or, if I heated water every day for one week, the saved 21 to 28 minutes. Then I remembered I don’t even like pasta that much.
The page also featured four washing machines that could save 15 to 20 minutes cleaning a full load of dirty laundry. The more expensive the washing machines were, the more time they saved — 5, 15 and 20 minutes per load. But I never wait around for a load of laundry. I turn it on and go do something else — make pasta, maybe — and when I finally remember it, go throw it in the dryer.
To speed up the dryer, the only suggestion was to clean the filter after each load. Well, duh.
I was impressed with the time saved with a couple of dishwashers: 110 and 120 minutes over the slowest models.
That’s a whole two hours — about the length of an OU softball game or a Netflix movie, or working the Sunday crossword puzzle or a good way into a good book.
The article reported 41 percent of owners 44 years old or younger would pay $50 more for a faster dishwasher. These must be the people living on the cutting edge. The ones you see on TV drinking in a cup of that fast coffee while making lunch for and hunting the homework and buttoning the coats of a couple of kids, grabbing their own briefcases and hustling them all out the door.
There was a page of electronic gadgets: tablets, inkjet printer, wireless router, camera, wireless speaker, ranging from $130 to $3,400, all designed to be faster than whatever we’ve got now.
OK, I get it. Get some new stuff and save, what? Two, three minutes? Even up to two hours with the speedy dishwasher.
My question: Why?
Mary McClure lives in Lawton and writes a weekly column for The Lawton Constitution.