Everybody should have a tool in their kitchen or their shop that they purchased because it promised to do multiple things well. It will teach you humility and the cost of human stupidity. The pitchman tells us that having this marvel of industrial design will obviate the need for five tools. And eliminate any need for help in multiple jobs.
We consider ourselves canny, wise, and sharp when it comes to sensing bull shit, but never the less get parted from our money. And so there it sits, taking up space in our kitchen or shop. It does all that the manual says it does, just none of them well.

It was expensive enough that we couldn’t afford to pitch it out on trash day. We’d have to admit to the entire neighborhood that we were foolish enough to buy it. So it sits there in a corner covered in an old tablecloth. We search YouTube for videos that offer to show us how to make it genuinely functional; without luck. Everyone else who has one is shamed into silence because they can’t make it work either.

You think of ways to repurpose it and just set it up for one purpose, but that doesn’t work. You place an ad on Facebook Marketplace offering it to anyone who’ll come for it; no one does. In desperation, you put it out with a big “FREE!!!!!” sign on it, but even the city won’t cart it away. One night you dream of attaching hundreds of balloons to it and floating it away, but it crashlands in a neighbors yard, and the police ticket you for littering.

At last, you take a sledgehammer to it and place it in a dumpster, carefully concealing it beneath old wallboard and flooring. Take it from me; this last approach is desperate but works.


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