Death of a toaster

Wilson Orhiunu

First Gentleman with Wilson Orhiunu

Email: Twitter: @Babawilly

After eight years of service, I regret to announce the death of my toaster. It has served my family well; a dedication to service exemplified by the 6900 slices of bread that have passed through its hot bowels for onward transport to our bowels.

A life not examined is one not worth living. I have reflected on our relationship and found my toaster to be that faithful friend.  You burnt my toast just 16 times. That compared to my 46 times of being unfaithful is my biggest regret.

I left you at home while I took holidays to Europe to enjoy Spanish, Cypriot and French toasters and foreign bread. I recall with relish the Oriental Hotel in Lagos where the toaster was a conveyor belt arrangement. Slice bread in and toast out at the other end. How could I ever lead you lonely and fly away to sunny West Africa to have my bread toasted by another?

I apologise but have no sweet or soothing words to say save repeating what our King said:

Maybe I didn’t treat you

Quite as good as I should have

Maybe I didn’t love you

Quite as often as I could have

Little things I should have said and done

I just never took the time

You were always on my mind

You were always on my mind

Even now, you are on my mind. The Titanic has sunk but our love will always go on.

Take no offence in the fact that I have already replaced you. You know these children. They wake up demanding toast without a care for your life work or your meritorious service to this family. No loyalty. Kids! You would love your replacement though. White, shiny and should I say beautiful? Do not get me wrong.

You are still the finest like my S.O.S people would say:

After all that we’ve been through

Time won’t change the way I feel about you

Out of all the loves before

You’re the finest I’ve ever known

Alas! They say that the best thing since sliced bread is the toaster and who am I to disagree? We have been through a lot.  I recall that summer in 2010 when I brought you back to an empty house. You had pride of place in my kitchen. I played ‘It’s My House’ by Diana Ross to welcome you and that first toast was divine. I recall the butter, the taste and the texture of the bread. Though you couldn’t eat you watched me lovingly while I ate. All manner of bread slices went through you over the years. Your handling of the Hovis and Warburton’s brands was legendary although Agege bread never seemed to sit well with you (abi you be racist?)

That ability to take a seemingly moderately desirable slice and turn it into a ‘hot’ item is probably why suitors are called ‘toasters’ in Lagos. There is hardly a fine girl who has been able to maintain the same weight, financial strength or levels of stress after succumbing to the life-transforming enticements of a suitor. (last last marital status go change).

There is no toast bread that can reverse that toasting process and return to that original state; the pure ‘today bread’ state all wrapped up in see-through polythene coverings. Once browned off, there is no going back. So you see my dead electrical appliance, as a man toasts his babe, so did you toast my bread, with a beautiful transformational agenda.

Eight years is quite long but I had hoped for 20 years. That was why I did not agree to an insurance policy when I bought you (Almost like a prenuptial agreement for toasters sef).

There has been no power surge in my neighbourhood before and your longevity was never threatened. I was sure I would use you past the guarantee date.

I have a friend in Lagos who has complained about losing electrical appliances due to electric current fluctuations. Fans, fridges and air conditioners all banished to premature electrical purgatory without compensation being paid by the electric power holding companies.

You have witnessed the arrival of the kids and played host to many visitors. You did your work behind the scenes with aplomb. Your two slices of bread capacity was never a problem as for you we waited. Through various World Cups, Christmases, New Years, winters and summers we have been together.

No loss of appliance has hit me this bad before; well except my chassis electric kettle that was stolen from me during the first week of A Levels at Zambesi House at FGC Kaduna. It still hurts even now. And the thief may see me tomorrow and start hugging me like a long lost old school friend. I digress.

All good things must end so off I go to the recycling cemetery to dump you. May your elements rest in peace.  No Orchids for Miss Blandish James Hadley Chase wrote. That fate is yours. You have no grave, no tombstone, no flowers, nothing but precious memories.

I need to channel some Warri investigative journalism now before the final goodbye.

Oh, great toast of the town now in the land of our ancestors. Was anyone involved in your death? Where you poisoned or sabotaged? We have heard of those Street Light Interference (SLI) people that can turn of lights just by walking past them. Na SLI people wound you? I am going to review all my WhatsApp and telephone messages. Anyone who messaged me before your time of death has Ogbanje spirit and I will block them from my life before they wreck more appliances.

All the best my friend. Let’s take consolation from Amy Grant. We would meet again one day

In a little while,

We’ll be with the father

Can’t you see him smile? (oh)

In a little while

We’ll be home forever

In a while

We’re just here to learn to love him

We’ll be home in just a little while

Sorry, I made an error. No toast in heaven. Anyway, I am off now. Been called down for breakfast and I can smell the toast.