From the Vault: a design flaw in the otherwise perfect basket

Last night, I stood in front of the open refrigerator and thought to myself, "You know what would go good with this vegetarian chili? That Oaked Arrogant Bastard!"

I reached for it, applying my -3 DEX modifier, like you do. A minute later sent the following text message to Anne:

"Hey, we're out of beer. Could you pick up some Oaked AB on the way home? Also, totally unrelated to this, where's the mop?"

While I waited for her reply, I was reminded of this post I wrote three years ago:

We have a new refrigerator. It's energy efficient, can hold an entire horse and a stick of butter, and is generally one of the more awesome "grown up" purchases Anne and I have made since we got married seven years ago.

In addition to the awesome Futurama magnets that adorn its doors, it comes with a nifty little basket thingy which slides in and out underneath one of the shelves, perfect for holding bottles and cans.

We here in Chez Wheaton don't drink much of anything that comes out of a can (the notable exception being Guinness) but I drink plenty of things that come out of a bottle, like Stone Pale Ale and Izze soda, for example.

A few months ago, I uncovered a design flaw in the otherwise perfect basket: the wires spread out a little (okay, a lot) more easily than you'd expect from something intended to hold bottles in their least entropic state. If you have a heavy bottle (like a wine bottle, for example) on the same rack as a lighter bottle (like a Newcastle, for instance) and you look at them funny, the heavy bottle will create enough pressure to spread the wires and launch the lighter bottle onto the floor, where it will explode.

This afternoon, while I was trying to pull out a bottle of Tejava (99 cents at Trader Joe's) to enjoy a cool glass of tea, a bottle of clementine Izzie soda looked up at me, shouted, "Hooray! I'm free!" It then launched itself onto the floor, where it landed in a sticky explosion of horrible, entropic freedom.

I was, of course, standing barefoot in the kitchen at the time, so I got to tip toe through a spreading slick of soda and shards of broken glass that were as pointy and deadly as they were invisible on the floor while I made my way to the paper towels.

By some miracle, I didn't cut the everlivingshit out of my feet, and only got stuck a couple of times, and by the time Anne and Nolan got home, I was nearly done cleaning it up.

"What happened?" Anne said.

"There were . . . errors," I said.

She gave me a blank look. Before I could explain the inside joke to her, Nolan said, "What did you do?"

"I was trying to get some iced tea, and the Izze decided to make a break for it."

I held up a handful of dripping paper towels.

"It succeeded."

Nolan dropped to his knees and looked skyward. "Noooooooo!" He said, while shaking his fists at an imaginary Statue of Liberty.

"Yeah," I said. "Sorry. But there's more, so you can put them in there when I'm done."

Anne walked over to the pantry to get some replacement bottles.

"Would you like me to leave some of this here, as a warning to the new bottles?" I asked.

I got The Look.

I finished cleaning up.

55 thoughts on “From the Vault: a design flaw in the otherwise perfect basket”

  1. My state has lame blue laws which state that beer cannot have an alcohol content higher than 6%. You can imagine my happiness when my not-quite brother-in-law brought a six pack of Oaked Arrogant Bastard for me from a state over.

  2. IMMD. (I just got done reading a bunch of those, so now everything excellent that makes me grin is getting that label)
    Also, my new goal is to use the phrase “in its least entropic state” in a sentence this weekend.

  3. I’m totally with JT Cornish when he asks ‘were does the “There were errors” quote come from?’ Something about it rings a bell, but I’ll be damned if I can find where the ringing is coming from!

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