Register Thursday | June 20 | 2019

Better make toast and burn it than never make toast at all

A Winner in our Taking Things Seriously "Thingamajig" contest

When the Savory found us at a Toronto garage sale, thirty dollars seemed a meager investment for a priceless industrial-size toaster—despite the fact that only months earlier we'd been reduced to scavenging housemates' abandoned rooms for clothes to hawk at the neighboring consignment shop for enough change to cover breakfast. Poor but fervent aesthetes devoted to celebrating beauty in the underappreciated, we hauled the unwieldy giant home—a symbol of our wonderment and young love.From that day forward, the Savory was a cherished thing, its paradoxically hard metal body and soft lines taking up a central spot in our home. Even years later with love long past, we continued to negotiate a joint custody of sorts, transporting its bulk from Upper to Lower Canada and back again. And yet there was, throughout, something vaguely depressive about the Savory's nostalgic idleness; like a proud old man who remembers the fortitude and utility of his youth, but is reduced to a prop by changing times, disuse and disrepair. There is tragedy in a thing that can no longer fulfill the purpose of its design, and such was the Savory's lot. Clipped of its original wiring and never surpassing the role of glorified side table, it achieved a place beyond pure functionality yet never reached the Mecca of capital-A art.

It's been two years since the Savory last lived with me, but I still like to daydream about the renewal of its former glory: both its beauty andfunction. I picture a bustling but cozy café where espresso is always brewing, and where piece after piece of fresh, perfectly toasted bread shoots out the bottom of the industrial antique, to the delight of all.