Phil Brown -  journalist . writer . poet

Phil Brown

journalist . writer . poet

articles . books . poems

Last Word

Toast Tongs?


Column by Phil Brown

We recently took possession of an item that has changed my life. I'm referring to a small pair of wooden tongs. Toast tongs. It's hard to believe that I didn't know such things existed before a friend, hearing of my dilemmas with the toaster, sent us a pair in the post.

For years I have been struggling to get toast out of the toaster with steel tongs. Of course that can be dangerous unless you turn the toaster off. I have often tried to fish the toast out with my fingers and have burnt myself in the process many times. The swearing that has ensued would make a sailor blush. I've had a long and troubled relationship with toasters. In fact one nearly killed me when I was a young bloke. I was living in a caravan at Monto at the time (how I ended up in that caravan is another story) and one day I made myself some toast and when it was stuck I made the mistake of trying to pry it out with a knife. A stainless steel knife. Now anyone who knows anything about electricity will tell you that's not a good idea.

I got an electric shock doing that. It threw me across the caravan and I have never done that again. I'm not stupid. Am I?

When I lived in a bachelor pad in Paddington many years ago I hardly had any furniture or utensils but I had a toaster called Linda. That was the brand. People would ask me if I lived with anyone and I would say, "Just Linda" and they would wonder about that. I have always been a bit afraid of toasters after Monto so have always treated them with a certain amount of respect. And disdain.

And I have spent years effing and blinding getting my toast out. But now, with wooden tongs, I can do it easily without even turning the damn thing off at the switch. It's ridiculous how happy this has made me. It's a revelation. "How long has this been going on?" I said to no-one in particular when I first used them.

"Quite a long time," my wife said. Why didn't I know about wooden toast tongs before? Not sure but I do love my toast and now I'm not risking my life to eat it.

by Phil Brown

Copyright © Phil Brown