Da Toaster Story

So foa try keep certain baboozes in suspense no longa, I going tell da story of da makediedead toasta. It’s a good way to start the new year.

K’den. Firs I going tell you I get plenny wai maka about dis toasta’s death. Actually, da bugga still works, but da pop-up lever no work anymoa.  So kinda hard to get da toast up.


This toaster was given to us as a wedding present by Nolemana’s sister and her hubby ukutrillion years ago. Yep.  And it’s lasted this whole time. It worked perfectly, absolutely no pilikia with it at all. I think I replaced the cord once, but that’s all. It made perfect toast. I didn’t care that it didn’t have room for bagels, cuz I rarely eat dem ones. But I killed it. I killed my beloved toaster.


So wat wen happen? I going tell u.

One morning I wen go into da kitchen foa get my breakfast. But I began to smell smoke, and started sniffing around to try find out wea wen come from. I looked in da dining room and could see smoke building, but no matter wea I wen look, I couldn’t see any fire. And I couldn’t see where the smoke was coming from…the dining room was fine. Well, except foa da smoke.

Just den, da smoke alarm wen start clanging, scaring da kitties, who wen run into da bedroom. No matta wat, we couldn’t shut it off. And I began to get worried, so called 911. The efficient wahine asked lots of questions as she sent the fire truck on its way. The first one to get here was the Fire Commander. He decides how many trucks and men/women are needed.

Next was the first fire truck and three firemen.

One fireman went downstairs to check the furnace, and another one went up into the attic.

The hallway was filled with smoke, and the Fire Commander had us wait in the kitchen with all the doors open and the fan going. You can see how smoky it was. This is the guy who went up into the attic.

They couldn’t find fire anywhere. No flames, no nothing. Which was a good thing. But it kept getting more and more smoky in the dining room and hallway.  There wasn’t any smoke in the kitchen at all, but Fireman Campbell got out a heat detector, which instantly found what was going on. (Notice the absence of smoke in the kitchen, by the way.)

So wat wen happen, you might ask. Well, us locals like our rice. And I’d jut bought a 5-lb bag of it and had put it on the counter. Upright. And somehow, don’t ask me how, it fell over onto the lever of the toaster that is used to push down the toast. And the rice held down that lever, and the coils inside started burning.  Auwe!! And that’s what was causing all the smoke!

Fireman Campbell immediately unplugged the toaster, and with the fan on, eventually the smoke cleared and the detector got quiet. Why the dining room and hallway were so full of smoke is still beyond me…obviously, air flow, but weird how none was in the kitchen.

I was so grateful that he’d found the source of the smoke that I asked if I could give him a hug, and he said yes, so I did. (I’ve never hugged a fireman in full fireman gear before, by the way.)

They all got ready to leave, so I went out onto the lānai to take photos. Of course.

The Fire Commanderʻs rig was in front, so he had to turn around first.

He had to maneuver around the huge maple tree in the middle of the driveway. (Upcoming post about that tree.)

The fire truck had to be backed up in order for the Commander to get turned around.

Anden the long job of getting the fire truck down the driveway. No way it could turn around, so they had to back all the way back down again. Oy. So there was one fireman at the rear, one in the cab, and one in front, all working together to get that done.

Miss B. was very interested in what was going on, but Rayado couldn’t have cared less.

See the lights of the fire engine? Because of the trees, I couldn’t see how they’d managed to get it around the curve, but they did, staying on the asphalt the whole time. (I checked later!)

The Fire Commander inched his way down behind them.

I checked out my zucchini. I think mine was the easier job.

Next came the job of getting the fire engine backed up enough so that it could turn around. Again, it was a 3-firemen job.

The Commander was able to leave.

Turn around complete!

And off they went.

After they all left, I went back into the house and thought about it all. The Commander had told me that it was always a good thing to call like I did. It’s what they’re here for. I’m glad he said that, because I felt kinda dumb about what happened and how I couldn’t even find it for myself. Yet how could I? There was no smoke in the kitchen and I had no idea where it was coming from. I also felt extremely grateful that I’d just cleaned out the crumbs from the bottom of the toaster just a few days before.

Just for kicks, I plugged the toaster back in once it had cooled and the coils worked perfectly. I got a perfect slice of toast, just like always. But the lever was kinda fried, and had to be lifted by hand. So reluctantly, I agreed that we’d get a new toaster, and Leilani and her husband generously gave us their old one.

So this is what I’ve been pondering about the whole incident: My ʻohana laughs at me when I said it was hard for me to let it go. “It’s just an appliance!” they say, not understanding.  Yeah, it’s just a toaster. But everytime I used it, I was reminded about the special bond I have with my beloved sister-in-love, Maxine. I’d think about her and the good times we used to have together (I need to write about that, too). We liked each other from the instant we first met, so many years ago. So that’s why. Yes, I still have the memories; they will live in my heart forever. But I also liked having the visual reminder of our friendship. So das why hahd.

The other thing is this: those four firemen came rushing to our house, three in full firemen gear. They had absolutely no idea what they were going to have to deal with, yet they came prepared to give their lives wholeheartedly to keeping us safe. They were willing to risk their lives for us. Even now I get chicken skin thinking about it.  So to all firemen, especially the ones from Clackamas/Boring Fire Department, thank you. Thank you for putting your lives on the line for us and for all the others you protect, day after day, month after month, year after year. My gratitude knows no bounds.

RIP Toaster.



This entry was posted in Da Kine: Sometimes Full-on Pidgin. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Da Toaster Story

  1. Michelle says:

    Pretty cool story; thanks for sharing even if you felt “kinda dumb”!

  2. Kathyh says:

    The boring fire department will forever have my heart too. My son drowned at 15 months and their quick response saved him. 26 years ago, I never forget.
    Good to ‘hear’ from you!

    • Mokihana says:

      Oh my goodness, Kathy…. your comment brings tears to my eyes. I am so grateful that your son was saved…all firemen are special, but Boring has a special place in my heart, too. Thank you so much for your words.

  3. AFK says:

    So long ago was your teaser story about da toaster that dis babooze forgot all about it! (As why hahd.)

    I’m really glad you called the fire department. How else would you have known? You don’t have a heat sensor li’dat! And if you HADN’T called, the toaster and the wall and your whole kitchen could have gone up! Trust your instincts–they were right. And what an ODD accident.

    And, yes, thank GOODNESS for dedication of fire fighters and police and all of the other protectors.

    I get why you’re sad about your toaster. I am also very anthropomorphic. I talk to inanimate objects all the time. For me, it’s more than just memories of the object’s origin. I knew a new acquaintance, who has now become a dear friend, would be a kindred spirit when she said, at our first meeting, “Inanimate objects–aren’t.” She talks to her guitar and refrigerator, among other things, regularly.

    • Mokihana says:

      You’re absolutely right… our whole kitchen and maybe the house could’ve gone up in flames! It sounds like a kind of Portagee accident, though, yeah?

      You and I are so much alike; Nolemana makes fun of my anthropomorphic-ness. It’s hard to describe, but I know exactly what you’re saying about being more than just memories…it’s like they have a life and personality of their own. I love that: “inanimate objects-aren’t”. I totally get that. I think that’s why it’s hard for me to get rid of stuff sometimes…because I feel like I’m gonna hemo a friend.

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