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Opinion: I have too many toasters

By the Briscoes lady

By the Briscoes lady

I own a lot of toasters.

After 25 years as the face of Briscoes, it’s unavoidable. You can’t sing the praises of a company and its endless sales without owning the products you endorse. It would be dishonest. And I’m not dishonest. You can trust me on that, because I just said I’m not dishonest, and I couldn’t say I wasn’t dishonest if I was dishonest. It would be dishonest.

Every week for those 25 years I’ve told you about the fantastic savings at Briscoes. Sometimes more than once a week. Sometimes more than once a day. Some people swear they hear my voice when sleeping, or when brushing their teeth, or when making love to themselves or their significant other. You might think them crazy. I couldn’t comment without revealing Briscoes’ proprietary marketing technology.

What I can say is that if you look carefully, Briscoes is in a state of perpetual sale. Shocking, I know. It’s by stealth. It’s like the hum of a refrigerator, or the Korean War, or David Shearer: always there in the background, but you just don’t notice it, or really care, except until it breaks and sends melting ice and Up&Go ass-everywhere, or until an overgrown 12-year old dictator decides to play army man with his toy missiles, or until… well, I’m sure somebody must have noticed David Shearer at some point.

Or, in the case of Briscoes, until you need that mini muffin pan to make those delightful little mini almond and strawberry friands, the recipe for which you read in the Women’s Weekly at the fish and chip shop, to quietly impress your co-workers and tomorrow’s workplace morning tea – especially Georgia, because you have a thing for her and you know she’ll be mighty impressed by a quality friand – and just aren’t prepared to shell out Farmers prices.

Yes, it’s been a wonderful quarter century. But after all that time, I’ve had to face the truth (remember: not dishonest).

All these toasters are destroying my life.

It’s not just the toasters, mind you. There are the kettles, the crockpots, the coffee machines, the rugs, the duvets, the cushions – lord, the cushions, seeping out of every nook and cranny, wherever you look – the cutlery sets, the ironing boards. The market umbrellas covering every square foot of the backyard. The umpteen laundry hampers, which are completely useless, because we no longer have even nearly enough room in the house for a washing machine (or more than one set of clothes each, at that). And the chocolate fondue sets – Christ, the chocolate fondue sets. Most people can barely make use of one, let alone 37. I remember one week we ate nothing but chocolate fondue, just to try and justify their presence in the home. When you’re coating your fish fingers in melted chocolate, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

We lost one of the kids in the throw rug room last week. She’ll probably turn up sometime, and the police have been very understanding, but it’s still one bitch of an inconvenience. Her name is Maddison De Rigour. We named her after a cushion.

But why, Tammy, you ask, did you not simply sell the products on TradeMe? Why didn’t you just give them away? Why do you continue to exist in a home which has not one, not two, but 46 cheese slicers? Why, when you don’t even like cheese?

Protection of the brand. Selling everything or giving it away would take business away from Briscoes, and in turn, take away from my livelihood. I made a Faustian bargain. Who knew those things could turn out so bad? (Not I, who learned all my wisdom from inspirational wall art: “Kites rise highest against the wind”. What the hell does that even mean? No, they don’t.)

So next time you see my rictus smile bouncing around your television screen or laying across the discarded brochure on your living room floor, remember this: that is the smile of a woman who woke up to the sight of  26 decorative pukeko sculptures staring back at her with dead eyes. 20% off – this week only.