Mike drinks iced tea year-round, and I have used a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker for more than 20 years. One of my sons teases me that it’s the most useless appliance ever. However, it works for me because within ten minutes I have iced tea brewed to Mike’s liking. So, when I saw a brand new in the box iced tea maker at the rummage sale a couple of years ago, I bought it. All the parts were there, still wrapped in their original plastic bags. And as a bonus, this was the deluxe edition with TWO pitchers! I figured if nothing else, I could eventually replace my old unit with this one. We stored it at the farmhouse, and as we moved in after remodel, it resurfaced.
I decided that rather than store it longer, I should use it, but when I opened the box, the stench was horrific! Oh yes! It was mouse smell all right, only in was REALLY bad. Obviously, mice had congregated in that box, but why?
I was a little freaked and wished that I wasn’t working alone. Ever so cautiously, I began to remove one of the pitchers from its plastic bag. Then I removed the lid, and the smell exploded. Putrid! But wait! The pitcher was filled with something. What have the mice done now? Investigating further, inside the pitcher was a large plastic Ziploc bag filled with dried onions. And under that was another large bag filled with mustard powder. Naturally, I immediately carried these bags to the garbage. The mice might be exonerated in this case, but it was still weird.
Honestly, that iced tea maker had never been used, so what was the scenario that put dried onions and mustard powder in Ziploc bags inside that pitcher? Perhaps mom and dad visited their daughter for Christmas and received the useless iced tea maker as a gift. Before they left for home, daughter said, “Mom, I have dried onions and mustard powder. Wouldn’t you like to take some home with you?”
“Oh, yes, that would be great!” said mom. And as dad packed the car for the trip home, he put the two Ziploc bags inside one of the pitchers in the Iced Tea Maker box. Once they were home, the box was stashed in the basement, both the maker and its contents forever forgotten. Twenty years later, when their children arrived to move them from the condo to the facility, the boxed iced tea maker was donated to a local P.E.O. chapter for their rummage sale.
Or something like that.
Do you know how long it takes me to use up a jar of onion flakes? Forever! And mustard powder? I used to have some.
Incidentally, the coupons included with the unit expired in 1996.