I had just finished a run when I heard the news, Hitachi.
"Five minutes ago, I heard the crash in the kitchen and I found the bread machine on the floor!" was what Charles, who was first on the scene, found.
There you were, obviously fractured, lacerated, possibly internally hemorrhaging.
At first I blamed The Dog. Makes sense. The dog is naughty.
The cat is also often naughty but as you weigh 10 lbs and the cat only weighs 5 lbs, I didn't think that she could accidentally knock you off the counter. I suppose if she used the butcher knife as a lever and jumped upon it as one might a see-saw, she could conceivably do the deed, but it really seemed like far too much effort for the cat. Perhaps if it happened late at night when she's looking for mischief and willing to expend the energy, but it was mid-afternoon, at the peak of her laziness.
Nah. Not the kitty.
Obviously The Dog.
Unfortunately, her alibi was cast iron. She had been curled up next to Charles the whole time.
"I think it wobbled off the edge of the counter by itself," was what Charles postulated.
Preposterous. You were set well back from the edge. You've never wobbled, even with the heaviest and hardest to work doughs. Not in 12 years. Not a wiggle.
That leaves a rather shocking alternative: Suicide.
I had thought I'd shown you over and over how much I appreciated you. I'd place you at the top of my "Indispensable Small Appliances" list each of those 12 years running. That's ahead of the food processor (you know, 'Cuisinart', the funny one that lives in the lower cupboard next to the stove) and each of the toasters (both 'Oven' and 'Slot', who seem to be so very clique-y) the rice cooker, the crock pot, and all the other gadgets. Yes. You even beat out the espresso machine, who does get me going in the morning but can be replaced by French Press in a pinch.
Perhaps I didn't let you know of my deep feelings of trust and dependency, let alone adoration as you brought the smell of a variety of fresh breads into the house. And let's not forget the ooohs and ahhhs from dinner guests as you let me casually pull out a freshly baked loaf of fragrant herbed or sourdough or baguette type bread. Some people are impressed by such things. But I always gave credit where due: "Oh. It's nothing. I have a bread machine, you see. It's so very easy."
But maybe I took you for granted. Or maybe it was my not letting you take things the final step that gave you a feeling if inferiority? I mean I know I'm prone to just use the dough cycle, preferring to do that last kneed myself, shaping the loaf and tossing it in the oven rather than letting you take the job to completion. Part of it was me. I just enjoy that part. But part of it was you. When I have let you, on occasion, bake that loaf yourself, it's turned out a bit (how to say this diplomatically?), er, gummy. Not horribly so. No, no, no. Just a trice. I hate to even bring it up.
Or perhaps, even though I do try to shake things up and try new recipes, I did over do it on the light wheat baguettes and you leaped off the counter out of a mixture of tedium and ennui?
(NOOOOOOOOOO! Not another bloody batch of light wheat baguettes!!!!!!!! Goodbye cruel world!)
But then I re-imaged the crime scene in my head. You. The counter. Sara's art bin. The knife blocks. The Cuisinart. The fruit bowl. The tomato bowl. Wait.
The Cuisinart. That was sitting on the counter, a mere foot from you. The Cuisinart with the biting sense of humor, sometimes much more on the cruel side than was absolutely necessary. The Cuisinart with the wicked-sharp blade that has cut me on 'accident' more than twice as I innocently reached in the dish water to clean it.
The Cuisinart, with its jealous streak a mile long, apparently long tired of missing the top spot of the heavily sought after Indispensable Small Appliances List. Think Susan Lucci at the Emmys.
I think we have the true sequence of events.
The Cuisinart, sensing its opportunity to knock off the perennial favorite, left alone in the kitchen while the rest of the household was elsewhere occupied, started after the Hitachi, blade whirling. The food bowl that normally would have provided protection from this weapon, rendering it merely a way to chop, slice or julienne fry, was in the dishwasher. No protection.
It was either be chopped to bits or leap to certain injury and likely death.
My poor baby!
At least you won't have died in vain. Justice will be served. I'll make nothing but weak bouillon in Cuisinart from now on.
But wait! What's this? Your motor still works? The dough is rising? The dinner's bread is not lost and you, while not pretty anymore, are not dead?
I'll give you a few days bed rest, and repair what I can cosmetically; then we'll try you out with a simple loaf. Perhaps a small loaf of cottage white.
And then we'll notify the police.
I'm sure the oranges in the fruit bowl will sing like canaries.