Can you name the one invention that changed the world more than any other? No…it wasn’t the television. It wasn’t nuclear technology…the bomb or otherwise. It wasn’t the computer nor was it the cell phone. Agreed that these fine inventions had their impact and do continue to evolve and change the world as we know it. But what was the one invention that changed the world immediately and it was like Pandora’s Box…once it was let loose it would never be put back nor would it ever go away. That invention was the microwave oven.
Maybe it’s just me…
But I think that the Microwave oven ruined society and the American Family.
First a history lesson…
Like many of today’s great inventions, the microwave oven was a by-product of another technology. It was during a radar-related research project around 1946 that Dr. Percy Spencer, a self-taught engineer with the Raytheon Corporation, noticed something very unusual. He was testing a new vacuum tube called a magnetron, when he discovered that the candy bar in his pocket had melted. This intrigued Dr. Spencer, so he tried another experiment. This time he placed some popcorn kernels near the tube and, perhaps standing a little farther away (duh…), he watched with an inventive sparkle in his eye as the popcorn sputtered, cracked and popped all over his lab.
The next morning, Scientist Spencer decided to put the magnetron tube near an egg. Spencer was joined by a curious colleague, and they both watched as the egg began to tremor and quake. The rapid temperature rise within the egg was causing tremendous internal pressure. Evidently the curious colleague moved in for a closer look just as the egg exploded and splattered hot yoke all over his amazed face. The face of Spencer lit up with a logical scientific conclusion: the melted candy bar, the popcorn, and now the exploding egg, were all attributable to exposure to low-density microwave energy. Thus, if an egg can be cooked that quickly, why not other foods? Experimentation began…
Dr. Spencer fashioned a metal box with an opening into which he fed microwave power. The energy entering the box was unable to escape, thereby creating a higher density electromagnetic field. When food was placed in the box and microwave energy fed in, the temperature of the food rose very rapidly. Dr. Spencer had invented what was to revolutionize cooking, and form the basis of a multimillion dollar industry, the microwave oven.
Now on to my point that it was the microwave that killed society and the American family…
This week I was on my trek to get my drug of choice… the “Whopper” from Burger King. To me the “Whopper” is like crack to a junkie. It is my fix. I mean I can go a few days without but then I need, it’s just something that I have to have. I pulled my car up to the speaker to order my delicious morsel of burger, my mouth salivating like a dog waiting to be fed.
With my hands shaking with anticipation, I place my order. I then proceed to the window to pick up my flame broiled trophy. I rolled my window down to reach up to get my prize and much to my dismay…IT WASN”T DONE!!! I mean it was at least 30 seconds after I ordered it. I mean this wasn’t rocket science…it’s a burger. How could they not have it done in the time it took me to order it and pull my car around to pick it up? What has our society come to? I mean we put men on the moon and we can’t have a burger ready.
I was about to give the minimum wage earning , high school girl attending the window a piece of my mind, when it hit me. How did I become so impatient? Why do I believe that I have to have something ready in 1.2 seconds or I give a big sigh of disgust? I will tell you what caused me to be an impatient idiot…it was the microwave oven.
Now I know that Burger King doesn’t “microwave” their burgers…but the principle is the same. The microwave has turned us into a society of impatient imbeciles. We have to have it “HOT and NOW”. We cannot wait, it must happen immediately. Remember when we first started using computer? We could not believe how fast you could look up information. It took a few minuets and we thought it was great. Today if we click on a file or window and it doesn’t come up at the precise moment we lift our finger off the mouse we want to throw that piece of crap out the window. We are a sick society.
Another thing that the microwave did to ruin society as we know it is that it killed the American family. How? It created an atmosphere where families no longer had to sit down and eat dinner together. Each member of the family can have their own schedule and not worry about missing dinner. Leftovers…no problem, simply…pop it in the microwave and dinner is served.
The one time of the day when all members of the family came together as a unit in one place was now over. It was a time of not just eating, but a time of sharing and fellowship. It was time where we learned about what was going on in the life of our family. Those days are sadly over.
So, for me, it wasn’t the television, the computer or the cell phone that changed society…it was the microwave oven.
I think I should have pitched it out with that slow computer I threw away the other day.