Princess and her dollWhat’s the most useless kitchen appliance? After my experience this week I’ve concluded it’s the garbage disposal.

I lived for years without a garbage disposal (not allowed in my Chicago building). I did have a disposal in my last apartment, and managed to clog it numerous times. Through that process I learned that you cannot put celery or onions down disposals. And I never have since then. But canned cat food? Who knew?

Yes, after a particularly stressful, long day at work this week, and a long, tense visit to the vet with Princess, we came home. I scooped out the tiny (let me stress tiny) remains of her canned cat food from earlier in the day, ran cold water (always cold), turned on the disposal, put the cat food down the disposal, and poof. Huge explosion of gunk came up at me (horrors). It flew all over the counters, all over the floor, all over my clothes. And rapidly, very rapidly, both sides of the sink began filling with water.

After much messing around, I gave up and showered, changed clothes, and decided I really didn’t have much of an appetite for dinner.

The next morning I called the apartment complex and they promised to send someone out while I was at work, which they did (hooray, they really are fast). When I got home that night the sinks were empty, but there was also a snide message from the maintenance man reminding me that this was a “garbage disposal” and not a “garbage can” and that my drain was clogged with cat food. Well, since I barely put a tablespoon of cat food down it the night before, it means that the cat food had been clogging up the drain for days (amazing it didn’t smell).

I started to write an angry letter back to the apartment management about the nasty tone of the note. Fortunately, I did a bit of research on garbage disposals first. I still think his tone was horrible, but from what I’ve learned, I’ve been putting all kinds of bad things down the disposal including tea leaves, egg shells, anything with fat (meat, fish, cat food), anything with much fiber (all the vegetables I eat), anything the swells up (pasta, rice, grains, etc.). Basically, they’re describing Princess and my entire diet. So, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that it’s much safer to ignore the stupid garbage disposal and empty my trash a bit more frequently than I already do.

So what about you, are you the master of a garbage disposal, or do you ignore it? And what’s your most useless kitchen appliance? And what’s Princess doing at the top of this post? Well, it’s her food that really started this whole episode. And let’s face it, she’s much cuter than the mess from my exploding garbage disposal.