Thursday, January 5, 2006


While waiting in the customer service line at Kmart the other day--New Year's Eve afternoon--I had time to notice the recall posters taped along the top of the divider behind the counter. I suppose it's a formality--some kind of discount retailer requirement forcing them to post about malfunctioning products that've spent time on their shelves. The line was ten people long; I had plenty of time to look around, watch folks tug apart gigantic bins for storing away their holiday decor, listen to a cryptic exchange between two customers using Western Union to wire cash afar, and read over the fax-blob postings about failed products.

Among the recalls was a crock pot we received as a gift a few years ago: a Holmes Slow Cooker. I used it in early December for beef/vegetable improv. Just about anything slow cooked with salt and pepper turns out okay. Consequently, I cook in HSC all the time. I've never returned a product for recall. Never. But now I'll follow the instructions on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission web site, "immediately stop using the product and contact The Holmes Group to receive instructions on receiving a replacement base." It is a crock pot, after all, and when I looked up crock just now, I verified that it refers both to an open, earthen jar and also to a nonsense message. In fact, it associates etymologically with the Norwegian krake, meaning sickly animal, and the Middle Dutch kraecke, or broken-down horse. So I guess this makes the recall seem imminent, as fateful as the contents of a slow cooker being, well, hot, which is among the complaints waged against the device.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at January 5, 2006 9:15 PM to Under a Bushel

Moral of the story: Standing in discount store checkout lines makes a person dissatisfied with his crock.

Posted by: senioritis at January 5, 2006 9:43 PM

Thanks for posting this... I have one of these crock pots that I use frequently. I would have never known.....

Posted by: Partsnpieces at January 6, 2006 8:23 AM

I love that stupid crock, too. What am I going to do without it? (at least there's a moral)

And I was surprised to see it posted for recall, PnP, considering that it has help up perfectly well for more than two years of heavy use. Makes me wonder how much other recalled junk I'm using contently on a daily basis.

Posted by: Derek at January 6, 2006 9:06 PM