This Conductor Orchestrated A Symphony Of Disaster

, , , | Right | August 20, 2018

(A teenage girl walks in with her mother to our kitchen store.)

Mother: “Excuse me, but we were wondering if we could do a return. My daughter bought a small set of your copper-plated pans, and… well… this happened.”

(From a shopping bag she pulls out a pan that’s charred black on most of the outside, with clumps of what looks like ashen meat stuck to the inside.)

Me: “Dear me! Uh, may I ask what happened here?”

(The mother turns to her daughter for the explanation.)

Daughter: “What? I was trying to cook with it! Not my fault this place sells s***ty crap!”

Me: “Hmm… By any chance, were you following a recipe?”

Daughter: “Uh, yeah?”

Me: “Did it mention a set time you needed to cook the food for.”

Daughter: “Yeah? So?”

Me: “I think I know what went wrong, then. Our copperware sets cook faster than normal pans, so you need to actually reduce the cooking time in recipes to compensate. Also, we recommend removing the pan from the heat, since it’ll stay hot for a while even without being on the heat.”

Daughter: “Yeah, the guy who sold this to me said the same.”

Mother: “And you didn’t think to do as they said?”

Daughter: “Why? I mean, it’s a pan! How was I supposed to know this would happen?”

Me: “Well, copper is a much more efficient conductor and retainer of heat. We advise folk to take a few more precautions with it because of that.”

Daughter: “What? How does that work?”

(I begin to explain, but the mother cuts me off.)

Mother: “Dear… remind me again, who’s going to a very prestigious and expensive university, on her parents’ dime?”

Daughter: “Uh…”

Mother: “And what was it they wanted to study there? Was it, perhaps, something involving physics, or a related science?”

Daughter: “But…”

Mother: “Surely you wouldn’t need to ask how something as simple as heat conduction works… assuming you’re doing as we asked and not skipping lectures or ignoring your coursework… Right?”

(The daughter gets a deer-in-the-headlights look.)

Mother: *to me* “We apologize for taking up your time. Could we exchange this for one of your cheaper cooking sets? Maybe that one over there?”

(She points to a very basic set of non-stick cookware.)

Daughter: “But Mom, I need pretty looking pots and pans! That’s why I got the copper!”

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