Nothing’s Perfect: The Mighty OJ

It’s been a while since I did a “Nothing’s Perfect” post, so when things came together in an interesting way last week, it seemed appropriate.

Many years ago, even before we were married, Tess and I used to visit Crate & Barrel.  That might mean something different to you than it does to me, because in those days, there were only two Crate & Barrel stores—the original one in Evanston, and the other in Chicago on Michigan Avenue, across from Water Tower Place.  It was a relatively small place, just big enough for some fancy displays, with a huge basement that was loaded with plates and glassware.  Since I worked nearby, I used to stop by C&B to pick things up for Tess—small things, trinkets—on a regular basis.  And whenever we were both downtown, we stopped in.

Over the years, we bought many things there.  Glassware, a teapot, cutlery, you name it.  But there was one thing we wanted, one thing a little too costly.

Sidenote: This thing appears to be for sale on the internet for $50 or less, and that doesn’t seem like all that much now.  And I no longer recall the price.  But for some reason, it seemed very costly at the time.  I suspect that, taking inflation into account, the models available now are less costly, perhaps made in some other place.  Doesn’t matter.  The sentiment is tied up with the original 🙂

So when we got married, and friends asked us what we wanted, we told them   We wanted a juicer.

Now, we knew that we’d never be likely to be the kind of couple to make fresh-squeezed orange juice every morning.  Too costly, and we’re too lazy.  But we wanted a juicer.  And not just any juicer.  We wanted The Mighty OJ.  White and chrome, about 10” tall, cast metal, painted white.  You slice an orange in half, pop it onto the cone, pull down the lever and—zowie!—orange juice.  We fell in love with the machine.

When we got married, we were given not one, but four (4!) orange juicers.  Unfortunately, they were all exactly the same, plastic electric juicers.  We did something awful, and returned all of them.  We took the money and bought a Mighty OJ for ourselves.

We still have it, more than 26 years and ten moves later.  It’s heavy, it’s awkward, the paint has been dinged up a few times, the cone is no longer shiny, and the carapace has a rough semi-sticky layer of permanent orange juice.  We’ve used it 50 or 60 times over the years, maybe a little more, maybe a little less.

Last week, my parents shipped us a box of fruit from Florida, so we dragged out the Mighty OJ once more.  You know, most of what people drink at breakfast under the name of orange juice is crap.  Real juice, straight from the fruit?  That’s the stuff.  Only things less than perfect with the Mighty OJ are its users.  In use, both the thing and its product are perfect.

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