Fun_People Archive
2 Oct
The Truth About Refrigerators

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat,  2 Oct 99 10:45:53 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: The Truth About Refrigerators

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From: Daniel Steinberg <>

Editor, Atlantic Monthly <>

Dear Sir:
    In his letter to the editor (October, 1999), Robert Erard states, "If
we follow Steven Budiansky's argument [in "The Truth About Dogs", July,
1999], our dogs are not even pretending to like us; they are cleverly
designed food- and care-extorting machines that have no feelings or
personality at all.  If we were scientific and realistic enough, we would
recognize that to have personal feelings about our pets makes no more sense
than to cultivate friendship with our refrigerators."  I take exception to
this condescending and dismissive attitude towards refrigerators and the
people who hold them in high esteem.

    Personally, I am on very friendly terms with my refrigerator.  It truly
opens itself up to me, and shares everything inside.  Though it treats me
somewhat coldly, I am accustomed to this and wouldn't have it any other
way.  In fact, were it to stop, I would seek professional help in order to
repair our relationship.

    Contrary to Mr. Erard's notions of what is 'realistic', I'd like to
point out that a refrigerator, on the whole, is a more reliable,
predictable, and even essential member of the household than most dogs
could ever be.  It requires less attention, fewer baths, little or no
training, and it stays off your coach without being told.  I have spent
many golden moments gazing lovingly and with guilty desire at my
refrigerator, whereas I have never felt those stirrings in the company of a
dog (though, perhaps I just haven't met the right dog).  And with a
refrigerator you get out exactly what you put into the relationship, a
perfect equity that even the most ardent dog-lover could not claim to have
with their pet.

Daniel Steinberg
Mountain View, CA

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