Alarming Syndrome
posted April 3, 1996

Q: Dr. Toast, my toaster displays the alarming syndrome in which my toast is shot across the room, often to distances reaching up to 3 or 4 feet. If I am not present when this occurs, I have to waste my time hunting for the toast in some obscure corner of the room. This disturbs me. Is there anything that can be done?

– Jennifer (

A: Jennifer, it’s really quite simple. Your toaster has been possessed by Satan. While you should feel honored that the Prince of Darkness himself has chosen one of your household appliances as his earthly incarnation, the repercussions, in terms of toast, are not good. Obviously, a toaster is an extremely cramped living environment for someone who is accustomed to the spoils that go along with the position of Evil Overlord. So he does what any sensible Demon Master would do: Evict the Toast! And with a vengeance, apparently.

What you need to do, Jennifer, is convince the Vile Displacer of Toast that he has an overwhelming desire to upgrade to a more spacious appliance, preferably one that you don’t use often, and preferably one in a somewhat secluded part of the house so you won’t be too bothered by the incessant screams of tortured souls. The “Salad-Shooter” that most of us have tucked away in some dank corner of the kitchen would be a prime candidate, were it not for the size limitation. However, the “Salad-Shooter Professional Model” would be perfectly adequate.

– Dr. Toast