The Right Word

MAGNETISM AND REFRIGERATOR ART

There are many serious issues in our world today. Some so serious that 140 characters on Twitter just isn’t enough to address the problem. There is terrible political discord in our country and our world; poverty; hunger; disease; the threat of nuclear war; and natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.

(It’s too bad about Harvey. For some reason, that’s a name I’ve always associated with nice guys. How can you not be a good spirited, down-to-earth guy with a name like Harvey? But now, the name will always be linked to one of our country’s greatest natural disasters.)

I seem to have digressed a bit. I was talking about all of the major issues we are facing today. One seems to be climbing above the clutter. So much so that it warranted a front page article in the Wall Street Journal. It seems that people are discovering that magnets will not stick to stainless steel and, in particular, stainless steel refrigerators.

According to the paper: “Refrigerator magnets – the ubiquitous keepers of appointment reminders, to-do lists and school certificates of accomplishment – are being rendered useless by the ruthless tyranny of stainless-steel products, whose magnetism is compromised by high levels of nickel.”

People, nobody we know, but people are stressed about this. The article included the sad story of Holly Bonner, a New York mother of two who was dismayed that a magnet wouldn’t stick to her new $2,700 refrigerator. I have two words for her: boo hoo.

A refrigerator costing almost three thousand dollars should come with a Monet stuck to the front of it, not something rendered in crayon.

This is not an issue at our house. We too have a stainless steel refrigerator. At least I think we do. We bought it at Sears for considerably less than $3,000 and magnets stick to it just fine. Maybe you lose magnetism as the price increases. But we don’t stick our magnets to the front doors.

All of our kitchen appliances are stainless steel and in an unspoken acknowledgement of their aesthetic appeal, my wife and I have kept the refrigerator doors bereft of magnets. But where there’s a will there’s a way.

The refrigerator is nestled into a spot at the end of one of our kitchen counters. Where the counter ends, between the countertop and the cupboard above, there is a three-foot-square area of the refrigerator’s side that is exposed. And it is there you will find our magnets.

I’m really not a big fan of refrigerator art. Never have been. But looking at the side of our refrigerator now and seeing mostly photos of our grandchildren, nothing’s coming down. Not until we get a new photo to replace it.

As for Ms. Bonner? How about duct tape? It’s the same color.


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