Friday, April 27, 2007

Our Pot Dealer

Stephen and I were not engaged for very long. 5 months, ish. But somehow, they found out.

I probably filled out some form on a bridal website, and soon my yahoo email was completely filled with "special offers" and "not junk email" from legitimate and shady companies alike (them). One shady company that somehow got ahold of my info is Royal Prestige (Please, click the link. The opening montage of women dancing with cookware is not to be missed). I got a voicemail one day from a mumbly woman with the tonal expression, personality, and enthusiasm of a slug.

"Good afternoon, Andrea. This is *mumbling* calling from *mumbling*. You and your husband, er, fiancee, have won a vacation *mumbling* a shopping spree for 1000 dollars. That's right, 1000 dollars. Please call *barely discernable phone number* to redeem your prize. Thank you, uhh... Oh, I'm sorry, Rachel. Thank you Rachel."

Great. So I called and got the same woman who left the voicemail. No surprise, she sounded exactly the same live as she did on a voicemail.
Me: "How did I win?"
Gastropod: "We drew your name at random and-"
Me: "No, I mean I didn't sign up for a contest. How did I win?"
Gastropod: "*mumbling*" (I decide to let it go. I can't understand her anyway)
Me: "Ok, so what's the catch? You're not just giving away vacations, here."
Gastropod: "We do ask that you come to a cookware presentation. There's no obligation to buy. You can schedule it *mumbling* at the Marriott."
Me: Alright, fine.

So that was that. We went to the presentation and these pots and pans were pretty amazing. Non-porous metal. Heats quickly and evenly. Won't burn food. Retains moisture and all the vitamins and minerals found in your food. A healthy, easy, effective cooking system. Lifetime guarantee. The lids are rigged with a little spring encased in a hard plastic that whistle when your food reaches a certain temperature (the highest temperature at which said vitamins and minerals are retained). So we bought them and got out free vacation deal. The "1000 dollar shopping spree" turned out to be an online coupon to be used for bridal party gifts and the like (we didn't use it).

We got our pans, and we were so excited. Very soon after using them we discovered they didn't work quite the same way as we were led to believe, be it due to the actual crappiness of the cookware, or the crappiness of our range, or both. The took half an hour to heat up. The nifty little plastic whistle springs kept melting. They burned our food like crazy. In short, these pans suck.

Last night I stuck the large pan on the stove to heat up for the required ridiculous amount of time so I could boil noodles for dinner. I stuck the lid on, otherwise it takes even longer. I sat on the couch and watched the Simpsons. Stephen got home, and we both noticed a smell. Coming from the kitchen. Like burning plastic.

The little plastic whistle had melted AGAIN, and burned onto the bottom of the pot, and I opened the lid, and black smoke poured from the pan like someone was doing voodoo inside it. We were both running around breathing through the collars of our shirts, hacking and coughing, trying to open doors and windows and keep the smoke away from the smoke detector. I got the pot outside and put it on the grill and poured water in it so it would stop smoking. At this point I noticed the inside of our pan was rainbow colored, like an oil stain in a parking lot. That's not natural.

Neither of us could breathe in the house so we turned on all the fans and left the windows open and went out to dinner. When we got back the air had cleared, but now our large pot has melted plastic in the bottom of it and I'm pretty sure we both inhaled some toxic fumes. Plus, we missed The Office because we couldn't stay in the house.

So I'd like to say a big F*** YOU to Royal Prestige.


ThomG said...

Calphalon, dear one, Calphalon. It's expensive, but it'll be the last cookware you'll ever buy. And you guys need a break - order take-out tonight and open that bottle of petite Syrah. You'll be glad you did.

Melissa said...

I'm hurting for you. Even our cheap *temporary* pans from Wal-Mart have held up better. :(

I agree with ThomG. There are some things worth spending lots of money on initially, because they'll last you a lifetime and probably even through your grandchildrens'. But it's tough to make those purchases when you're starting out. If we had the moola, I'd be on my way to Williams-Sonoma right now. ;)

Beth said...

Oh doesn't that just really nark you, I always want to phone those type of companies and complain each day till I get my money back but it's just so much energy! We have one Tefal non stick pan that we splurged out on (and replace when the kids forget not to scratch the non-stick with metal) whilst the rest of our pots we got from yard sales etc....sad but true!

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