Suddenly, there it was, sitting on the counter: a new, serious-looking piece of kitchen equipment. But what was it?
It was not a coffeemaker, blender, or seltzer machine. Nor was it a cookie jar, although I have one that's very similar that used to sit right there: a ceramic orange tabby. The head on this one doesn't come off, though, and that capacious belly is not hollow.
It could be some type of dishwashing device but it doesn't seem very reliable or hygienic.
It could also be used to prop up a cookbook but, again, not reliably.
It could be a toaster. You could put the bread underneath it and eventually the bread would get warm, which is about all we can expect from our electric toaster, with whom we have a longstanding disagreement over its household duties.
So, yes, perhaps it's a new, improved toaster. But I wanted to be sure.
So I asked it. "What the heck are you supposed to be doing up there?"
It said, "I'm a popcorn tester. Give me some, and if it's any good, I'll tell you."