The other day I accidentally bought whole bean coffee, which meant I then had to go buy a coffee grinder so I could enjoy my Starbucks at home. I drove to my friendly neighborhood superstore and from the two available models selected the Mr. Coffee Coffee Grinder with Chamber Maid ™. This fabulous invention not only grinds coffee, it “quickly cleans coffee grounds from the walls, and its bowl-scraper ‘fingers‘ effectively dislodge coffee from the grinding area.”
It was after I got home and started opening the box that the cognitive dissonance started to set in. While I am happy that my post-coffee cleaning burdens are lightened by the presence of “bowl-scraper fingers,” why did they call this feature the “Chamber Maid?” Okay sure, it cleans the grinding chamber—and you can call that little bowl a chamber if you want to. But “Chamber Maid” makes me think of French women in skimpy costumes (oo-la-la!) or of unpleasantries like chamber pots (pee-yew!). Perhaps the oo-la-la image is meant to be a sort of pun on the whole idea of grinding (think “bane of school dance chaperones”), but I’m still not getting to coffee here in my brain.
And what about the gender thing? Did I accidentally get the guys’ coffee grinder? Does the ladies’ version come with a muscle-y grime fighter like Mr. Clean? or a superhero like Chamber with a furnace of psionic energy in his chest? (“Because we know you like your coffee HOT!”) Sometimes the best minds of the advertising industry elude me. They take you down a path and suddenly you look up and wonder, “How did I get here?!” Maybe I’ll just think of the Chamber of Commerce—they usually have a pot of coffee going, don’t they?