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Laura Linney Vs. Toaster Ovens

The Case For Toaster Ovens

So you wake up on Saturday morning with a primal need for greasy food -- the kind that is inevitable the day after you attend a bachelorette party where each guest was armed with a phallus-shaped water gun loaded with Jägermeister. What to eat to quell this licorice-flavored lurching in your stomach? Preferably something that doesn't require assembly, or leaving the apartment. Something with mild ingredients. And then you find, in a box crammed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, a single leftover slice of pizza sparkling in its shiny nest of greasy cardboard.

You, being civilized, know that the only way to truly savor pizza and release its stomach-coating balm of gooey cheese is to heat it. And now a new dilemma crops up: how to heat this slice, your gateway back to wellness?

The microwave is out of the question: it will make the crust tough and the rest of the slice soggy. There's the oven. But who has the time to wait for the oven to preheat? Who has a clean cookie tray? Hell, if you're going to make that kind of emotional investment, you might as well cook.

Then you see it, atop the microwave, in all its chromey glory: the toaster oven. You slide your slice right onto the wire rack, crank it up to "medium toast," and before you can fully disentangle the fake purple eyelashes caught in your hair, your breakfast is ready. (Just keep an eye out, because the dripping cheese could cause a grease fire, but more likely will just make some smoke. Smoke! It's your childhood memories of preserving hams in the back yard of your estate in Greenwich all over again.)

The toaster oven is a miracle appliance: it toasts! It bakes! It broils! We don't know exactly what broiling is, but we're glad our toaster oven can do it. And anything that can improve the taste of leftover pizza is an indispensable kitchen appliance in our book.

The Case For Laura Linney

There are those actresses who usually play the affable, down-to-earth, slightly spazzy romantic interests: your Jennifer Anistons and Renée Zellwegers -- once upon a time, your Meg Ryans and Helen Hunts. But do you actually believe that these women are affable and down-to-earth? If our Us Weekly does not lie -- and it's hard to imagine that it does -- absolutely not.

Then there is Laura Linney. We are sure of this: unlike those overrated tabloiders, Laura Linney would have been your best friend in tenth grade had time and place allowed. You'd still be in touch today! And further unlike those high-gloss squinters and grimacers, you can tell people that you rented a Laura Linney movie without needing to feel ashamed of yourself. The woman has Calphalon-quality indie cred. Who even cares that she was in The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, or The Mothman Prophecies? Don't you remember her (Oscar-deserving!) tour-de-force in The Squid And The Whale? Or P.S.>? Or Kinsey?

As a high-quality romantic lead, Linney's list of silver-screen paramours is long and varied, from Topher Grace to Jeff Daniels, from Sean Penn to that hot guy in the Nicole Kidman Chanel No. 5 commercial. And no wonder: watch carefully, and you'll see that she actually flushes in sex scenes. Not that we wouldn't flush if Topher Grace were seducing us, but still.

The future is bright for Ms. Linney. We're not sure what she's doing in this latest Robin Williams movie (is she just paying the bills? Did she lose a bet?), nor do we intend to find out first-hand, but we're sure she's playing the romantic interest and classing up the joint all the while.

The Decision

The toaster oven is an invaluable tool in heating and re-heating food. Thanks her long list of on-screen romantic partners and her role in Mystic River (where she gave the best performance of Lady Macbeth we've ever seen), Laura Linney is an invaluable tool in a competitive round of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

While we have only undying gratitude for any appliance that can make leftover pizza, the fact remains that a toaster oven can be replaced with a toaster and an oven. And though we hate to say it, there is also this: a toaster oven is highly flammable. Just a few months ago, we had to replace our toaster oven because our roommate set it on fire while making tacos. We thought this was just an act of carelessness, but a week ago we had to quickly unplug our toaster oven to prevent a fire from further developing -- a fire caused by grease leaking off a piece of re-heating pizza.

Laura Linney, on the other hand, is both irreplaceable and inflammable. Or non-flammable. Whatever.

The Winner


- Keri

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