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A letter to management

Dear Crock Pot,

Like many viewers of ABC’s This Is Us, I’ve been waiting nearly two seasons to find out how television’s most beloved father died.  Knowing he was gone wasn’t enough.  Learning there was a fire didn’t satisfy me either.  I needed details.

I gathered clues each week as I fell more in love with Jack Pearson in all his less-than-perfect glory.  I knew how he lived.  I knew his sacrifices, his failures and his hard-fought comebacks.

I also learned how his passing continues to affect his children in different ways.  There’s guilt, addiction, the shunning of all things canine, and a general neuroses regarding time.

Like many viewers, I originally assumed his death was caused by his drinking.  Then I thought he’d had a car accident.  Next, I considered a heart attack.  Recently, I even toyed with the idea of a puppy mauling incident.

And then last week, I found out the truth: You did this.

You and a vat of chili.

How dare you lull an entire generation – who like to see their food simmering on the counter for hours on end – into a false sense of security?!  Sure, I never fully trusted the “leave it on while you go to work or to bed” philosophy that others followed.  But I still hoped.

And Jack turned you off before bed.  “Off.”  Not “Down.”  Not on “Low.”  “Off.”  And still you came back to attack his home like a deranged appliance from the depths of Hell.  Or a scene out of Maximum Overdrive.

And on Super Bowl Sunday, no less.  Have you no shame?

Now, you may not have personally killed my entirely fictional television father-figure.  You just set his house ablaze while the family peacefully and ignorantly slept.

I’m still awaiting the final piece of the puzzle in his death.  What happened next?  Apparently, it involves the son that wasn’t even home and a formerly stray terrier.  And you had better hope that pup wasn’t directly to blame lest you risk an entire planet of dog-lovers on the warpath.

Your recent fervent apologies on social media did not begin to assuage my personal pain.  And I’m not alone.  Even This Is Us creator, Dan Fogelman’s reminders that you were over 20 years old with a bad switch and that “all those lovely hardworking crockpots” should not be lumped together did little to calm viewer hysteria.

Nor did promoting Crock Pot’s continued safety standards that would make such a freak incident back in 1998 unlikely today.  Because it did happen, my friend.

So don’t be surprised that viewers are now vowing to toss their slow-cookers in solidarity.  As we move toward our own Super Bowl Sunday, you may soon find many of your brethren out in the cold.  Chilies, soups, stews, ribs, chickens, pot roasts and even an oversized nacho dip may have to find a new place in which to simmer.

Because the Pearson’s faith in you was, apparently, a crock. 

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