Neil Gaiman Got Into a Kerfuffle Over Kettles and Swords Were Drawn

Who knew getting a good cup of tea made could be this controversial? The Sandman Author Neil Gaiman found out that when it comes to boiling water things aren’t as simple as one would think.

The online kerfuffle all started when the American Gods novelist posted to his Twitter account on Saturday. Gaiman tweeted out a screenshot of a New York Times article praising the virtues of electric kettles when it came to heating up boiling water for a cuppa, be it coffee or tea. Gaiman, a UK citizen who grew up in Hampshire and Sussex and now splits residence between the US and the UK was summarily unsurprised by the device’s novelty (electric kettles in the UK are about as common as kitchen sinks). The author wryly commented, “Wait till I tell the New York Times about toasters. Just wait. It’s going to make headlines.”

One would think the small amount of cheek would pass by unnoticed but apparently, Gaiman’s online audience had some entrenched opinion on the matter. (Full disclosure: the author of this article, an American, is a regular electric kettle user and proponent).

One user, @Simply_Rabbi took a particular exception, linking the author to a nearly half-hour(!) YouTube video explaining that US wattages made stovetop boiling and other methods more efficient.

Gaiman was having none of it, explaining that his kettle that he used in the States was more than adequate for boiling water in a small amount of time but carefully avoiding phrases such as “voltage, schmoltage.”

Many of Gaiman’s UK fans were surprised to find that kettles are not as common in the U.S. as overseas.

And of course, there was a significant portion of U.S. kettle users that had been converted by their U.K. friends. Including best-selling author Melissa Marr, who was converted by Gaiman himself.

Keep spreading the word, Mr. Gaiman!

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