FRITZ: (of an appliance, etc.) to become broken or start malfunctioning [v -ED, -ING, -ES].

The three AEG Olympia E.T.s I’ve purchased so far- a Compact S, a Carrera, and an Electronic Compact – are all “Fritzed”.

No reflection on the quality of German manufacturing, of course. Electronic gremlins do not discriminate. But perhaps my run of bad luck has something to do with AEG Olympia’s choice of registered trademark?


Since ancient times, winged unicorns (or pegacorns) have been depicted as representations of evil.

The Irish poet W. B. Yeats wrote of imagining a winged beast that he associated with laughing, ecstatic destruction. The beast took the form of a winged unicorn in his 1907 play The Unicorn from the Stars and later that of the rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem in his poem The Second Coming.

It’s also pertinent to note that a 1958 slogan associated with the AEG name “Aus Erfahrung Gut” (benefit from experience) led to unflattering parodies such as “Auspacken, Einschalten, Geht nicht” (unpacking, switching on, does not work).

What’s the expected life-span of a mid ’80s electronic device anyway?

I guess it all depends. The better looked after live longer, ain’t that right, Fritz?