SAN ANTONIO—Once thought of as a mere household appliance, the garbage disposal has officially become the most reliable member of the Juarez household. “You know, ever since Bill left, the InSinkErator’s been an invaluable source of emotional support,” said Linda Juarez as she shoved her wedding photos down the sink. “It’s hard being a newly single mother. Now I’ve got to pick up the kids, go to their parent-teacher conferences, write the psychoanalysts’ checks, interpret the fortune teller’s tea leaves, and fire the dog fecalist all by myself. My only comfort is being able to come home and shove the precious memorabilia of my former life down the garbage disposal.” At press time, Ms. Juarez was straddling the kitchen sink while it furiously vibrated and shredded the videotape of her first child’s birth.