It's slightly off the subject, but I have a good pepper grinder story. My mom always told me to spend the big bucks and buy the most expensive one available to you. So, in the late 70s or early 80s I bought a Peugot wooden grinder.
One day it just disappeared. Gone. We were living in Hawaii at the time, and it disappeared before the rainy season, after a big party. When I went to cut back the vegetation a few months later, I found it under a bush. It had been sitting there through flooding rains for at least 3 mos. Took it in, dumped it out, let it dry, and although it's pretty ugly, the darned thing still works. Then, after we moved here (almost 20 years later), almost the same thing happened. It rolled off of a picnic table in the yard and disappeared. It stayed outside through a winter -- snow, and below freezing temps. Took it in, let it dry, and the darned thing still works. By this point I desperately needed one that looked decent enough for the dining rooom table. Went down to my spice merchant and, of course, bought a peugot.