Microwaves ruin everything

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The wonderful video below reminds me of a good story about a microwave oven. Two microwave ovens, actually. But watch the video first, before I tell it. Don't worry, I'll wait.

Wasn't that awesome? Especially the metal stuff. I used to have a girlfriend who would put metal in the microwave all the time. Spoons, aluminum foil, whatever—she wouldn't bother to remove any of it before nuking her food. I'd tell her that was a bad idea, a dangerous idea, but we had the kind of relationship where anything I said was considered silly and untrue just by virtue of my having said it, no matter that it was easily verifiable by checking with any other human being on the planet.

This was 1998. We lived together, and eventually the very bad breakup that had been coming for a very long time was upon us. Our microwave over was very old and very primitive, and my soon-to-be ex-girlfriend had at last saved enough money to buy the kind of very advanced, fancy new microwave she'd been dreaming of for a very long time. She didn't even take it out of the box when she bought it. It was going to be a housewarming gift to herself in her new apartment in her new city, and she was graciously leaving the old crappy microwave behind for me.

One evening shortly before her moving date, I arrived home from work to find the apartment filled with the unmistakable acrid smell of an electrical fire. I hurried into the kitchen. The inside of the crappy old microwave was blistered brown. Stalactites of melted plastic hung from the ceiling of the oven chamber.

She didn't want to tell me what had happened, but it came out soon enough. She had put a container of leftover Chinese takeout in the microwave to warm it up, but hadn't removed the wire handle from the carton. Before long the electricity arcing from the wire had started a fire.

No one was hurt, and nothing was damaged besides the carton, the Chinese food, and the oven itself. And that is how I got in the last word on the subject of putting metal in the microwave.

Oh, and it's also how I got the fancy new microwave as a parting gift. It's nice to be taken seriously.

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on August 17, 2012 9:17 AM.

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