Friday, December 13, 2013

The Microwave That Wouldn’t Die

I bought a microwave when I moved out of my parents’ house for the first time approximately 10 years ago. It was a small, cheapo microwave I bought at Kmart (if I remember correctly). That microwave carried over into my marriage to Melanie, our moving across the country to Atlanta, and all the way to Tallahassee. Not a bad $40 investment (again, if I remember correctly). Well, as of two weeks ago, that microwave is no more. It’s not that it stopped working. It’s that it stopped working correctly—in that it wouldn’t stop working.

Lest your brain explode as this mystery, I’ll explain. But I’m going to go back further than is necessary, because otherwise this blog post will be pointlessly short. For months now, our microwave has shown signs of old age—dementia, a lack of self-control, etc. Once in a rare while, it would flash inside. Not so often that we felt our lives were in danger, but enough to know something wasn’t right. More commonly, the microwave would make sickly noises. The usual microwave hum would sometimes be replaced by a fairly aggressive growl, as if the microwave were trying to achieve liftoff. Neither of these problems was consistent, so Melanie and I never did much more than say, “We really should be getting a new microwave soon.” That’s about as much motivation as the faltering microwave could muster in us.

Then two weeks ago happened. I put a mug of water in the microwave to make hot chocolate. I set it for 90 seconds. 90 seconds came and went. The microwave beeped to signal me that the time had elapsed. But the microwave kept going. It didn’t stop. I pushed the “cancel” button. The microwave continued to radioactivate my water. I didn’t dare open the door in an attempt to stop the microwave, because what if it didn’t work and the machine kept pumping microwaves into the air? I didn’t want to microwave myself! So, I reached back and unplugged the appliance. It stopped. Phew! I took out my hot water and made hot chocolate.

I told Melanie what had happened. I wanted to warn her, in case she plugged it back in and tried using it and it once again didn’t stop. We weren’t sure we should even bother trying it again, but Melanie eventually decided she would. But the moment she plugged the microwave back in, it resumed its microwaving activities. The fact that it had been unplugged for quite some time didn’t matter. It immediately turned on.

Well, that settled that.

Melanie and I actually survived a week-and-a-half or so without a microwave. Did you know you can reheat things in a conventional oven? It’s true! For me, it was the leftovers from our second Thanksgiving that prompted a quick correction to our microwave-less situation. Although we went a couple of days reheating turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. in the oven, doing so made us realize how much we’d missed the luxuries of modern technology. (Because, you know, conventional ovens aren’t modern technology! Pssh!)

Our new microwave looks nice, but it is huge in comparison to our old one. It takes up significantly more countertop space, which is not good for our tiny kitchen. Fortunately, I’m pleased with the microwave otherwise. I’ve only used it a couple of times, but still. When we reheated our last plate of Thanksgiving leftovers using the microwave’s “sensor reheat” feature, which automatically determines how long to heat your food by detecting the presence of steam, the results were impressive. The turkey didn’t get dried out, and yet a thick blob of mashed potatoes was hot to the center. All of this without our having to stop and stir or blend or rotate or what have you. The sensor reheat didn’t work as well for warming up pecan pie, but common sense probably should’ve told us that. If your pecan pie is giving off a lot of steam, it’s going to be pretty damn hot. Way hotter than you need to get some vanilla ice cream melting on top.

To conclude, here are some photos, but of course.

Creegan was rather excited about the new toy. He insisted on being in some photos too.

The end.

1 comment:

  1. That's kinda spooky! I kinda have a fear of microwaves anyway.