Friday, July 25, 2008

Historic Microwave

Recently, my parents’ old microwave died. It was about damn time. When I say old, I mean really old. They’ve had the same microwave since I was born. In fact, I think it used to be my great grandmother’s and she left it to my mom in her will, with a delightful story about how she stood in line at Sears & Roebuck to buy it for a nickel.

This was the biggest microwave I’ve ever seen. It was massive. It was a walk-in. You go in, put down your Swanson Hungry Man and get the hell outta Dodge because it had a 20-foot blast radius.

It had this huge dial for the numbers, like an old rotary phone. I think you even had to put in a quarter to make it work. So you spin the dial to enter your numbers, then there’s this huge lever you pull like in Ghostbusters when they shut down the ghost containment thing and all the ghosts escaped. A red light starts flashing and you hear that buzzing alarm like you know you’ve done something wrong, you remember? Same thing. Then you have to shield your eyes from the nuclear blast.

That’s another thing: the radiation was ridiculous. My brother has six fingers on one hand because he made too many Pizza Pockets in there. You had to put on a radiation suit and everything, like one of those guys examining ET.

A normal microwave owner sounds like this: “I’m going to heat up this potato.” Pokes holes in it, heats it up.

I went like this: "I'm heating up this potato. Get in the decompression chamber. I'll give you the all-clear once I have the sour cream on it."

The neighbours once called the police because I was making burning popcorn and they thought we had a meth lab in our kitchen. The whole neighbourhood smelled like burnt popcorn for a week.

Another problem: the damn thing would never stop. It had evolved into more than a microwave, possibly through intelligent design (possibly through total ignorance). It had no sense of time. You type in one minute? Forget it. Try waiting an hour for a bowl of soup. You had to punch and/or drop-kick it so you could get your food out. Even then, it would sometimes keep running and you’d have to eat crouched behind the stove wondering when the house was going to explode.

Suffice to say, I’m glad the thing finally croaked. The guys from The Smithsonian came by and picked it up the next day.


The old Bob Saget looked like Judge Reinhold. The new Bob Saget looks like Stephen Colbert.

They should play brothers in something. I don’t care what it is, I’ll see it.

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