Thursday, February 9, 2017

Story 172: Cleaning the Self-Cleaning Oven

            “Yes, my love?”
            “Don’t be sarcastic – when was the last time you cleaned the oven?”
            “…I thought it cleaned itself.”
            “You do know that you actually have to press the buttons that tell it to clean itself, don’t you?”
            “Well yeah, sure, everyone knows that.”
            “So when was the last time you did that?”
            “Take a look in there, would you?”
            “Sure.  Oh.  Oh wow.  That’s pretty gross.  What did you put in there?”
            “Food!  And so did you!  And you’re the one who said you’d clean it!”
          “That’s when I thought it cleaned itself automatically and I didn’t have to do anything.  Modern technology really lets you down in a lot of insidious and subtle ways, I’ve noticed.”
            “Right – here’s a sponge, here’s soap, here’s water, now get to it!”
            “Argh, why can’t we just turn on the self-cleaning now?  Isn’t this all that thing’s job?”
            “Here’s the instruction book: be my guest.”
            “Hm.  Oh look, we only would need to stop the cleaning cycle if a lot of smoke starts coming out from all the cruddy food left behind.  I say, skip doing this machine’s work and go for it!”
            “Do whatever you want.”
            “Wow, the cycle takes over four hours.  Glad the game’s on today.”
            “What’s that smell?!”
            “Oh don’t worry, the instructions say that’s normal.  I left the window open too, so we don’t suffocate on the carbon monoxide.”
            “OK, what’s that noise?”
            “Apparently, physics is causing the metal to expand and contract with the massive amounts of heat floating around in there.  I honestly don’t even hear it anymore.”
            “All right, there’s smoke coming out, I’m shutting it off!”
            “No!  It’s got another two and a half hours to go and the instructions say the smoke is fine!”
            “They did not, they said to stop if there’s smoke!”
            “The exact words were ‘excessive smoke’ – this is just wimp smoke, I can barely – cough – see it – cough cough cough.”
            “There are flames in there!”

            Five years later....

            “And that, kids, is the reason why there was a gaping hole in the kitchen wall for so long and why you should always clean up your messes right away.”
            “But these are just our toys – ”
            “You heard me.”

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