Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Story for Crushing Krisis

A fellow documentarionm, Crushing Krisis wrote a hilarious story this weekend about cooking pre-mixed Cookies in the microwave. His description was quite comical … and brought to mind a story from my college days.

Like most college students I lived in a different apartment/house nearly every semester. One semester I shared a brand new two bedroom in Tempe with a woman from North Dakota. On the other side of our unit were two young men. They were much younger than us … at least 3-4 years, and living on their own for the first time.

One day they knocked on our door and told us, “Don’t worry about that smoke smell, we disabled the fire alarm and everything’s okay. Also do you have a big fan we can borrow to blow away the smoke smell?” Lori and I looked at each other and then quickly said, “And why did you need to disable the smoke alarm? What smoke smell? And NO you may not borrow our fan.”

Brian and Dave quickly explained that when the pest control people had come to spray the complex earlier in the week, they’d put the food normally stored in the cupboards into the dishwasher. So it wouldn’t get contaminated, of course. At some point they’d forgotten about the boxes of cereal and Mac-n-Cheese in the dishwasher – and had run a full cycle in the dishwasher – with the dry cycle on. Apparently, water and heat and cardboard, aren’t recommended combinations for the dishwasher.

We laughed at them, but didn’t think much more about the incident other than, “stupid boys”.

Fast forward another two months. Once again after pest-control eradication. Brian comes bopping into our apartment and asks if we have a big mixing bowl. “Yes. Why?”, Lori asked. “We’re gonna make brownies, but we don’t have anything to mix them in”, responded Brian. So Lori gave him the bowl and off he trotted.

Two minutes later, Dave was walking through the door. “Hey, ya got an egg?”, he asked. “For the brownies, right?”, I confirmed. “Yeah, who knew there’d be eggs in them?” he said. I laughed and suggested maybe they should let us make the brownies for them … but he assured me he’d helped his Mom make brownies many times before – and then he left.

Lori and I looked at each other and said, “Yep, and they’ll be back in another minute asking for oil and a measuring spoon too!” Bingo, within moments, there were both of them, looking kind of sheepish, asking for oil and measuring spoons. Lori also handed them a brownie pan and said repayment of 2 brownies would be required. “Oh, and don’t forget to pre-heat the oven,” she called after them.

20 minutes later Lori and I began to speculate on the fate of the brownies. Much to our dismay, at that very moment the smoke detector in the breeze way started to sound off. As we opened our door to look out and see what was going on, both Brian and Dave rushed out of their door – headed for the fire extinguisher!

“Good Lord, surely they can’t be burning brownies in 20 minutes”, Lori said looking at me.

“I hope not. Hey Brian, why do you need the fire extinguisher?”, I yelled. (Besides I was panicking about them breaking the glass to get it, and the BIG alarm that would immediately begin ringing, bring too much attention to the whole thing.)

“The spaghetti caught on fire – and we have to put it out”, he shouted back to us.

“The spaghetti? Aren’t you making brownies?” I asked.

In the meantime, Lori had darted into our apartment and returned with our little extinguisher. “Here, use ours”, Lori offered. As the boys dashed back inside we followed, just in time to see Dave open the oven door – and see waves of black smoke billowing out and into the room. And talk about a bad smell … there was a distinct plastic/burnt hair aroma. Quickly reaching in with a fork, he pulled forward plastic encased burning dried spaghetti noodles, flaming Krust-Ez pancake mix and several smoldering boxes of Kool-aid – which they immediately doused with the fire retardant.

“What on earth?” “Why’s that stuff on fire and spaghetti smoldering for – and what’s it doing in the oven?” Lori asked.

“It’s all your fault”, Dave told her.

“Yeah, if you wouldn’t have told us to pre-heat the oven, none of this would have happened”, Brian accused.

“What does pre-heating the oven have to do with melting spaghetti and hot Kool-aid in your oven?”, I asked.

“Well, if we hadn’t done that, then when we went to put the brownies in the oven, we would have seen all the stuff we stashed in there from the pest eradication thing … Because we we’re smart and didn’t put anything in the dishwasher after last time … so we THOUGHT the oven would be safer … but ….uhhh”, Brian’s voice trailed off. And we all burst out laughing.

So every time I think about pre-heating an oven – I always check to make sure nothing’s in the oven and I laugh over the memory of the burning spaghetti boys in Arizona, shake my head and think fondly, “stupid boys”.

1 comment:

peter said...

Oooo, that's a funny one. You'd think after the dishwasher they would have made sure everything else was unpacked.

I ad lib pretty much everything kitchen-related, including cooking times, seasonings, and frequent preference for using my bare hands to flip over things in frying pans. It's lead to all sorts of wacky hijinx, most of which is definitely blogworthy.