Friday, February 16, 2007

Wake Up!

Last night Debbie attempted to use our microwave oven, and discovered that it didn’t work. Oh, the lights came on, and the turntable turned, but the stuff inside stayed ice cold. Thinking that it might have gotten itself into some software failure mode, or perhaps that some electronics got overheated, I pulled the plug and told her we’d try it again in the morning. It’s amazing how often a little “rest” cures whatever ails an appliance.

So this morning I plugged it back in to try it out. Of course it won’t do anything until you set the clock, so I had to figure that out again. Thank goodness for Google’s ability to find a manual on the web — because there’s very little chance we’d ever find the manual for this 8 or 9 year old device in our house! So, with multi-page clock-setting directions in hand, I managed to get the clock set. Now we’re ready to test it, and hopefully we’ll be cooking with hard radiation!

But such was not to be…

I put my test container of water in the microwave, and pressed the two buttons that would make it heat for one minute on 'high'. For the first couple of seconds, everything acted perfectly normal. Then there was a very loud kra-a-a-ck!!! and a jet of blue flame shot out the right side of the microwave. Our microwave is sitting in a recessed cabinet, so the blue flame quickly filled the small space between the microwave and the cabinet, and then changed direction to the only escape it had: straight out the front. This flame jumped out perhaps 18 inches, right past my right hand (which was still up at the control panel) and just a few inches from my eyeballs.

I don’t think my heart rate has ever jumped quite so much, quite so quickly.

The microwave is now sitting ignominiously out by our trash cans. I will buy us a nice, shining, new, non-exploding microwave this afternoon.

And I will never, ever have an unguarded microwave moment again!


  1. In the old blog, d.challener said:
    Right up until you mentioned the blue flame I was about the suggest you call the manufacturer and have them walk you through a firmware reboot. I had a similar problem a few years back and that fixed it.But I think a good rule of thumb for kitchen appliances that aren’t gas stoves or grills is to banish them to the curb.

  2. In the old blog, Cousin Mike said:
    Tom, how many times have I told you…YOU GOTTA TAKE THE SOUP OUT OF THE CAN BEFORE HEATING IT!