Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Wave, goodbye

My microwave, the one I've had since the day I left home, is gone. Well that's not entirely true. It's still sitting on the counter, but like a girlfriend you've insulted one too many times, it's no longer putting out.

It happened Monday before last. I was six minutes into an eight-to-ten minute baked potato when I stopped it for a routine check. When I tried to start it back up, there was nothing. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, you know because sometimes that works with the computer and computers and microwaves are so similar... still nothing. It was over.

What can one say about a countertop appliance? I knew her ding, the layout of her face, and what made her go around. Well, not mechanically speaking, but I knew which buttons to push.

With a capacity of 0.8 cubic feet, rounding up, she was 700 watts of relatively-safe radiation heating power. You can't get kind of power anymore! Seriously, do they still make them with that low of wattage?

And let me say this, if there were a Guinness Book Of World Records record for such a thing -- and if I had kept an accurate count -- I have no doubt we would have set a record for most frozen burritos made in a single non-commercial microwave oven that would never have been broken.

Perhaps most tragically, she had just recently undergone her 10-year cleaning. Granted, a few years late.

There is much I will miss about her. No more quick baked potatoes. No more easy Rotel dip. No more microwave popcorn for supper. No longer any such thing as warm leftovers. But you know what I have found I miss the most? The clock.

I don't have a DVR (and you can't see the stove, you know, for the wall) so the microwave was the only easily-viewable clock from my living room. Not a day has passed that I haven't looked in her direction to check the time, each glance a harsh reminder of what once was.

So for the past ten days, I have been struggling to survive my newfound, unintentionally Amish existence. I warmed up some queso dip in a saucepan last night. A saucepan, people. What is this, 1940?

And by the way, microwave popcorn on a stove? That doesn't work. It just burns the bag.

"But if I finish all of my chores and you finish thine, then tonight we're gonna party tonight like it's 1699..."


  1. Give it a hard punch on the top. It ought to work. My PC works that way. As my microwave is working fine, I have not tried that on it.

    And what? Heating stuff on a saucepan is 1940ish?

    Come to India...we do it all the time!

    PS: Eat everything COLD.....

  2. oh I know the feeling! I've had my microwave go out twice since we moved here and it was tragic. I too had to heat left-overs on the stove and with the oven! horrors!

    I quickly hopped on the internet and found a replacement. Ya know they aren't really all that expensive now days.

    I just checked my blog for when we bought our new is mentioned a lot.

  3. Drats- you just told everyone to get you a watch for christmas!!!

  4. I have never said you're the master of the absurd innuendo. Totally absurd but I like them
    I think it might have been the ten year cleaning--a few years late. Pushed it into oblivion
    I had my old microwave for 18 years--gave it away when I left NY--was still working and I never heard of a ten year cleaning. Need specifics please
    When he who I married and I first saw a microwave at his friend's parents house we would leave when the microwave was on. Our four parents questioned us intently on this new thing and were so happy we refused to be in the house when it was working.

  5. i love the way you get choked up about letting go... :)

    I should tell the story sometime about the demise of a microwave--when my son was a teenager and the old microwave didn't have a popcorn setting--he through he set it for 3 minutes, but set it for 30 and went to the family room downstairs where he and a few friends were having a sleep over (it was midnight). He forgot about the popcorn and I woke up to the smoke alarm ringing. I rushed to get the baby and handed her to my wife as I headed down through burnt popcorn smoke to get my son and the other kids out... then I realized where the smoke was coming from and there was a near homicide in the house that evening (the house smelled like burnt popcorn for days).

  6. Oh Bone, you have my deepest sympathies. I know how important a man's relationship with his microwave is.

    I don't so much mind the work that would come out of heating queso on the stove, but to me, it's wasteful. Normally, you'd take some dip out of the jar, put it in a container, nuke it, then eat it. But when you have to put it in a saucepan, you then have to transfer to a container, leaving behind some of it in the saucepan, no? Crazy.

    Not to mention, how do you reheat leftovers? (I live off leftovers a lot of the time.)

    Truthfully, I don't know how anyone lives without a microwave anymore. How (why?!?!) have you gone almost two weeks without replacing her?!?!

    May your recently-cleaned 'Wave rest in peace. She served you well.

  7. I have never thought of my microwave in a feminine or even human sense. I suspect that will change tonight when I get home.

    P.S. My home microwave is a low wattage version also which is why I nuclearize my food when I try to heat it up at work and realize that it doesn't take four minutes to heat up that left over enchilada.

  8. Bone, you need a paypal donation link. :)

  9. Gautami - I don't like many things cold. Sometimes I'll even go and reheat my meal halfway through eating it because I'm a slow eater and I like things really hot :)

    Renee - It's amazing how quickly we get used to these modern conveniences. And I'd say the microwave is the definition of convenience.

    I know they're pretty affordable. I'm just... not ready yet :)

    Daily Panic - Nah. I have a watch. I just never wear it :)

    Pia - Maybe it was the cleaning! Sort of the whole new wine/old bottle thing.

    I can see not wanting to be in the same room with it, but leaving the house? Great story :)

    Sage - I have a similar story from when I still lived at home, except with a regular oven and not the microwave. But the smoke, near homicide, and smell for days -- all that was the same.

    TC - Thanks. After so many years, it really becomes more than an appliance, it becomes a friend.

    I don't really know why. I guess at first I thought I didn't use it that much. But over the past ten days, I have been proven wrong.

    Ed - I did wonder as I was writing this, should it disturb me that I so naturally categorized an appliance as female? Probably so.

    Oh, me too. Whenever I use someone else's microwave, I'm always surprised at how quickly things get hot.

    Kontan - I've considered that a time or two :)

  10. I know you've never insulted a girlfriend. I can just tell.

    Aw, you had that microwave so long that it had a gender and you became accustomed to her face. I'm sorry for you loss.

    BUT, they do still make Jiffy pop, but screw that and get a new microwave. Oh, and I was checking out wall clocks at Kmart the other evening. There are some really cute ones. You could even get one with a kitchen theme. The possibilities for redecorating are so great. Go forth and be fashionable!
    heh. Go here:

  11. That totally sucks.

    Isnt is amazing how much you depend on a microwave.

    Loved the part about, "like a girlfriend you've insulted one too many times, it's no longer putting out". That is just awesome.

    I could say something similar about a couple of guys I know.

  12. I know so few people who get attached to their appliances. Less than that really, only you.

    I'm sorry for your loss. Once you learn to face the world without her you will he able to go out and look for a new one. I hear you can even search for her over the internet these days.

  13. you next post should be an introduction to your new microwave. I'm sure this one will have so many new features you'll not know what to try first.

  14. I don't want to jinx mine... but can u believe I have had it for TWENTY SIX YEARS!?? I hope I am not glowing.
    that can't be good, can it?
    you are so funny with your comparisons!
    I don't know your financial state bone..but I bet these days you can pick one up for peanuts (or popcorn!)
    another great post buddy! xox

  15. I don't know how to react to the fact that you haven't replaced it yet. I can't imagine functioning two DAYS without a microwave- much less two weeks. Truly unacceptable. I'm going to need you to work on this asap.

    Also. Am horrified that you don't have a DVR. Seriously. I can't wait until you get one- if a dead microwave got an entire blog post, then a new DVR will get about 29. Give or take a few. Just the facts.

    Also. Roll Tide.

  16. Last summer we burnt out our element in our stove and went without the cability to back for what seemed like a billion years... at first it was like "no big deal- we wouldn't bake a cake in 90 degree weather -we'll eat ice cream. Then when we realized we could no longer have the old stand by frozen pizzas for a busy family of seven... we realized the folly of our ways and ordered an element from Sears.

  17. Actonbell - Perhaps "frustrated" would have been a better word than "insulted" there :)

    Nice clocks. Do they cook popcorn, too?

    KittyCat - Thanks. I'm sure much worse could be said about me. Thank heavens none of my ex-girlfriends have blogs... that I know of :)

    Cooper - I know so few people who get attached to their appliances. Less than that really, only you.

    I'm just gonna call that a compliment and go with it :)

    The internet? Man, things have changed so much since I was last out there looking. I feel so out of place.

    Renee - I'm sure this one will have so many new features you'll not know what to try first.

    And by "you'll not know what to try first" you mean "you'll not know what half of them do."

    Lucy - Twenty-six years?! Congratulations! Yeah, I was thinking about mine that they've probably made these things a lot safer in the last fifteen years :)

    Cami - Good news. I have a microwave. It's used. But then, aren't we all?

    I expect to have a DVR within the next year. Maybe two :)

    Roll Tide!

    Michelle Gartner - Oh man, I haven't had a frozen pizza in awhile. I'm kinda craving one now.

    OK Chick - Yes, I know. Hopefully my next post will be more upbeat.

  18. I too must have food so hot it's like eating something that's been on the surface of the sun. I can't handle lukewarm food. Ick.

  19. My roommate was helping me get ready for a date the other day (ye-ah!) and asked what time he was coming. She looked around for a clock. I said, "Oh, I don't need a clock. I have a cell phone."

    So, your microwave, you don't need her. You deserve better. She never knew how good she had it. Move on to the cell phone. :o)