I’m honestly surprised any microwave I’ve ever owned hasn’t just stopped working one random day – the technological equivalent of throwing its hands up in the air and saying “SERIOUSLY, YOU EXPECT ME TO WORK WITH THIS WOMAN?”
I mean my personal laptop – complete with years of pictures, documents and that one Dave Barnes song I want played at my wedding – completely crapped out last summer. After I took it on vacation! I didn’t overwork it, it didn’t get sand in its CD drive, it didn’t get left in the hot sun all day. It just stopped liking me, apparently.
Then you have my TV, whose screen varies between shades of purple and green whenever it’s on for no other reason than I guess it doesn’t like its new home in the new apartment. Throughout the past few years, I’ve dropped a camera. A phone has fallen from my back pocket into a toilet.
My former microwaves have seen their share of messes. I’ve exploded Spaghetti-O’s, Easy Mac, hot chocolate and pretty much anything that comes in those black plastic dishes. I’m not good with electronics, I guess. But last night, something happened that WASN’T MY FAULT.
The roommate will likely hate me for writing about this, but I don’t blame him for what happened. I blame whoever the genius is that designs those special “Popcorn” buttons on the microwave. ‘Cause ya know what? They don’t apply to all types of popcorn.
Last night, Anthony threw a bag of 100-calorie popcorn in the microwave and then left the room. Shouldn’t have been a big deal, he’d hear it beep when it was done and come back to get it. Cut to about 45 seconds later, when he’s yelling my name and I turn around from my seat on the couch and see smoke BILLOWING out of the microwave.
Who knew that such a teeny-tiny bag of popcorn – just one bag – could create the smoke of A THOUSAND BAGS OF POPCORN. Hey, to be fair, at least the microwave wasn’t engulfed in flames.
We sprinted into anti-smoke-detector-mode, which means we waved magazines back and forth under the four smoke detectors located within 10 feet of the kitchen until either our arms fell off or the beeping stopped. That smoke was THICK. And I know people like butter and all – I’m a fan – but being able to inhale nothing but buttery smoke is NOT GOOD. We coughed and hid and finally, when the smoke detectors stopped whining, we opened every door and window we could and took advantage of the clean, non-buttery oxygen available outside on our deck.
And, I kid you not, while we stood out there with the door open, the smoke was STILL billowing out. It looked downright foggy in our living room and kitchen and OMG THE SMELL.
Anthony lit every candle we own and sprayed possibly an entire bottle of air freshener to try and combat the smell. But you know what’s a strong smell? CHARRED POPCORN.
It still smelled this morning, even though we left every fan we had on last night and the door to the patio open. And it’ll probably smell for a couple weeks. It was so bad, I think I’m having phantom smells – at different times throughout the day at work I could have sworn I smelled burnt popcorn. Maybe I’m still coated by a layer of invisible buttery gas, even though I’ve since showered.
Anthony has since provided me with new information…it turns out BUTTERSMOKE 2K10 was his fault. Which is OK, I guess. I still blame the microwave some though.
So, kids, what have we learned? Don’t push the popcorn button on the microwave just because you’re making popcorn. And if you do, don’t want away. Or else, your kitchen and ENTIRE APARTMENT may look like something out of Stephen King’s “The Mist.” And you’ll choke on air saturated with butter.
My best suggestion? Cook popcorn in 10-second increments. No horrible smell, no smoke, no charred pieces and no need to use EVERY CANDLE IN YOUR HOUSE AT ONCE.