Stupid Human Tricks: Only You Can Prevent Oven Fires

I had seen the future and I knew what it held. Yet, like Cassandra in Greek myth, the vision of what was To Be remained sadly unheeded.

It all started because my young cat Harry, who is normally happy to spend his day whipping around in circles trying to catch that always-surprising wiggly thing on the back of his butt, suddenly proved to me he was actually a lot smarter than I had imagined.

At some point, he'd figured out a way to break into the Tupperware containers containing his kibble. Which is remarkable considering I have had trouble getting into them myself.

Perhaps chasing your tail hones the reflexes. I don't know.

Anyway, because of the catburglary, I was forced to put the containers of kibble into a place where someone without thumbs could not go: my oven. Harry and his partner in crime, Alice, had already figured out how to open all of the kitchen cabinets, and I imagine when I get my next credit card statement I'll see they've also run up a whole bunch of internet bills-- Ebaying scratching post mansions, Netflixing The Truth About Cats and Dogs, stuff like that.

The oven had been my last forbidden locale.

Yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew there was a risk I would forget that my oven had become a giant kibble storage unit and Bad Things Would Happen.

Last evening was the night of Very Bad Things.

I think it went wrong because I had steak on my mind. I'd been looking forward to it all day like a rattlesnake sits coiled for an unwary hiker's leg. So when I whisked through the door in the evening, I was a whirlwind of pre-steak activity and excitement.

I put down my stuff, grabbed the kibble from the oven, fed Alice and Harry, put the kibble back, went upstairs and changed, came back down and...

Preheated the oven.

Clearly, I have the short-term memory of a hummingbird on speed.

A movie, I thought. A movie would be nice to watch along with my Savory Steaky Joy. So I went to my DVD cabinet and began to peruse the selections.

Soon the cats were acting funny, as if they seemed to be hearing something I wasn't, which I didn't think much of at first, since it can be the house settling, a car door outside, a stinkbug two floors up, or two spiders duking it out in the basement.

Until I noticed the sound of indoor hail raining down.

Alas, it was not a meteorological system sweeping through my home. It was the sound of a two-pound bag of freshly-roasted cat food escaping its rapidly-melting Tupperware jail and testing the bonds of gravity.


The smell of plastic and hot turkey-fiber nuggets wafted in great black clouds. And as I shrieked, turned off the oven and began to say a few words of mourning for my beloved pink vintage Tupperware, Alice and Harry were summoning up their appetites like two regulars at Old Country Buffet.

So there I was, trying to keep them from sucking down potentially chemically-coated kibble like small, furry Dysons, while trying to peel plastic off my oven grill before it stuck forever.

Of course, devoted blogger that I am, I also had to take photos. Yes, for the loss of vintage pink Tupperware, one sheds a tear. For personal enlightenment to one's own deep failings, one finds new understanding. A blog post, however, that is really good stuff. 

(Remember: only you can prevent oven fires. Only you.)

PS- I never did get the steak.

30 comments:

Gs said...

I think your blog may be an attempt to hide the fact that you're a truly slapstick comedienne!

Jenn Thorson said...

Gs- It feels like that lately, I admit. As long as I'm not one of those prop comics, I'm okay with that. :)

Jaffer said...

It must have been the case of Mondays.
I was craving for beans & toast yesterday. So I beelined straight from work to the Wholesale club to grab bread and beans and cheese and beans and...

I turned on the oven as soon as I turned the key to the front door (cool eh ?)

Then I remembered there's the wok in there full of oil.

Ouch ouch ouch ... hot hot hot... and I put it just in time on top of the cool stove just before anything worse could happen.

---

I am sorry for what happened to you. It must have been the worst weeknight for you.

Hope your oven is self-cleaning.

---

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- Okay, that's really funny about your parallel oven issue! Talk about coincidence. Definitely we were both lucky!

I had to wait until the oven cooled before I could get the kibble out of the bottom of the stove. I'm going to do that tonight. The fumes were too much.

Gotta buy new kibble today, too.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Oh no, what a mess! I've run out the front door with a couple of smoldering pizza boxes in my day so you are not alone in this error.

I keep His Lordship's food in a box that I think was originally intended for files. It has a handle on the top and two clamps on the edges of the lid. I just line it with a plastic grocery bag and fill it from the giant sack o' catbits. While he frequently sits on it, he can't open it.

Jenn Thorson said...

Shieldmaiden- Yeah, I can see that working pretty well. It needs to have more weight to it than Tupperware, because Harry started edging the tubs off the counter, and then learned to flip up the lid.

I had wondered why they weren't waking me up to feed them one morning. Then I found out they had already helped themselves.

Meagan said...

Just a suggestion, but have you thought of picking up child proofing things for your cabinets? It would be safer and they are pretty cheap.

Steve Bailey said...

Toasted kibble is all the rage.... the animal food network tells me!

Jenn Thorson said...

Meagan-- I have looked into it. I just have cabinets from the 1950s so they're not quite set up to work with the childproofing systems I've seen so far. (You'll laugh, I'm currently using wads of duct tape to help reduce the cats' burglaring abilites.) But thank you for the suggestion.

Steve- I hope they give out gas masks with every bag, because it's not the most appetizing smell, let me tell you. :)

Tricia said...

The saddest part of this tragedy is that you got no steak. Or naked firefighters. :(

Jenn Thorson said...

Tricia- I knew about the tragedy of the steak, but I hadn't realized until now my complete LACK of naked firefighters... this is much sadder than I even thought. :)

Deray said...

RIP tupperwares! I wouldn't use the oven in a few days if I were you, just let all the fumes out and get all the stuck plastic out. I'm glad Germanman's cats are not as smart as yours so he can keep their nibble under the sink no problem.

Jenn Thorson said...

Deray- Given your keen knowledge of chemicals, I am going to take your advice on that. It will make my steak dinner all the more lovely once I get it.

I'm not looking forward to removing all the cooled-down smelly kibble tonight.

I'm sure Harry and Alice will try to "help." :)

How many cats does Germanman have?

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh snap! What a mess. UGH. Oh well, at least it made for some very funny blog material!

cmk said...

I did the same thing once, only with a plastic cake carrier WITH CAKE IN IT! Now THAT was something to cry about! (The ruined cake, not the carrier. ;D) This happened over 30 years ago and I STILL look in my oven before pre-heating to make sure nothing is there--you NEVER forget the smell...

ReformingGeek said...

YEE-GADS! No steak after all that?

Well, I guess the smell put you right off that steak.

Hilarious write-up at your expense.

Do you have kibble insurance?

June O'Hara said...

I relate to this on several levels, but the melted Tupperware brings on the deepest level of pain.

Jenn Thorson said...

Meleah- It's one of the few things you can count on-- that problems make for instant blog fodder. :)

CMK- I can absolutely see how that would happen. And yes, the cake is worth mourning for.

Reforming Geek- No, I'm going to have steak later in the week; tonight I have to finish cleaning the oven-- there's still plastic stuck in it. Oh yes, when it comes to making messes, make BIG ones. :)

June- I'm trying to get past the loss; I was able to save one pink lid, so at least that's a positive.

Count Sneaky said...

Funny piece. it is exactly what one of us ol' geezers would do. Once a day. Obviously, young people like you only engage Tupperware carefully because, as you know, the stuff is dangerous to your peace of mind. My best.

Count Sneaky said...

Funny piece. it is exactly what one of us ol' geezers would do. Once a day. Obviously, young people like you only engage Tupperware carefully because, as you know, the stuff is dangerous to your peace of mind. My best.

David said...

Oh, that's happened to everyone at least once. And for some of us at least once a week.

Deray said...

Germanman has 2 cats. Mojo, a male with ADD, and Marmy, a female so scared of everything that I have been able to touch her once in 1 year.

Theresa H Hall said...

I was chuckling throughout the post. You are very clever at hiding the food from Harry and ALice. Bet ... aren't Kibbles for dogs? Poor unsuspecting meows. This was a great story and when I saw the first photograph I wondered, "Are those bees?" My mind would not understand what I was looking at until you said what it was. Poor Vintage Tupperware.

nothingprofound said...

Jen, love the allusions you come up with: "Clearly, I have the memory of a hummingbird on speed." My specialty is putting water up to boil and then totally forgetting about it. Three hours later I return to the scene of the crime, and add another trophy to my collection of scalded pots.

angelawd said...

Ugh, does your home still smell from the burned plastic? I've done that myself, and it reeks. If your cats can open Tupperware, I think they should be in charge of cooking you dinner. What else do they have to do all day?

Janene said...

Oh, Jenn. What a mess! I actually have the very same Tupperware container for my cat's food. He kept knocking it over, so it's on the top of our refrigerator. For some strange reason that has deterred him -- for now, anyway. Crazy animals....

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jenn I am laughing out loud! So funny I can just see the roasted kibble dripping with melted tupperware. This is so something I would do! Thanks for the good laugh and yes it did make for a great blog post!!

titancia said...

I did the same thing while house sitting!! Oh, the shame! I melted a Tupperware cake holder and packs of cookies & bread.
Then I went on Etsy to replace the Tupperware. :P

Robert Crane said...

great story! reminds me of the time i set the kitchen ablaze with merely a badminton shuttlecock.

Serena said...

Jenn, my sympathies to you over what happened. Many years ago, after spending an afternoon making 2 apple pies, I popped them into my parents' electric oven. Halfway through the baking time, I rotated the pies for even browning, accidentally knocking a bit of the crust onto the heating element on the oven floor. Well, within minutes, the oven started smoking. In a panic and without thinking, I opened the oven door to reveal a mini fire. I yelled in horror, and the next thing I knew, my dad had grabbed the fire extinguisher and sprayed the interior of the oven. The fire was put out, but my pies were ruined. To this day, my mom still talks about me having spent all that effort, only to have my creations ruined. LOL! You live and you learn!