The one where I’m completely prepared for the microwave to burst into flames

Have loom, will travelSo, I’m making some lip balm, and for part of that I use the microwave rather than a double-boiler (mostly because I’m also using the surface of the stove to stage things, and didn’t want to accidentally melt 50 plastic tubes by putting them near a hot burner).

None of this has anything to do with the photo of my current weaving, by the way. It’s just the project I took with me last night for Third Thursday Spinners at Wild Iris Books.

In the morning, I thought I heard a … I guess you could call it an “electric sproing” sound from the microwave. Well, I thought I heard it. But I also had the window AC unit going, and some cheesy loud science fiction movie on in the background, and then I never heard the noise again so I thought it had something to do with the movie, maybe.

Fast forward to after lunch, when I’m at that stage again, and this time (as I’m standing in the dye and soap bar, about 10 feet away from the microwave) I hear it again. Coupled with the smell of … almost like an electrical fire, but not quite. I reach down and pick up the fire extinguisher, which we keep right there by the back door in case the kiln (on the porch) catches on fire. I walked towards the microwave very calmly, making sure the extinguisher actually had pressure, and putting my finger in that little loop thing (remembering that the fire marshal who came by Hanks one time said they just twist off, and not to forget that in a panic, because if you try to pull it, it won’t break — twist it). I was all ready, if somewhat sorry that I’d also be spraying my coffee pot and the beer fridge in foam, and hoping that wouldn’t make Tim too mad if I couldn’t get it all cleaned up before he got home… and sure enough, weird yellow-orange glow coming from the microwave. It was definitely making a death rattly “sproing” sound every few seconds, and I decided to turn it off and pop it open rather than wait for it to explode or something. In my head I’m thinking, one move to pop it open. Hold the extinguisher up. I’m right handed; right finger through the loop, left hand to open the microwave, take two steps back, twist the loop, balance the extinguisher with my left hand, spray.

I popped open the microwave.

I took two steps backwards.

The fire went out immediately, before I could even raise the extinguisher.

Seriously? What a let-down. I mean, yes, I’m definitely very glad the house didn’t burn down. But seriously? I was prepared! I didn’t even panic! I wasn’t even worried! I worry about EVERYTHING! But this was a piece of cake!

Anyway. I unplugged it and put it outside in the grass, and kept an eye on it. Nothing. Now it’s on the front porch, ready to be taken to the dump. And we need a new microwave.


4 thoughts on “0

  1. Whoa. Well done! I’m totally impressed at your calm. Not surprised, ’cause you’re clearly someone who can Get Things Done, but impressed.

    I love the weaving! Y’all are starting to make me cast a longing eye towards DoctorWife’s loom.

  2. A cool head and a keen mind – somebody said that in another context but there you are.
    I’m saving my old microwave with the peeling paint as I wanted to experiment with microwaving old cd discs, like the ones I hang in the trees that don’t work to scare off the squirrels. Somebody years ago at work was frying cd discs and they are really funny when it works. If it is still alive after I play, I’ll save it for you as a backup.
    I always buy the cheapest microwaves with the idea that when it goes bad, I won’t feel bad about tossing it.

  3. Great fire drill – gold stars, Lore! (Now next time, kick it up a notch by having your escape plan ready and 9-1-1 punched into your phone with your toes…since cleary every other part of you was otherwise engaged.)

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