Monday, December 07, 2009

Dial M...

When I'm not threatening to kill people in public places, I'm at home plotting the demise of household appliances. Currently, I am in the process of murdering my 26-year-old stove. I have no choice, really, but to put it out of it's misery, because the darn thing refuses to die. Instead, it limps along with 4 ridiculously fussy burners - one of which will only heat up if I turn it to high first. Then it stays on high come hell or high water. No matter that I've dialed it down to medium, or low, or even warm - whatever is cooking there bubbles madly away as though possessed.

Naturally, many delectable stews and soups inadvertently boil over on this burner and, quite frankly, I'm tired of cleaning it up. So I don't. Which explains why it is now prone to catch fire and I don't care.

Case in point: I turned on the burner to heat up some chicken soup yesterday. Then I left the kitchen. Larry was in there and I heard him yell, "Whoa! Fire!" I ignored him. He came out of the kitchen and said, "Honey, the burner's on fire in there!"

I don't know why he sounded surprised. Doesn't he read my blog?

So he dumped some baking soda on the fire and extinguished it. He came back to me and said, "The burner was on fire in there, but I put it out."

"That's good. Put the pot on the other burner, okay?"

"That was quite a fire!"

He just can't let this go, can he?

"Yeah, I know. Happens all the time. Something must have spilled on the burner yesterday."

"Guess we'll have to clean that up!"



"No. I'll just use the other burners. I'm sick of that burner."

Here's where we have to give Larry some credit. He dropped the subject.

That's one burner down, three to go...


  1. Love the "Guess we'll have to clean that up!" part.

    He said "we" and "clean" in the same sentence hehehehehehehehe.

    Where I live it's a game of who found the mess cleans it. In the meantime I do my best to pretend I didn't find it first. :)

  2. I am very impressed with Larry for dropping the subject. i don't think I could've.

  3. Our first house had an ancient stove--from the 50s, maybe? Only half the burners worked. There was a big grease stain underneath it when we moved in, too, and the previous owners had had dogs, and there was all this dog hair stuck into the grease. These are the sorts of things you don't really notice on a walk-through (and quite frankly, when you're buying your first house right before the market explodes, you don't care, really). We ended up getting a hand-me-down stove from one of my husband's colleagues who was re-doing his new condo, and I have never been so happy to see an appliance go as I was when that stove was moved out. It was big, too. And heavy. Quaint, I'm sure. A bit of gen-u-ine Americana. I hated the heck out of it.

  4. Hope it's end is quick, but not engulfed in flames.

  5. I agree on the passive agressive approach to appliances once they atart acting up.

  6. Maybe you need to have Guido come by and put it out of its misery once and for all.

  7. FWIW: we remodeled, put in a fancy new stove that had two burners that cycled on and off so you could melt chocolate without burning it, make marinara sauce, etc etc...

    Turns out they were DESIGNED to fuse shut and never work again if you ever once happened to turn either of those two burners to high. We did not know this and apparently the manufacturer did not know this till after we had bought it, but when we wondered if there were a recall, the place where we bought it would only tell us that the repair estimate was nearly $500. And they wanted us to bring our built-in to them. ?!

    Thermidor took that one off the market pretty quick. Funny thing. About fifteen years later, I have a five-burner stove with only two that are now working, and I would love an excuse to get rid of the thing.

    Oh. Yeah. The replacement-cost thing. Dang.

  8. Make sure you murder it in front of all the other appliances. Just to make an example. Larry sounds like a wise person.

  9. My husband could take a few pointers from Larry. NEVER is a subject dropped so quickly. The dead horse is a bloody pulp.

  10. I've had my oven catch on fire, but never my stove (The oven heating element burst into flame and the fire moved slowly from one end to the other, like the dynamite in a Road Runner cartoon.) Just so you know, the fire dept says that if your oven catches on fire to just keep the door shut. No biggie. I like when an appliance catches on fire and it's no biggie.

  11. Recipe for killing a stove:

    Place 8 bratwurst on foil on a broiling pan.


    Watch as grease leaks out of bratwurst. . . and proceeds to catch on fire.

    Do a suburban rendition of keystone cops as you and your daughter try to figure out how to use the fire extinguisher.

    Watch as fire puts itself out.

    Rejoice in the fact that it has so damaged the innards of your 30 year old, hand-me-down, dozen-time-repaired stove that husband marches you to an appliance store to choose a new one.

    Give in 'reluctantly' as he insists that he is going to buy you a dishwasher, as well, even though you have to go into debt to do it.

    Pay for three years, (thankfully at 0% interest) and start plotting your next new appliance death. . . er, purchase.

  12. Appliances never really die when you want them to, do they? And was your husband speaking in the masculine or feminine "we"?

  13. Don't say 'murder' in front of the other appliances, I know you want the stove to die, but, what if the others hear you? No coffee, no washing machine...

  14. Sounds like Larry was speaking in the feminine "we," because it doesn't sound like "he" then went and cleaned up the burner.
    "We" do need to have a stove that matches the dishwasher though, don't we?

  15. This exact conversation happened in my house last week. Only it was the oven. Olive oil leaked out to the bottom while I was roasting garlic the other day. Now everytime you turn on the stove it smokes up the whole house.

    JMac asked me if I was going to clean it and I said no. He walked away after that. I'm going for your tactic though. Maybe I'll just tell him I need a new oven.

  16. Does this principle apply to other appliances? "I'm sick of that crisper drawer. I'm not cleaning it out. I'll just use the other ones instead."

  17. Our stove was only 8 years old when it started acting up. First, as few burners did not work. I replaced the controls, sockets and elements and they worked for a few months. Then one burner stopped working again. I thought maybe I hadn't put the element back in tight when I cleaned the stove, so I put it in all the way. There was a loud pop and sparks shot out of the stove. Hubby took me to the appliance store that afternoon to get a new one.

    My dishwasher is still under warrantee. The tech they sent out last time was such a sanctimoneous jerk, with his negative comments about the size of my family, and did not even look at the dishwasher properly. The stuff on the top rack was not getting clean. He said I should only put plates on the bottom rack, the bowls were blocking the spray. Even with nothing on the bottomn rack, the cups and glasses on the top rack did not get clean. Once it got to the point where neither rack got stuff clean, Thanksgiving day, I took it apart, found that there was a paper label stuck in the food grinder, which was restricting the water flow, and cleaned it out. It works fine now, other than needing a new blade for the food disposal, which did not like the cherry pits a child dropped into it. Maybe I'll call them to fix it? Just before the warrantee expires in May sounds like a good time.

  18. I'm so sorry for your not-quite loss!