Monday, July 6, 2009

Life with Mikey

Life is not simple. It is not a choice between cherry red and midnight blue. And with all the decisions of life weighing on me and threatening to set off the old ticker like a time bomb, the last thing I need to decide is which of the 83.7 pre-programmed options on the microwave to use.

I don't typically cook in the microwave. I have pans and pots and a nice stove and the wherewithal to use them all in conjunction with one another to produce edible, if not downright delicious, creations. No, the microwave in my life has three simple uses, for which I need two buttons, total.

First, the 'Minute Plus' button. When I make the steam-in-the-bag veggies, reheat leftovers, or melt cheese on tortilla chips, or for the occasional Ceremonial Boiling of the Water (the 'CBW') for flavored gelatin desserts, TheraFlu or (gasp) Cup-o-Ramen, I can press this as many times as I need to make the nuclear magic happen.

Second, the 'Popcorn' button. Sure, I could over-simplify and use the 'Minute Plus' again, but that would actually require me to remember time to time how long popcorn takes, and I'm just not that into it.

Finally, if the safety gestapo at U.L. inist, a 'Cancel/Clear' button. But really, who uses that? I will always - ALWAYS - cancel the operation by opening the door. If there's time left on the timer, I'll probably just use it up next time I call on Chef Mike, IF I haven't lost power between the last time and the next time. The Florida power grid is reliable only in that I can expect it to go out once a day.

As for the buttons I don't need:

The numbers - the only time these get used is when I'm foolishly resetting the clock after the most recent power outage. Otherwise, am I using my microwave to call Taiwan for a replacement carousel? No. Don't need the numbers. If I need more time than I get by pressing the 'Minute Plus' button, I'm just going to press it again.

'Reheat' - Really? Is this for the last three people on the planet who've never SEEN a microwave before? That's what it does.

'Potato' - How many times do I have to say this? If I want to blow up produce, I will use the 'Minute Plus' button!

'Beverage' - Did you see the CBW discussion above? Two minutes on high and that baby's rolling.

'Rolls/Muffins' - What kind of muffins? English muffins? Chocolate chip muffins? Bran muffins? And rolls? Sure, I fought the toaster oven's appearance on my kitchen counter, but at least when I want bread warmed up (or even 'toasted', if you will) it doesn't turn to shoe leather five seconds after I pull it from the tray.

'Vegetable' - Yes, I get a different button for potatoes than I get for the rest of my vegetables. Agri-segregation IS WRONG.

'Defrost' - This requires a brief stop at 'Master's degree in Physics' territory, because you cannot effectively defrost ANYTHING in a microwave. Sadly, food is generally not frozen in an ideal defrostable state for the microwave, i.e. a big ball, so I always wind up with a frozen block of ground beef surrounded by slimy gray ground beef. Turns out you CAN spell 'microwave' without 'even heating'.

Call me old-school, but my favorite microwaves are the ones with the simple dial. One dial, with numbers, no frills, I could even do without the carousel. Anything to reduce the stress. How cherry red is that?


Sarah J. Bradley said...

Elliott, you never cease to be hilarious! I'm so glad you're here and blogging!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you.... All those buttons just make things confusing. A Popcorn button is seriously over the fucking top.

tracey said...

brought a little tear to my eye 'cause we're kindred spirits on this topic. now i don't feel so crazy. thanks elliot. : )

wv - "nervies" i gets a little nervies when there are too many buttons on my microwave"

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