Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pre-Microwave Wilderness

The latch on our microwave broke so that it won't open. It is astounding how dependent we have become on this technology. As a dad who prepares food (calling what I do cooking is a vast overstatement) the microwave is a necessity.

Yes, you can heat up leftovers on the stove, but then I have to wash a pot. It is easier just to eat everything cold (or make sandwiches.) No problem for this frigovore. But my kids are very picky and it basically knocks the leftovers off the menu. Once starting down this path, we almost invariably end up ordering pizza.

But pizza delivery does not solve every problem (although you'd be surprised just how many problems can be resolved by ordering a pizza.) When my daughter was over-tired and tantrumy, I thought to give her milk. But lukewarm milk had the opposite effect of warm milk - it only enraged the beast.

The repair guy came. My son and a friend were playing "head ball" the object of which is to bounce balls off of the other player's head. (I taught him this game - which I invented with my brother decades ago and played at the inter-collegiate level.) I could have told them to be still and stay away to give the repair guy peace, but this is not a command that seven year old boys can process. So instead I told them to get away because when the repairman unscrewed the sides of the microwave it would release deadly radiation.

The boys looked at each other. "Deadly radiation?" "Didn't radiation make the Hulk green and strong?" "What about the Joker?" "No, that was chemicals."

After some discussion, they stood very close and very still. Silent, eyes closed, but breathing deeply, trying to suck in every particle of precious radiation.

We'll see if either of them sprouts wings or a third eye (with my luck my son will become SkunkMan: Beware Evildoers, for Justice Stinks!)

The repair guy needed to schedule a follow-up appointment. "A week from today, next Tuesday - that's what the..."

"It's the sixth," I said immediately. He began counting, "Today's the 30th, tomorrow..."

"Trust me," I said, "Tuesday next week is the sixth, because Monday is the fifth."

"That is when his school re-opens," I continued, pointing to the little meditating gargoyles.

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