“There was an unfortunate incident with the microwave” is not a sentence that inspires confidence in humanity. I’ve been visiting someone in hospital for awhile and often use the communal microwave and kettle. Last week the microwave disappeared. So did the kettle. By the second day of them missing in action my curiosity got the better of me. I asked one of the nurses what happened and she scrunched her face a bit and mumbled something about an unfortunate incident.

Of course my mind went into overdrive wondering what the offending incident was. I’m quite sure the actual offense as quite benign, but I can’t get past the fact both the microwave and kettle were taken away. Hanging around hospital rooms is a bit boring so I latch onto anything that may be mildly entertaining and the AWOL microwave provided a tiny bit of amusement. After talking to staff on the floor, I heard stories that would make anyone despair. Luckily this week a new kettle and microwave appeared in the room. HURRAY – I can make crappy Styrofoam tea again. On Tuesday, I wandered in to heat up some soup and spotted a list of DO NOTS posted on the wall over the shiny new microwave.

The list on the wall

Photo of list of things not to microwave now posted on the wall

Remember – NO GRAPES or HOT PEPPERS

Most of the usual suspects are on the list – metal objects, tin foil, Styrofoam and flimsy plastic containers. Someone always pops one of these in, usually because they are distracted and not thinking. But a few of them made me stop and ponder how humanity hasn’t self extinguished already.

Evidently people love to stuff clothing into the microwave to warm them. I’m all for toasty clothing, but no, just no. The previous microwave was very small. Not even big enough to put a bath towel into let alone a blanket. Seems people were always stuffing blankets into the microwave and panicking when they began to burn. 

The hot peppers? Oh man, have you ever been in a room when someone over nukes hot peppers? It’s like being pepper sprayed. Not something that should be done in a hospital. The smell and capsicum drifting in the air could level a rhino in 30 seconds. So yes, people had to be warned not to pepper spray sick people.

The grapes make me believe humanity is truly screwed. Just think of it for a second or two. Grapes are little sacks of soft, fleshy liquid. Super heat them in a microwave and you have itty bitty nuclear bombs ready to explode. If some of them survive the exposure without blowing apart while heating, imagine biting into one. I wonder how severe the burns to lips and tongue would be. I shutter each time. 

For the time we are happy to have access to a kettle and microwave. They’ve been clean for 3 days now. I figure when I go in tomorrow, everything will be back to normal – ah I can almost hear the sounds of eggs exploding in the microwave now.

 

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