Gack! What is that horrible smell?!!! An acrid stench is infiltrating the whole house...of indeterminate origin...but whatever the source had been, it is clearly beyond total incineration now...can ashes smell THIS bad?
Ben: "Well, Mom, you can probably smell something, right?"
Editor/Mom: "Um, now that you mention it..."
Ben: "You're probably wondering what that is, huh?"
EM: "Well, I'm actually trying to decide if I really want to know...or if ignorance is the better choice here..."
Ben: "Uh, yeah...well, I can see where that might be something you'd want to think about first..."
EM: "OK, you've tipped it...what is it? And was anybody hurt?"
Ben: "Well, we don't have any shortcakes anymore..."
Might this be one of those days when I'm tempted to pull the covers back over my head...and then realize that my absence in the kitchen might have contributed to this unique surprise?...just a thought...
Ben: "OK, well, just so you know, Cecily put some shortcakes...you know those little round yellow ones from the store...and decided she'd microwave them...*wrinkling nose*...and, uh, yeah, she kinda overdid it..."
EM: "Ben, do you know what an understatement is? Never mind; obviously you do...not that this is necessarily a bad thing...it tends to be calmer...fewer 911 calls are made and cooler heads--not that your sister seems to have one--tend to prevail...OK, tell me, how long did she nuke them for?"
Ben: "Heh-heh...well, I think it was about three minutes...instead of 30 seconds..."
EM: "Did anything melt?"
Ben: "It's kind of hard to tell...you know that glass plate in the microwave that turns around...well, usually...? It seems to be a different color now..."
Uuuoooohhh boy...I suppose even the molecular structure of tempered glass can change under sufficiently extreme conditions...we all have our melting point...I'm pretty sure I've reached mine....
Well, one thing I've noticed over the years [not to mention decades] is that there are some upsides to being dysthymic, as I am; one is that you tend not to scream or carry on, because it just takes too much energy...energy that can be much better spent making coffee, knitting, ordering more novels from amazon.com...
At the moment, I'm quite amazed that the smoke alarms have not gone off...maybe the batteries have been taken out to make them less annoying...and, oh yeah, less effective...but I digress...
A small sliver of a familiar brown head appears around the corner...
Miss Cee: "Mmmmmooooommmmmm?"
Miss Cee: "Can I light a candle?"
EM: "What would be the purpose of that?"
Miss Cee: "Well, I had a little bit of an accident..."
EM: *eyebrows rising* "An....ACCident????"
Miss Cee: "Well, I thought it would be a good idea to make some shortcakes for breakfast....and, um,...it wasn't written down anywhere how long to cook them...and, well, I thought I'd do like you...and just kind of put some numbers in..."
Ahhhh...some numbers...yeah, THAT'S the ticket...why get all anxious over a few pesky numbers?....
Miss Cee: "And, it was maybe too many..."
EM: "What happened?"
Miss Cee: "Well, I think it was too long...I mean, yeah, it was too long...I think..."
EM: "So what does this have to do with candles?"
Fast forward five painstakingly explanatory minutes....
EM: "OK, so what have we learned here?"
Miss Cee: "To not cook things so long."
EM: "Uh, no. We've learned that you're not to use the microwave. Now, what have we learned?"
Miss Cee: "To ask how many minutes before I do "START".
EM: "OK, this is no longer funny...actually, it never was...what did YOU learn, Cecily"?
Miss Cee: *blue saucer eyes search the heavens* "Um, I learned that...um..."
EM: "You are NOT allowed to use the microwave!!!!"
Miss Cee: "Ever, ever again??!!!" *semi-convincing lip quiver*
Ben: "One adventure after another, right, Mom?"