Friday, January 28, 2022

The No-Cook Conspiracy



The story you are about to read (I hope) is as taut, compelling and accurate as the Bourne series. It may cause a chill to run up your spine, but bear with it. If you ignore this it might just happen to you. This is serious stuff, demonstrated by the fact that as I previously reached paragraph two about ten minutes ago, my computer went black. I desperately retrieved what there was left of the column by re-booting, but severe damage was my penalty for not keeping the conspiracy story under wraps. As my hero Dave Barry used to write, “I am not making this up”. Believe me and beware. There’s a genuine electronic conspiracy afoot. Brace yourself for what follows. If my story tails off you’ll understand that they finally got me.

It starts in our condo. We have a quite small area in our kitchen that I’ve designated “The No-Cook Zone”. It’s similar in its own way to the No-Fly Zone that once existed over portions of Iraq. This time the zone represents the barely masked hostility of several appliances toward the Queen of our Domain – my noble wife. She doesn’t cook. It’s a matter of choice. I think that secretly she knows how; but after long days and nights working to keep us financially afloat she’d rather not add to the strain. From time to time I’ve discovered a cookbook open to a recipe, and she’s addicted to the Food Channel. What more proof do we need? And I don’t blame her. Unfortunately, our range, oven and – to some extent microwave – feel snubbed and, frankly, they resent her attitude.

At this point people may scoff and say “Nonsense” or even something stronger – more like a recent Whoopie Goldberg remark. But, I have real evidence, revealed here for the first time. By now we should realize that those placid looking appliances are anything but. They are really hives of activity. Electrons are running all over the place, and they know exactly what’s going on. When my wife walks to the sink without even a sideways glance at the Zone they feel it. What’s worse, they react. How else do you explain the following?

In a desperate bid to show she’s an all-around good person my wife attempted to boil some water on the range. Nothing happened. No bubbles. No heat. But, the back burner was on. Aha! The range rats conspired to light the wrong burner. Believe me, it was no mistake. You want more proof? O.K. How about the microwave pulling the same juvenile stunt? My wife programmed something to cook for five minutes. At the end of five minutes, there was no bell, nothing. It appears that the Start bell decided (because of the conspiracy, of course) not to work, and shift blame to my blameless wife. Disgusting. It deliberately, and with malice, defied my wife’s instructions, and decided to teach her a lesson by withholding its sworn duty (Instruction Manual, section 5 (B) (3) (ii).

Then the Oven Ogre decided that my spouse insulted the oven by piling it high with frying pans and a wok. That move alone caused a huge problem. The oven openly rebelled and refused to clean itself. So here we are, fighting terrorist electrons and other electronic things (that’s a term of art you can learn in any advanced electric engineering course). We’re fortunate, so far, that the insurrection has not reached the toaster oven. The dishwasher has come over to our side, but we’re struggling to keep the garbage disposal in line.

I’m trying to negotiate by doing some very simple, friendly cooking out of sight of my wife. We don’t know whether this will persuade the rebels, but it’s worth a try in our opinion. Oh, yes, we are eating out a lot, so if you see us at a local restaurant please understand what we are going through and …(Editor’s note: the story abruptly ended here, and our writer’s computer appears to have crashed).

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