Life and Other Humiliations

Audrey Ohley

Audrey Ohley
Los Angeles, California, USA
December 31
Copyright 2010, all rights reserved.
Despite having been blessed with both average looks and a larger than normal head, Audrey Ohley has only risen to a low level of success despite expending almost no effort to do so.

Audrey Ohley's Links

APRIL 9, 2010 2:04PM

From Food to Fire in 5 Minutes: Why I Hate Microwave Ovens!

Rate: 26 Flag

After 63 years, they still suck.

glow micro


 Today I put a piece of chicken in the microwave for like three minutes and I swear to God, when I took it out the plastic lid was melting, ok? Melting! I practically got 3rd degree burns getting the bowl out of there -- I had to put wear huge oven mitts as if I was handling spent plutonium fuel rods, and the lid was melted, and the smoke detector had gone off, but when I finally tried to eat this frickin’ piece of chicken, it was cold! Cold!  COLD!

 And last week I put a bowl of frozen shrimp in the microwave for forty-five seconds and when I took them out -- still iced over. I added another 30 seconds,  took them out again, and all I had left was a bowl of tiny, pink, erasers. From shrimp to school supply in 30 seconds.

It’s entirely unpredictable what is going to happen in a microwave -- it’s like pulling the handle on slot machine. Like when you go to a new job, and you want to heat up a cup of coffee, and they have a different microwave than your old job -- you can’t just go up and start using the new microwave, right?   No, you have go around the office and ask people -- “Hey, I’m new here, how long should I heat up this coffee up for?” Sure, with the old microwave, three minutes was perfect,  but now, you  don’t know, with this one, three minutes could melt the cup.

 My mother never wanted to get a new microwave oven -- she used one of the first microwave ovens ever, the “Radar Range.” A Radar Range! In your house! It was so old that you practically had to wear safety goggles to use it -- it was like taking an x-ray --- you wore a lead vest and a welder’s mask, pushed start, and ran away.  My mom hid in the other room until the bell rang, and if she ever caught me looking at it while it was cooking she would go nuts and pull the frickin’ fuses out of the wall to turn it off before I went blind or grew a twin sister out of my ass. 

Here’s something she would know -- how long do you cook three frozen corn dogs in the microwave?  Five minutes? Eight?  The package says “cook two to eight minutes for each dog.”  Two to eight minutes!  So for three corn dogs, I need to cook them anywhere between six minutes and twenty-four minutes?!  Anybody got a 24-sided dice?

 And then, to top it off, the instructions on every package say, “Cooking times may vary depending on your microwave.”  What?!?!  More variation?  How much variation should I add? I don’t know. They already told me to cook that frozen donut anytime between 30 seconds and 3 minutes, and now even those instructions were too specific? So what do I do now? Just pick any number between 10 seconds and 18 minutes? 

Maybe they just say this on the package: “Instructions: Cook from o to 999 minutes. Or not. You decide.” 

a shrimp

  How long have we had microwave ovens now, 50 or 60 years? Why haven’t they figured out some standards yet? Why haven’t they just come up with some kind of probe that lets the computer cook the burrito for you and ring a bell when it’s done? 

It’s 2010! They can transplant a pig’s ass onto your face, film it with an iPhone and have it on You Tube in 67 seconds, but they still can’t make a microwave that cooks a burrito you can eat instead of a bean-scented stick of potpourri.

And here’s another thing – why does the microwave have all those buttons?  I’m not launching the fricking space shuttle, here -- I’m just trying to cook a Hot Pocket!  I never ever use any of those buttons except the numbers, and the one that says “Start.” It’s not a nuclear submarine!  Do the other buttons even work?  I pushed the one that said “pizza”  -- I didn’t get a pizza.  All they do is beep.

 There should only be one frickin’ button: “Cook!” 

Let us not forget the fact that the food has to be cooked right? It has to be hot all the way through! You can’t eat it cold right?  Your mom always told you not to eat it even a little bit cold, because if you eat it cold, you will die! You will die because of all the frickin’ germs! The germs! The bacteria! It’s all over your food!

  -- That eight pounds of salmon that your mother-in-law cooked and brought over because Costco was having a sale and so she bought five packages and you haven’t even touched it for three days – Salmonella City!

 -- That leftover scallop linguini that sat out on the table for six and half hours while you watched The Return of the King Special Edition Director’s Cut with 187 minutes of never-before-seen footage -- riddled with E. Coli!

 -- That giant 23-pound turkey that you tried to cook in your tiny apartment-sized oven despite the fact that the turkey was so hormonally enlarged that the oven door wouldn’t even come close to closing and instead of giving up, as you should have, you turned the oven up to 500 degrees and draped a piece of aluminum foil over the gap, and of course after seven-and-a-half hours, it was still a white and purple deathtrap, and so now it sits in your refrigerator silently leaking bacteria ridden fluids all over your Cole slaw . . it’s opening ceremonies at the Germ fricking' Olympics!



I know what you’re thinking -- no problem!  I’ll just microwave it. Everyone knows that microwaves kill like 99.9% of all bacteria, so what’s the problem right?

Here’s the problem – food manufacturers know that we microwave all our food, right? So I think that they are no longer trying to kill the bacteria in the factory! That’s why there are so many food recalls! They’re thinking, “The microwave kills the germs, right? So we’ll tell them to microwave it, and we’re covered!”  It’s cheaper that way!  Antibacterial soap for Mike and Margo and Manny and Maria and Ming and Mei-Lei is just too expensive!  That’s why you get food that says “For Best Results -- Microwave.”  Because they leave the germs in the food!

 In fact, I think that a lot of these cheap microwave dinners  are probably made up of nothing but germs! It’s not macaroni and cheese – it’s macaroni and germs! It’s spaghetti and germballs! Salisbury steak with germ gravy and red potgermoes! 

 But what really worries me is that they say that cooking something in the microwave for two minutes will kill 99.9% of all germs. But what about that 0.1% of germs that the microwave experience doesn’t kill? Shouldn’t we be concerned about that?  There is something right now in your house, that 2 minutes in the microwave can’t kill? Holy Smoke!! What the hell is it made out of?  Liberal optimism?

 So we have food made up almost entirely of germs, and microwave ovens that we can’t figure out how to use … what are we suppose to do?

Well, I know what I’m going to do. I’m never eating anything that says, “For Best Results (i.e. Maximum Germ Killing) Microwave”  and I’m installing a ceramic kiln in the basement to cremate everything else.  Sure, it’ll be a little dry, but at least it’ll be germ free. I hope.


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We were probably the last people in North America to get a microwave. And I still don't trust it.

Oh. And good thought about the food industry. I don't trust them, either.
This is by far the funniest fucking piece I have ever read on OS and right up there with anything I've read in other venues (like real magazines).

I have tears in my eyes. My new puppy who was sleeping at my feet while I tippytype just woke up startled and made that puppy EWW sound. I'm cackling like a maniac.

Boanerges1--thanks! you know, at first I was just joking about the spaghetti and germ balls, but the more i think about it.... profitability is the priority of all things corporate, right? hmmmm...
foolish monkey! -- I'm always thrilled to make people laugh but once it stops being funny to me, i start to i just a crackpot? or is this as amusing as i thought it was yesterday? thank you!
Gawd, what a funny rant!
"It’s 2010! They can transplant a pig’s ass onto your face, film it with an iPhone and have it on You Tube in 67 seconds, but they still can’t make a microwave that cooks a burrito you can eat instead of a bean-scented stick of potpourri"

That says it all! Maybe you need to just pull out your crock pot and slow cook everything to death--oh yeah, and look up Cheap Bastid's recipes too.

And I agree with the other commenters--this may be the all time Champeen of Rants!
So many lines that I love in this:

I had to put on huge oven mitts like I was handling plutonium fuel rods, and the lid was melting, and the smoke detector had gone off, but when I finally tried to eat this frickin’ piece of chicken, it was cold! Cold! COLD!

Nods. Been there--hot container, tepid food.

If she ever caught me looking at it while it was cooking she would go nuts and pull the frickin’ fuses out of the wall to turn it off before I went blind or grew a twin sister out of my ass....

I’m not launching the fricking space shuttle, here -- I’m just trying to cook a Hot Pocket! I never ever use any of those buttons except the numbers, and the one that says “Start.” It’s not a nuclear submarine! Do the other buttons even work? I pushed the one that said “pizza” -- I didn’t get a pizza.....

Well... can we be sure it's NOT a nuclear submarine?

I'm the last luddite in America who does not own a microwave. I use the one at work for convenience to heat my lunch or dinner, but I don't trust them new fangled thangs.

This was hilarious, Audrey. I wish I could rate it more than once. Keep writing!
Amazing rant... just brilliant. "I think all they do is beep" was the part that sent me over the edge. I wish I could rate this more.
Auntie M -- thanks! coming from you that is a big compliment!

dragonangel517 -- thank you! I try!

Walter! -- thank you -- im just making soups these days, boiled for three days, that is!
shiral -- thank you, and good point! maybe it is a nuclear submarine...where did I put that manual? and good for you for not getting a microwave!

ravingbits --thank you! -- you know I was going to cut that "beep" line -- glad I didn't!
I've used a microwave for so long, I've forgotten how to boil water. I'd be lost without it, but then I don't really use it for cooking. Just reheating.
The biggest problem to me with microwaves is they vary so much in power. Our last house had a conventional electric oven and microwave combined. The microwave part was not very powerful. When we moved to our current abode we had to buy a stand-alone microwave. First week we had it, my daughter threw in a bag of popcorn, set the thing for six minutes, and walked away. Five or so minutes later, alerted by the smoke detector while out in the yard, I walked into a smoke-filled house to find a thick column of gray smoke pouring out of the vents in the back of the microwave. For the next six months every use of that machine would fill the house with that burned popcorn smell once again. Once any of us could even stand to think about popcorn again, we found our new machine could comfortably pop a bag of kernels in about two minutes fifteen. seconds. Six minutes in the old thing would result in a lot of duds.
I always told my children that, if they did not wash their hands properly, or if they did not cook their food thoroughly, they would surely die of botulism. I like the way that word trips off the tongue.
Oh, holy shitballs this was funny! So funny! I don't know how many times I was tackled out of nowhere by assorted family members if I dared to chance standing at or near the microwave while cooking something. LOVED THIS! LOVED,LOVED,LOVED,LOVED IT.
Drat. Hit send too soon. Anyways, "some kind of a probe" is available in microwaves. In fact the aforementioned electric/micro combo had a probe you could insert in a roast, and plug in like a guitar into an amp, that would turn it off when the meat was done. Never actually tried it, but it was there in the kitchen drawer. Meanwhile our latest microwave has an IR sensor in the top looking down at the food, so you can hit "reheat" for a plate of food or "beverage" for a cup of coffee, and it will stop when it's done its job.

My mom-in-law has one that runs the fan and leaves the light on for maybe thirty seconds after the cooking is done. If someone opens the door before it's finished venting, or heaven forbid just stops it by opening the door when it looks like things have gone far enough, ducking for cover is followed by, well, you know, that mom-in-law thing where a guy close to retirement with hair like Stuart Grainger gets called a "stupid boy".
donna -- thanks for commenting! I hate to microwave water!

geebee--hilarious! see what I mean? now everyone hates popcorn!

dianaani -- botulism--that's the best! because it's a toxin that nothing can kill! ha-ha-ha! (evel laugh!)
geebee-ah, cool! so things are advancing, it just seems I am stuck with the cro-magnon microwave! thanks for adding to the discussion!
This is funny writing. Humor usually comes from pain.
I have no trouble with my microwave. It's a combo convection oven and microwave oven. It has a temperature / steam sensor. It asks trivial questions like 1 cup / 2 cups / plate and it takes care of the rest.
I have bowls that are microwave safe so I don't get melted cookware.

Also, 99.9% of bacteria are your friends. Don't kill them. Don't use antibacterial soap. You want those goodguys on your skin so if you get cut, they'll be there ready to take on the few badguys who might cause an infection. I'm ready to defend bacteria -- leave them alone and they'll take care of you. What other friends are so easy?
Heelarious!..and more than a little bit true even if it is funny! I needed this today! I thank you and the potential twin growing out of your ass. (I tamed my microwave by learning to use the "power level" feature to better control the temperature. But I still don't trust it.)
geezerchick -- thanks for posting -- you have a steam sensor? i do have an old stupid microwave. . .yes, i think our only hope is to learned to love those bacteria -- they will be the only things to protect us when that 0.1% decides to attack!

bellweather -- the power level feature? i'm afraid to touch it! me and my twin, Lil' Audrey thank you for laughing!
Tears are running down my face. "...went blind or grew a twin sister out of my ass." And that is just ONE thing that made me laugh.


best rant evah! The only thing I've ever found microwaves to be consistently good for is peep wars!
Yeah . . . I feel the pain, the agony, the frustration in this piece. I can relate. I'd be surprised if any microwave user couldn't.
Food and microwaves make for big headlines.
If I could've grown a twin sister out of my ass, it would have evened up the playing field between me and my big brother some...-*

I b'lieve the essential problem with these things, like all other square electronic boxes festooned with buttons of unclear utility, is that they are designed by engineers, with inadequate feedback from normal people. "We can do this" trumps "does it need this?" every time--and subsequently, the interfaces, and "documentation"--which is all too often also designed by the engineers--have way too many buttons that are unexplained and make no sense anyway.

In other words, you're right, you're right, you're bloody well right...
(hey baby, heat me up a bearclaw on the Radar Range--tom waits)
Thanks for this. Rated.
Excellent...been there!
It's really just an oversized rectangular tea kettle. I caution you against using plastic containers for heating food in a microwave. There is evidence that certain nasty compounds in the plastic can transfer to your food when subjected to the heat.

Patience really is a virtue. Simply soak those frozen shrimp in some water for 5 or 10 minutes, microwave is unnecessary.
I remember those radar ranges, Mom was terrfied it would mess up the Nav systems at the nearby airport!
I'm not sure I trust microwaves either--they keep cooking after the food is out of there. Funny. the moon Alice!! to the moon!!! where all dead MWs are slated for shipment. (you think NASA's not planning to go back? just give 'em a half baked reason and some crappy cargo to leave behind and they're off!) Those things are far too dangerous to leave around in land fills. Ass twins could end up everywhere.
When you microwave a cup of water, let it cool down, and use it to water a plant, the plant will die. On the lighter side, this was hilarious!
So I shouldn't send you a copy of my 1970's-era "Cooking in the Microwave" cookbook? My folks still don't have a microwave and probably never will. They are good for popcorn though! This was a funny treat for lunch-time reading, as I eat my microwave-warmed linguine with pesto!
very funny!

So here's the scoop on microwaves. They basically work by boiling, so if you add a water to whatever you're cooking (eraser shrimp), it will never get above boiling - 212. Adding frozen things, or things with very little water, don't work so well because only one spot gets heated up, not the whole thing, but if you add a table spoon or so to the frozen thing, it'll heat it up more evenly.

oh, and never put plastic in the microwave