After 63 years, they still suck.
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.”
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.