Our new microwave has an inflated sense of importance, sort of like the guy at the office who's retiring next month. Nobody knows what he does or why, but they'll miss him if they notice he's gone.
This microwave is the latest thing in micro meal time. It's so sleek and fast, you expect to see a pitcrew rush out and try to change the tires. It’s impatient as small appliances go; a single beep isn’t assertive enough for this guy. At the slightest provocation, it bursts forth with volleys of obnoxious beeps like a robot headwaiter directing his staff. I don't comprehend the need to sound off as if someone has just dialed in to the hotline for microwave activity. Why can’t it warm up a cup of tea without sounding as if it’s connecting to the second satellite past the International Space Station? It’s my kitchen and I want quiet.
And I hate to be judgmental, but this guy is over-attentive, if not downright nosy. While I appreciate the lovely customized buttons for particular items, I don’t feel obliged to provide more information to my microwave than I do to the Internal Revenue Service at quarter past tax time. If you say you have tea, it asks embarrassing questions about what kind of tea you have and just how many cups you plan to use. I’m ashamed to admit I'm drinking alone. The time is coming when I’ll just tell an outright lie and start a circle of deceit just so my microwave will think I have friends.
And the thing just can’t stop at defrost. I didn’t ask it to puff up the biscuits like Stay Puff marshmallows over an open flame. For such a smart guy, it didn’t exhibit much artificial intelligence when I pushed those extra buttons. And if it yearned to be such an overachiever, why didn’t the thing stop cooking popcorn and call the fire department once the bag caught fire?
Since microwaves are obnoxious as appliances go, I settled it in a comfortable place on the counter next to the oven, hoping the older machine would serve as a mentor and stabilizing influence, and that some of the good habits and mild-mannered disposition of my old friend would wear off on the newcomer. But as is the case with boys, dogs, and office machines, unsavory influences prevailed, and the oven began to exhibit destructive behavior. Yesterday it burned the crust on my cheese sandwich on purpose.
I’m afraid I’m going to have to assert my authority. Tonight I’m pulling the plug on the microwave. Tomorrow I’m buying a toaster oven.