Hell’s kitchen

October 29, 2006

It’s the end of a long weekend, during which “things needed to get done”. There is a backlog of housework and assorted chores that made my head swim to look at it, so it was distributed evenly around the family. Dire warnings and dramatic pronouncements were made as to what would happen if the jobs were not completed to my satisfaction.

After several false starts, and a spectacular finish in which the last foot of the pond was drained by #2 son and a wet-dry vac, we have established that we are: plus one frog and minus three fish.

I do not know if the other fish look fatter. I am certain that one of the cats does. And I am sure I counted eleven fish, just a couple of weeks ago. Life is a puzzlement.

And it was firmly explained to #1 son that, clean the kitchen, meant all the kitchen, not three quarters, or one half. The cleaning of the refrigerator, with running commentary was funny enough. But things did not hit stride and become blog-worthy until today.

I was in a different room and my husband came by and announced that keeping Mr. Coffee on the cook top had heat damaged the stove.


I went in to check out the situation. There is a large patch on the back of the stove, where the enamel has peeled off to reveal the steel underneath. My husband was trying to blame the coffee maker. If the heat is bad enough to damage the stove, I point out, then the coffee maker should be a lump of twisted plastic by now.

Besides, I use it to brew tea. Herb tea. It’s not even caffeinated. And I don’t think the fumes off the chamomile are powerful enough to melt paint.

Jenny Crusie, if you’re out there, this was the tea you gave me. What the hell is in that stuff?

#1 son is doing dishes and there is a paper towel tossed over the bad spot on the stove. I am thinking it’s a bit late to hide the damage and a pretty ineffectual way to do it.

He assures me it is to keep the enamel from flying around the room.

I consider pointing out that enamel isn’t made of goose down, and we don’t get many gale force kitchen winds. We are probably safe. Then I grab the paper towel, damp it down and clear the pile of paint chips off the stovetop. We are back to a clean stove, albeit with an unfortunate silver patch on the back. I turn my back to throw away the paint chips.


There is a fresh paint chip sitting in the middle of the previously clean stove.

I look at #1 son: “The stove is throwing paint chips around the room?”

#1 son says: “That was nothing. The last one ricocheted off the cupboards, right at eye level. The stove is trying to blind me.”


I drop the paper towel back over the bare spot.

We are now quizzing #2 son to figure out just what he cooked that made the stove angry.

Until I find out, no more Food Network for him.

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