Thursday, November 26, 2009

Requiem For A Microwave

On November 25, 2009, for the noon meal, I washed two Russet potatoes, put them in a rinsed TV dinner container, and placed them in the microwave to cook. I set the timer for 7 minutes 45 seconds and pressed the Start button. A loud humming noise ensued, much louder than the noise volume usually produced by the microwave, and within a couple of minutes, the pungent odor of burning insulation permeated the room. I cancelled the settings on the microwave, removed the two potatoes, and put them in the oven to cook.

The recycle and trash disposal area is about 85 yards from my back door. But it would not be proper, based on the years of thankless faithful service rendered to the owner, for me to dispose of my short-circuited microwave as if it was only an object. It had been a member of the family and had lived with me in three different States. It was there for me in the chill of dawn, a workhorse of modest demeanor, when I was driven by the dementia that inspires mentally unbalanced joggers to stir before first light and run around the city streets for exercise. I believe it warmed up over 1,000 cups of water for coffee over the years. I had to do the right thing for my trusty microwave and give it a proper funeral.

I got one of my best green blankets and spread it out on the living room floor. At one end, the microwave was formally placed, the spark that once surged through its insulated wires now motionless and wane. After closing the door for the final time, never to be opened again, its glass carousel tray leaned forlornly against it, like a warrior being honored for gallantry in battle lying stately next to his shield. It will be kept as a keepsake in remembrance of the blissful hours we shared. The jar of Maxwell House instant coffee stood reverently in silence, next to the Original Pantry coffee mug that was its constant companion. The bond they shared could have never been forged, save for the warmth of the noble machine perched on top of the refrigerator that guided each cup of water on a merry-go-round circuit of its carousel for thirteen revolutions until the water was heated to a level that could dissolve coffee grounds.

The TV dinners that had waited their turn in the freezer of the refrigerator until the historic day, which they sadly realized would never come, to be placed in the microwave, reclined at right angles on the green blanket to pay their last respects to the still white box with the illuminated panel that, like clockwork, broke the silence of each morning with a series of beeps. Among the assembled dignitaries was a lone box of pizza that, though oven-bound, empathized with the TV dinners.

It was a General Electric microwave, manufactured in December 2003. I purchased it at the Wal-Mart in Sylva, North Carolina in late January 2004. We were nearly inseparable. It was Model Number JES7389WH001. Its Serial Number was ZF906404U. After each warming cycle, the word "End" would appear on its illuminated digital screen. In its final days, I sensed intuitively that the microwave, that emitted a high-pitched frequency sound with the push of each number button when it was programmed for a cooking time, wanted to play the theme of the old western, "The Lone Ranger."

When I took it across the vacant field to the recycle area, I placed it in an isolated area of the domed enclosure. On it was a sign I had printed out, "Burned out. R.I.P. January 2004 to Nov. 25, 2009." Maybe it will be recycled into another useful appliance that will have a similar resilience and spirit of warmth when it is reincarnated as another electronic entity. I know it is in Appliance Heaven.

(c) 2009 by Hooknose McGee


  1. yes, you have a follower. i enjoyed reading your blog. it's quite witty. thank you for the reciprocal follow.

    to answer your question, i don't really publicize the blog, other than listing it on my facebook pages. i think most people become fans of the camouflage christmas just to be a part of something, not because they are being authentic and really care. don't get me wrong, people care - have the Christmas cards to prove it.

    i don't know why people don't follow blogs. your's is the first one for me. i have several friends who write blogs that i read, but am not a "follower". i should probably become one. i'm not 100% sure if i'm ready for my blog to get out there. i'm taking a stab at writing and just wanted to start out with things that come up - nothing really important.

    good luck with the blogging. this follower enjoys the read.

    1. caroline hello. i don't know if you are still a follower of my blog. i just checked on what i wrote more than six yrs ago and do not remember writing all that but i did. i hope you are doing well. happy new year. maybe i will write again.


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