A few days ago, I updated my Twitter and Facebook profiles with the following witty remark:

I don’t dream about becoming rich. I just wish I could afford to hire a full-time chef. I SO hate to cook.”

Apparently, my oven subscribes to my Tweets. This evening, while my kids were outside playing basketball with some friends, and while I was in the middle of seasoning some hamburger for a delicious meatloaf, my preheating oven burst into flames. That’s right. It literally burst into flames.

In the space of what could not have been more than 1.8 seconds, the following thoughts flashed through my mind, in this order:

1. Karma sure is a bitch.

2. Where did I put that damned fire extinguisher?????????

3. Wait a sec…this place is insured for more money than it’s worth…

4. …but where’s the cat?

5. Shit! Looks like I’ll have to put the fire out.

And so I did, using my entire canister of baking soda (we buy it in bulk because I use it to clean). It made quite a mess. And now my oven is dead. Apparently my hubby can resurrect it with a new element, which he’ll buy this weekend. Along with another 12 pound bag of Arm & Hammer.

The good news is that our stovetop still works. We had hamburgers for supper. And Hazel is safe and sound.



About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

15 responses to “Karma

  • robinaltman

    Where’s the cat? Hahahaha! As my mom would say, “That’s the best one!”

    So sorry about your oven. I’m impressed that you thought of the baking soda. However, I know where the stupid fire extinguishers are. I stubbed my friggin’ toe on one yesterday when I went into the garage from the kitchen.

  • Joe Glasgow

    Any idea what caused it to catch fire?

    My mother once caught the oven on fire and I had to put it out. Not sure how it happened, either…

    But at least you are all safe and sound. That’s what matters. Now, I’ll have my hamburger very, very well done. 😉

  • Lori

    I’m impressed with how clearly you think in such a situation.
    So baking soda is good for putting off fires too? I should buy it in bulk too, from now on.
    And by the way, I hate cooking too.

  • Robert

    As long as the cat’s ok…nothing else REALLY matters!

  • longstreet

    I have a catnamedscooter.

    She’s a striped tabby and has burst into flames more than once for no apparent reason other than the gratification of self immolation.
    Kind of like a Buddhist kitty in search of kharmarsonist peace.

    I dig that cat.
    And she digs me. Hates the vet though.

    longstreet, not to be confused w/longfellow 😉

  • Theadra Leilani

    Um, Kel, I owe you an apology. It’s horrible of my, but I got a great laugh out of this post. Thank you so much for sharing it. You have a great way of writing that takes, what I’m sure, are sensitive, nerve racking issues, and spinning them in a humorous light. Glad your kitty was okay. Thanks for the smile.

  • R.J. Keller

    Robin, I hope your toe is better now. Your fire extinguisher must be a big’un.

  • R.J. Keller

    Joe, apparently it was [something electrical, blah blah blah, that went right blah over my blah head] that melted the element. Or something like that.

  • R.J. Keller

    Lori, I had a vague memory (from my tortuous Home Ec days) of baking soda being good for putting out some sort of fire. Turns out it was a grease fire. It worked for this one, though. Probably the baking soda smothered it.

    And yeay!!! for chicks who hate to cook!!!! 🙂

  • R.J. Keller

    Robert, Exactly!!! Hazel is our miracle cat, since I’m allergic to every other cat in the world. I couldn’t let anything happen to m’baby!!

  • R.J. Keller

    Longstreet/not Longfellow,

    Scooter is, as I recall, a troublemaker. Good thing I like troublemakers. 😉

  • R.J. Keller

    Theadra, I’m so glad my distress caused you such amusement! Seriously…I really am. Some things are laugh-or-cry situations, and this was definitely one of them! 🙂

    And I have SO hideously been neglecting the WCB!!!

  • ScreenwritingforHollywood

    It’s a good thing you didn’t find the fire extinguisher. When I was a kid, I put out my exploding oven with the extinguisher, and since I didn’t want to get in trouble, didn’t tell the folks, and did my best to clean out the oven. Well, it smelled of chemicals for a very long time. And if you think about it, baking with an oven full of chemicals was probably not so healthy. Luckily, my mom was more of of a stove range cooker and I didn’t eat the meatloaf.

  • Kit Courteney

    Ovens are evil.

    I’ve had problems with mine for about a month.

    The fucker.

  • Crystal Lynn

    #4… where’s the cat…..

    is now part of my lingo…. check out JBWA and see our new addition….

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