The Devil’s Machine

My son-inlaw Chris remarked one day that we didn’t own a microwave. Is it because it’s the devil’s machine? he asked. Yes, I said, you’re absolutely right.

We’ve never owned a microwave. We never saw the need for one although I hear it melts butter well. And, we don’t plan to get one. I prefer cooking on a flame, thank you. Frankly, I don’t trust the damn things. 

But, alas, newsroom kitchens don’t have stoves for very practical reasons. Instead, they come equipped with a microwave. And so, if I wanted to heat something, say soup, I was stuck.

I broke down and figured out how to get the job done. I also learned there are a few rules about using a public microwave.

Popcorn can be dangerous. At my last newspaper job Back East, microwaved popcorn was banned officially after one employee burned a bag so badly, smoke set off the alarms and the fire department showed up. I don’t think that was the first time it happened either.

Then, there is the fish rule. I love seafood but few things smell worse than microwaved fish, especially if it belongs to someone else. The stench just hangs there in the break room and spreads to the rest of the building. People complain.

And finally, messes. We’re supposed to clean up our own. My co-workers have been better about it since we got a new microwave for the break room. This one has a shiny, stainless exterior. It takes up a good part of the counter. Yes, it’s one handsome devil.


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