My kitchen stove doesn’t like me. I had high hopes and great
expectations when the two of us met, but that was before the bullying
I purchased a home that is equipped with the range of my dreams. It is
a spectacular Wolf brand, professional grade cooktop and oven. It is
said to be “made for the discerning cook.” This magnificent range has
dual flame burners, two ovens, a char-broiler and a griddle. The hood
vent has two heat lamps and an exhaust system that rival that of the
finest five star restaurants. I was certain that this Wolf and I would be
the best of friends. I was wrong.
While I have not been professionally trained, I do consider my culinary
skills to be above average. Certainly, worthy of being called a discerning
cook. For example, I have never poisoned anyone. Well, there was that
one chicken incident in 1988, but that was not entirely my fault. I can
say for certain that my cooking has never killed anyone.
My Wolf is arrogant. He feels that he was built for someone with vastly
superior cooking skills. As an appliance that was manufactured in
Wisconsin, I am not sure why he thinks he should be addressed as “Lord
Wolf,” but I humor him and do so.
Lord Wolf began to bully me shortly after I moved into his house. One
night I opened a can of chicken noodle soup, poured it into a pan to
heat on the burner. I was distracted by a neighbor at the door. While I
was talking, Wolf turned the whole thing into a hissing, boiled over,
burnt mess. In his proper British accent, he made it clear, “Madam, I do
not prepare canned soup, that is a task better suited to the
microwave.” He had a smug look on his face as I cleaned up after him.
His bullying continued after I whacked open a can of crescent rolls. The
rolls baked up nicely and I placed them under the heat lamp to keep warm. Wolf attacked while I was on the phone with the cable company
(press 1, press 5, press 9; I don’t think they really do value my time).
Wolfey burnt the rolls into inedible bricks. With disdain he said,
“Madam, these are not croissant.” I retorted “Well excuse me,” and
stuck my tongue out at him.
When I grilled expensive Porter House steaks, I watched him carefully
to make sure he behaved; they cooked to perfection. When I heated
hot dogs on the char-broiler while watching, “The Ellen Show,” he
charred them beyond recognition. He proclaimed that hot dogs are
“drivel.” What a jerk.
Hoping to make peace with the haughty heater of food, I asked him,
“Your Lordship, may I approach the throne?” He displayed not an
ounce of emotion, so I took that as permission. I proceeded to bake a
tray of store bought lasagna. Apparently, I misread his signals. While I
was concentrating on vacuuming, he expressed his displeasure by
making the sauce spill over, he blackened the cheese, and created a
hard, black crust along the bottom on the oven. As a final act of spite,
he filled the entire kitchen, and most of the house, with a billowing
cloud of dark, choking smoke. Thank goodness for that heavy-duty
Real disaster struck after the lasagna, when I pressed the self-clean
button. Within seconds Wolfenstein said, “Madam, I do not do the
cleaning,” and he shut down completely. He would communicate only
through a series of indecipherable codes: ERR OE, ERR 01 and EKG
ASAP. I was forced to bring in an expensive interpreter from a far-away
land, Portland. After agreeing to extortion and travel expenses, the
holder of the magic Wolf-speak skills arrived.
The specialist and Wolf spoke in their own secret language, using a
computer and hand-held unit. I am pretty sure ole’ Wolfey was talking
smack about me.
It took three men, and a pallet jack, to move “His Lordships” substantial
48-inch-wide, 750-pound girth away from the wall. The
extortionist/technician then reached behind the unit and pressed a re-
set button. That’s it, just one tiny little button. I wanted to scream, “Are
you kidding me?!” Wolf had a superior, self-satisfied look on his face. I
never asked him to do the cleaning again.
Mikey the microwave and I have developed a warm, companionable
relationship. I continue to work with Lord Wolf on a regular basis, but I
always keep a careful eye on him, just in case.