Friday, February 5, 2010

Uh Oh! He's Toast!

No Thursday's Throw Away today - I'll try to get it in tomorrow.  I had a little mishap in the kitchen this morning.  Sometimes I feel I'm in the middle of some bad 50's sitcom. 

Let me start by telling you that my husband heated up his pizza in the oven last night no problem.  Sometime later that evening when he had already gone to bed, I heard some noise in the kitchen.  We had caught a mouse about a week ago and I still had the trap out so I was pretty sure that I was going to find another one but I didn't.  So I went to bed and didn't think any more about it.

This morning as I was standing in the kitchen packing my lunch I heard the noise again and detected it coming from my oven. 

Aha!  He's in the oven.  Hmmmm.   I pulled open the door quickly.  Nothing there.  I yanked the bottom drawer.  Nothing there.  The furnace was running so maybe I just heard a rattle in the gas line from that.   Went back to packing and there it was again. 

It's got to be in there I said to myself.   I'll get him.  I'll force him out.  I'll turn the oven on.  So I did.  I stood there with the door and the drawer opened and fully expected to see the little bugger head for the hills.  Instead I saw smoke.  A lot of smoke.  A real lot of smoke. 

Dear God, what did I do?  I shut the oven off and the smoking stopped within a few minutes.  But what now?  I was pretty sure that I had toasted the mouse but now I was concerned that it would stay smoldering in there and possibly start a fire. 

At this point I decided that I would wait until the oven cooled down and see if I could remove the panel over the burner.  I called work and left a message that I would be in late and briefly gave a short synopsis of what had already transpired on the answering machine.  Then I called HWNSNBP.   I wasn't really anxious to relate what I had done to him so it was good that I had to leave a message on his cell. 

When it cooled down a bit I tried but I was unable to pop up that panel and I was still worried about a possible fire.  I pulled out the bottom drawer completely to look under the oven and there was a small pile of what looked like bits of insulation.  HWNSNBP called back and seemed not too upset about the situation but he did share my concern about further fire.  I told him I thought I should call for a serviceperson to come and see if they could take the panel out and we could retrieve the mouse toast.  He agreed.

I contacted a local appliance service business and explained to them the events of my morning.  The guy was not at all fazed and said that this happens more often than you think.  I asked if he could send someone out to remove the mouse and he basically told me that the mouse was unretrievable where it was and that I should put the oven on it's self-cleaning cycle.  It would get to about 1000º and would incinerate what was left of the mouse.  And, he added, there would be smoke.  

Well, I had to get to work so that would have to wait until later.  Do I dare tell you that I was referred to as the mouse killer at work (I don't want any spam from that word!)?  And my oven is now "the incinerator". 

I left a message for HWNSNBP to put the bird upstairs and turn off the smoke alarm when he got home so I could start the cleaning process as soon as I got home.  He thoughtfully left a fan in the kitchen so I could direct the smoke out the kitchen window - yes, I had the window opened.  There was smoke.  There was a lot of smoke!  In fact, 6 hours later I still smell smoke. 

So why am I telling you all this?  I had intended to do some work on Thursday's Throw Aways up in the stamp cave until I realized that the smoke alarm and the outlets in the stamp cave are on the same circuit, sooooooooooo there would be no light to work with.

Someone made a comment that it would smell rotten, but I think that had I waited more than today it would have smelled worse having a charred dead mouse sitting around for a day or so! 

So it seems I gave my daughter quite a chuckle when she called and asked what was up.  Nothin'  I told her.  I'm in the middle of cremating a mouse...............................


  1. Yuck!! I am glad I've never had an experience like that. I'd say that, bad as it smelled, it would definitely have been worse after a day.
    Your story reminds me of two things: one was in one of Jeffrey Steingarten's books, when he tried using the self-cleaning cycle to emulate the high temperatures of a wood-burning pizza oven - with predictable results. Anyone for ash pizza? I laugh till I cry any time I read that chapter.
    We lived, a while back, in a house that had a glass-fronted stove installed in the old fireplace. One day I heard a very faint tap, tapping. We'd been having a problem with a leak in the attic, but it didn't sound like that. I listened, and listened, and in the end I lifted away the embroidered firescreen from in front of the Stanley - and a pair of beady eyes peeked out. It was a young magpie - so I opened all the windows, and then very cautiously opened the front of the stove. All things considered, he made remarkably little mess before he flew out the window.
    Sorry for a such a long comment :D.

  2. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has an incinerated mouse in their past. Luckily you had the cleaning cycle. I wasn't quite that fortunate. Have also had a small raccoon come out the stove pipe! Obviously in the days before scrubbers. Glad you could keep your cool and see the lighter side of it!

    Hugs and blessings - Jean

  3. Oh my....this story has made my day. I think I'll go have some toast. :0

    Hope you guys are surviving the snow storm nothing but rain here, with snow this afternoon. Hugs

  4. I'm shuttering all over!
    You go from proper burial a few months ago to cremation... when are these little guys gonna get the message to stay clear of Lorraine!! LOL


It's always so nice to hear from visitors. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.