Mom says that I am very intelligent, but I lack common sense. I think there has to be some other explanation because if it is going to happen, it seems to happen to me.
As far back as I can remember, I stayed in the kitchen with the women in my family. I spent a lot of time watching many talented women bake, roast, can and cook, but my task was always to just eat the fruits of their labor.
Mom had to start working when I was ten years old. She was extremely organized and efficient and seemed to get everything done. One morning, Mom explained that the macaroni and cheese was ready to bake in the oven. She would call me in the late afternoon when she was leaving work and all I had to do was put the prepared dish in the oven to bake.
It sounded very easy and I didn’t fret about it.
True to her word, the phone rang shortly after 5:00 p.m. and Mom said, “Go ahead and pop the macaroni and cheese in the oven. Be careful not to burn yourself.”
What could possibly go wrong?
By the time Mom walked through the front door, the wonderful aroma of our dinner filled our apartment. She looked quite pleased that I had “cooked dinner” without any of my usual mishaps.
Since this was the first time I had ever cooked anything, I was really excited to see the final outcome.
Mom grabbed a couple towels, reached into the oven and pulled out the bubbling macaroni and cheese.
I stared at it in confusion.
“Mom, what happened to the plastic wrap that was on top of the macaroni and cheese?” I asked.
“What?” Mom asked. “Didn’t you take it off before you put it in the oven?”
“No!” I said. “You didn’t tell me to take off the plastic! You just said to put it in the oven.”
“It is just common sense to take off the plastic before baking anything in a hot oven! You know that plastic melts!” she said as she moved the fork around looking for the plastic in the freshly cooked noodles.
“But you didn’t tell me to take it off!” I exclaimed, extremely upset because I had apparently failed at my first cooking experience.
I have never lived down that experience, but that was a long time ago and I have become wiser. Right?
Fast forward thirty-eight years to this morning.
I iron my clothes every morning before I go to work. Well, my iron broke and I had to buy a new one on Saturday. I left it in the box. Then on Sunday, Alyssa and I went to the Apple Festival. We were gone all day long, so the iron remained in the box.
This morning, I pulled the iron out of the box, removed the Styrofoam on each end and took off the plastic bag that was wrapped all the way around the iron. I plugged in the iron and went into the kitchen to eat breakfast.
The iron got really hot in just a few minutes. I put my black pants on the ironing board, lined up the legs, added water to the iron so I would have lots of steam and put the iron on the leg of my pants.
But the iron didn’t slide across the material, so I yanked it up hoping that my pants weren’t burned. Upon closer inspection of my pants, I didn’t see any burn marks. What was wrong?
I flipped the iron around so that I could look at the hot surface and that is when I saw it.
Not just a piece of plastic, but the entire surface of the iron was covered with melted plastic.
Apparently, the plastic is placed on the shiny plate on the iron to prevent it from being scratched during shipping. I had no idea that an iron was packed that way, so I didn’t even bother to look closely at my new iron before it was plugged into the wall.
Oh my gosh! I bet I ruined my new iron!
So I decided to just let it cool a little while I dried my hair. After it had cooled, I started peeling the plastic off in little pieces. I was quite thrilled that the melted plastic was coming off!
I picked all the little pieces of melted plastic out of the steam holes. When all of it had been removed, I plugged in the iron and ironed a wet towel to get the remaining goo off.
No more goo and no more plastic stuck on the bottom of the iron.
I have to either concede that Mom was right and I have no common sense or believe that plastic has been out to get me since I was ten years old. I think I’m going with the latter. For all we know, plastic is really an alien that likes to aggravate redheaded people.
It could be true.
Okay, plastic isn’t really an alien, but you could try to just humor me a bit!