When our daughter was about 12, she decided to cook some of those ramen noodles in a cup. You know, the kind that you put hot water in, cover with a towel for a few minutes, and then eat and enjoy. She put the noodle concoction together while I was out of the room. A few minutes later, I walked back in, and smelled something funny. I asked her how much water she put in them. When I saw the questioning look on her face, I knew I was in trouble. She confirmed my fears when she said, “What water?”
I opened the microwave door and smoked literally boiled out into the room. I saw, thankfully, a ceramic plate with a black, charred mass in the center. I say thankfully because otherwise I would have had to have taken the whole microwave outside. Instead, I was able to grab the plate with my hot pads and carry it quickly outside. I tossed plate and all into the grass as close to the street as possible, to get the stench as far away from the house as I could. The black, tar-like mass just sat there, smoldering and looking back at me. I was absolutely on my hands and knees in the grass, laughing so hard at this point that I thought I was going to throw up.
The neighbors asked what was wrong, and I could do nothing but point to the ground and laugh more.
The black, charred mass showed no signs of the Styrofoam container that had formerly housed its contents. It looked like a very small, black volcano that had sprouted up in our side yard.
The black mass didn’t go away for at least two weeks. The birds, raccoons, and even squirrels wouldn’t touch it.
We still tell this story to our daughter’s friends and prospective boyfriends. I only wish I had a photo to prove the event, but such was life before camera phones!