If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I've been having problems with my oven. Fires to be exact. Fires that I can't put out unless I use a fire extinguisher. I finally had to quit using it -- it was just too dangerous.
After the holiday madness, I finally got around to making an appointment for an oven repairman to come out and take a look, which he did. He stared at the oven a minute and said There is grease in the corner of the oven, that's your problem.
I said You are kidding me, right? There's no way a little corner with grease could catch an entire oven on fire three times -- which, by the way, I couldn't put out unless I used a fire extinguisher.
He rolled his eyes, looked at Matt and said Grease. That's your problem. Give your oven a good scrub.
I thought his recommendation was ridiculous -- we have a self cleaning oven . . . that was clean . . . except for a little corner of grease.
But, scrub I did -- or I should say Matt did. Then we fired the oven up again to make some cupcakes. Guess what happened . . . . it caught on fire.
I called the Repairman again and said Well it wasn't the grease, I told you something was wrong. He came back out and looked at the oven -- opened the door and looked inside. He said It must be the stuff on the bottom of the rack, but I'm not sure.
I said That "stuff" you are referring to is melted metal. That's how hot the oven got when it was on fire.
He rolled his eyes and said I'll turn the oven on and let's see what happens.
He turned the dials to the left. It cranked right up, and heated to the perfect temperature. Then he stared at the oven for 45 minutes while he explained in slow motion his reasons for not pulling the oven out and taking a look at the wiring, which I don't need to tell you, annoyed the heck out of me.
When 45 minutes had passed, the Repairman said There's nothing wrong with your oven. Then he filled out a form delicately explaining to the central office that I was nuts.
Just as he was packing up to leave, I said You didn't turn the oven off.
That's when I had him. The Repairman turned the dials to the "off" position, but nothing happened -- inside the oven, the flames were rising along with the heat.
I secretly smiled an evil smile and inside my head I thought Take that, you oven repairman who doesn't know what he's taking about!!" Then I pulled out the fire extinguisher and doused the flames.
Well, that was all it took -- the Repairman got to work for real. With my assistance, he pulled the oven away from the wall, unplugged it and discovered the problem -- a jammed gas valve. Boy, you should have seen the back peddling. It took another 45 minutes for him to explain why he didn't pull the oven away from the wall in the first place. I just sat there pretending to listen with a glazed look on my face.
When the Repairman finished, he tipped is hat, pet the dog, and went on his merry way. I was exhausted from all that listening -- but happy to have my oven back.
The next day, I turned on a top burner to make some pasta. There was a flash of blue light and a sound that went "POOF" and then the oven died. AGAIN!!!!! I swear, my oven has 9 lives!!
I called the Repairman for the third time and spoke with the dispatcher. I begged Pleeeeeze send someone else out this time. Someone who doesn't talk so much, and who will pull the oven away from the wall and give it a once over. Someone who won't argue with me when I ask him to check the wiring.
She laughed and said That isn't possible, he's all we've got in your area. He's a little chatty, huh.
Chatty? Chatty is putting it mildly. I responded. I hung up the phone filled with dread.
A week later, my nemesis came back for another visit.
This time, he pulled the oven away from the wall and discovered the problem right way. As he worked, he chatted away, explaining why he didn't catch the problem the first two times he came to visit.
The oven now works -- it's worked for over two weeks. Cross your fingers. If I have to see that man one more time, I think I might just have a breakdown and yell at him: Hand me those tools!!! I think I can do a better job at this, and I don't know a thing about ovens!!!! And by the way . . . your crack is showing!
I think I know why I've had so many visits from the Repairman -- God knows I need I to learn a thing or two about patience.