Ode to an Old Stove

Disclaimer: No mice were harmed in the writing of this blog post. One merely napped for an eternity after it chewed a wire in our old stove and decomposed, producing an oversized stench that was surprisingly difficult to trace. First, I checked the usual places for gag-producing odors—the trash can, diaper bin, sink drain, and dishwasher. Nope, not the specific odor molecules in question. Unable to pinpoint the source, I tried to drown it out with a downpour of Febreze. But, three days in, the smell grew worse than the time a possum sequestered itself in the wall. At our wits end, Natalie and I pulled everything out of the kitchen, stove included.

The movement caused the hidden carcass to emit an intense burst of unwholesome particles, at which point Natalie’s nostrils detected the proximate location. I trained my nose on the coordinates and confirmed that the odor originated deep beneath the left back burner.

The stove in question was an old Hotpoint stove, circa the 1950s. Natalie was quite fond it, since it had achieved vintage status, even though the stove was a danger to both mice and men. Before it killed the mouse, it had nearly killed me. A few years ago, I was cooking grits and frying some bacon at the same time: metal spoon stirring grits, metal fork flipping bacon. I can tell you from experience that one does not fly backwards, as if shot out of a cannon, when suddenly jolted by electricity. That is the stuff of cartoons. Instead, after becoming a conduit for electrons, one’s body merely goes limp and sinks to the floor. There, you feel like taking a nap for a while, save for a pounding headache.

Even after the stove electrocuted me, Natalie’s devotion to it held strong and she decided not to replace it. She recommended a much cheaper solution, a wooden spoon. So the moral of this blog post is if you ever want your spouse to discard a sentimental kitchen appliance in favor for something more modern and less life-threatening, place a dead mouse in it. Not long after we discovered the mouse carcass, the Hotpoint took its final plunge into the scrap metal bin at the trash depot. It had cooked its last piece of meat, a rodent.

7 thoughts on “Ode to an Old Stove

  1. HA! Good one. But, unfortunately your wife’s wisdom here does not pan out. I was electrocuted with a wooden spoon at the stove. No joke! I still have the shoulder pain to prove it, 3 years later. It’s a modern stove, with perfectly fine wiring. It was the electric power lines causing regular surges, that fried a duck, then a squirrel, and then me, and the electric company still tried to deny and deflect. Then they came out and rewired the entire county, and, magic, no more stove problems or fried critters, and yet still, no one believes me. 🙁

  2. Everyone is so quick to blame the rodent. My guess is that the errant stove killed the innocent mouse. My own Significant Rodent (a capybara) never touched the stove. His area of expertise was eating above-ground swimming pools, #6 being the only one to withstand his nibbling. Garden hoses came in second, a third to black rubber barn boots. If rodents had an affinity for stoves, believe me, I would know about it.

  3. I had my grandmother’s freezer on the bottom fridge she bought in 1964 (though it was the 1963 model) from 1999 until early 2017. Man, I miss that thing. (I miss her more.)

    1. That’s funny. We recently took my grandma’s freezer to the landfill. It finally bit the dust, but I miss it if for nothing more than it was kinda of like a little reminder of her.

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