Feb 7, 2017
By Greg Fuller
If it wasn’t already enough fun watching the river rise today, we had a bit more water fun this evening. While making dinner, I spilled some water from a pan onto the so-called ‘sealed’ gas cooktop. Immediately after, the built in igniter started clicking like a manic. But with all of the knobs in Off position and (thankfully) no burners lighted. Yow! I know them sparks are a sparkin’ under the burners and there’s, uh, a gas connection somewhere in there, so I need to work fast. Of course the electric cord that runs the igniter is plugged in somewhere behind a bunch of drawers that I’ve never taken out, filled with a couple hundred pounds of cookware. So the only thing is to head for the breaker box in the garage.
I leave the door open so I can hear the clicker and start throwing switches on the right – marked – side of the box. Click.click.click like a damn bomb. I have no idea if the – completely unlabeled – switches on the left are connected, so I grab a flashlight and head out to fuse box numba two, on the outside of the house. I flip a double breaker out there labeled ‘cooktop’, back in the front door. Click,click,click,click. I’m wondering if maybe actually one of those ‘really bad people’ got through after The Ban was blocked. Donny said it might happen and you know, if that’s who’s doin’ this then well, it must the that Seattle judge’s fault.
Back out to the box, more switches, all the damn switches. Click,click,click,click. Damn, Damn, Damn. Now the thing is sounding like the episode break in 24. Back to the garage and two by two go the left hand bank of switches. One of the last killing the overhead lights in the garage. So I am heading back into the completely dark house with my little LED pocket light, while telling the 96 year-old Mom to quit wandering around in the dark before she breaks another hip. Ah – but No Click! it’s like the moment when you cut the other red wire and miraculously – are still there! No boom! But then, how do we fix this in the freakin’ dark? We do the Fuse Box Shuffle – this box, that switch, some lights no click’n. Box, de box de switch de lite! Lotsa light!
With at least some lights on, I can now proceed to empty the All Clad collection, cast iron, vintage Revere Ware and boy did we get a deal at Ross non-stick out of the middle drawer. Now crawl on the floor with the bad back, looking up under the extended drawer to try to figure out how the thing releases. Voila! Nice obvious orange thingies on each corner – of course further apart than I can reach at one time. But good ole Yankee ingenuity with a touch of desperation prevails and I manage to release the right one, push in the slide a little, then the left and lift the massive box off with just enough pain to be handled later with a couple of Vicodin. ‘Dere de gas valve, dere de ‘lectric plug. Out comes the plug and — we are defused.
Back to dinner …
Now I can see the plates of leftovers that were ready to heat up before The Great Slosh. I’ve got light. But I ain’t got no microwave. No Mon. Lights on the display on the oven next to it though. Little hungry here. Little hungry. Heating up the big oven takes a long long time. And of course, the burners ain’t hap’nin’ at this point. I grab a glass and hit the lever under the ice dispenser on the fridge. Nada. Help! I’m melting! And so is the Ben ‘n Jerry’s.
Back to the boxes. More switches, but still no clicka click. Dat good. Eureka! The microwave wakes up. Reset! Reset! Reset! Houston, we have ignition. But still no ice. I dismantle the friggin’ ice bin to extract some cubes, dump spares into a bowl to take out to the garage fridge (which is happily, noisily humming), fill my glass and pop one of the plates in the micro for a couple of minutes. We’re cookin’ baby!
We got hot entrees. I’ve got the fresh cooked broccoli that, by the way, was the cause of all this hubbub in the first place. Mom has light so she can roll to the table. We dine. Irene arrives back from the gym. “Fridge is off,” I warn her. “Don’t let the cold out”. Visions of melted Cherry Garcia continue to haunt me.
After a quick dash into what is now most appropriately called the ice box for the last couple of slices of lemon meringue pie, freshly fortified, I am once again prepared to attack the problem.
I do another Fuse Box Boogie and think we should be back up to warp power. Back at the cooktop, which is also obviously the circuit with the overhead lights and of course the fridge – nothing.
One more time. Ah yes, the Left Bank! Those mysterious unmarked breakers. Switch numba one. No. Numba two! Bada Boom! Contact! No clickety click now — since I managed to get the cord unplugged.
So here we are, with grates and burner plates and knobs off and strewn about the kitchen while the bugger drys out. Accompanied by the fry pans, saucier, double boiler and stock pots. The cookware drawer is sitting in the living room, up on its side, waiting for the All Clear to sound allowing the igniter to be plugged back in.
Oh, and by the way. Next time I grill the veggies.
(C) 2017 by Greg Fuller