A Sock to the Chops of Fate


Here’s the story of fire, fire, fire!

You’d have thought a touch of singed skin from an exploding burger would be the worst of one’s troubles, but then again, most people aren’t me. I did say I would be happy to get to the end of my week alone without causing a fire, but that didn’t go to plan. The oven isn’t on fire anymore, in case you’re wondering. And my finger has stopped bleeding, so that’s a relief. And my toe, well, I mean, you can hardly see the cut anymore. The less said about my neck, the better. Oh, and ditto for the huge nettles I fell on. But apart from all that, it’s been a trouble free week, really. I’m rather glad I stocked up on bandages and plasters. It is too much of a stretch to say that I’d be dead without them, but I certainly feel like they’re holding me together right about now…

I thought I had better take precautions after the burger exploding incident, something I’d call ‘Burgergate’ if ‘Burgergate’ didn’t sound so fricking delicious. I decided to get the ball rolling by digging out the oven instructions. Dad always cooks, so I’m quite the novice. Perhaps it goes without saying, but I’m also quite the novice at… reading. It quite clearly said that one must put the oven on setting three when cooking burgers. So I did. Left the oven to heat up. Went back in the kitchen five minutes later. To say it was as smoky as a 1920s speakeasy is an understatement of colossal proportions. My decision-making wasn’t at its best that day. I decided to open the oven. A few licks of flames came shooting out right at me. I mean, this is a new kitchen. Dad would most certainly be more annoyed by the fact I’d ruined his new kitchen than finding my charred corpse in a ball on the floor.

Turns out, setting three on the heat knob thingamajig, plus setting four on the setting knob thingamajig, work as well together as Sonny and Cher. You see, I should’ve put it on setting three, because that’s the grill setting. On that setting, the other setting equates to around 150 degrees. On the other setting, it equates to around 300. You see, some would say this is my fault, but I blame modern appliances more than anything else. They’re just too complicated. I’d rather like an oven that had just an on/off switch and a heat-setting knob. They have too many knobs, these modern ones. They make a right nob out of you…

3D Hot Air, is one of the settings. How can air be ‘3D?’ Isn’t it always 3D? It’s all around us. Perhaps 4D. It just sounds like one of these modern buzzwords. Suitable for cakes, pizza, biscuits, pastries. Fair enough. Hot Air Grilling. Suitable for large pieces of meat. By who’s metric? Are my pork chops large pieces of meat? Yes. I think they are. I’ll put them in on this setting. Oh, hang on. Radiant Grilling Area? Used to grill steaks. But… but, there’s another setting and that says the same thing, and if there are two the same, then – WHAT IS GOING ON! Who made this fricking oven? Hang on, let me check – Bosch. Bosch! Damn you to hell. Bosch. What kind of name is that? I bet they’re named that because that’s the sound you make when you walk into a kitchen table because you can’t see it because of all the smoke being generated by the sodding oven.

The British are supposed to be great in a crisis. I just ran around in circles shouting, “Fire! Fire! Fire!” It wasn’t much of a fire. Just a few licks of flames. The smoke was pretty gnarly, though. Still, at least my sausages cooked in record time…

I ended up, somehow, having a rather nice dinner. Pork chops. Sausages. Burgers. Bacon. Fries. More bacon. Mmm, bacon. It was that or the healthy option, and I couldn’t be arsed cooking pasta. Feeling a touch frazzled, I decided to go for a dessert. A nice choc-ice. Whilst they had stuck to the freezer drawer, I was determined to get one. Sadly, in the process, I did rip my finger to shreds. Still, it’s healed nicely, now.

I decided to head to bed nice and early. I was tired and not in the best of moods. I always get my clothes ready for the next day the night before. All neatly folded. All my trinkets laid out in a row on my cabinet. My watch and bracelet. My phone that I never use and ran out of credit three years ago. Just makes things easier. In the winter, I put my underwear on the radiator, by the way. Top tip, that. It’s rather pleasant heading to work in winter with warm buns…

Unfortunately, as I was folding my jeans, I forgot there was money in the pocket. Really thick and heavy coins. That fell out and landed on my toe. That hurt, too. Lovely big cut. I was intending to spend much of the next night catching up on household chores. Trying to work out how to clean up a huge bloodstain wasn’t on my chore list originally, but it slipped in nicely. It replaced ‘hoovering,’ something I couldn’t do because I couldn’t walk or hold the nozzle. I couldn’t bend my fingers for days. Absolute days. And I didn’t have much feeling in my right arm. That’s where the burger burn mark was. I’m not a melodramatic soul, but I’m certain I have severe nerve damage.

I headed to work, a little worse for wear, the next morning. I mean, I did slip over and land on a huge pile of nettles, something I almost didn’t tell you because at this point, my life is starting to sound like a Laurel and Hardy sketch. I can’t remember the last time I was stung by nettles. It’s been a while. I mean, sure, it hurt, but there was only a little rash on my hand. I got up and carried on regardless. That’s what they’re always telling us to do in life. When you get knocked down, you get back up again. Admittedly, I don’t think they had this week in my life in mind, but then, who could’ve predicted that?

I ran out of bread on Thursday. Not the greatest of ends to not the greatest of weeks. I had no bread for my sandwiches on Friday. I couldn’t possibly have gotten to the shops before Saturday. Luckily, the boss bought us dinner. Don’t you just love little moments of luck like that in life? After all that had gone wrong, and after facing a Friday of hunger, there came the boss. Pizzas in hand. Aww. Life aint so bad, when you really think about it. That’s what I was thinking whilst sitting at that table munching away on a delightful margherita treat. All the pain seemed to go away.

But not for long.

I headed to the toilet just before the end of the working day. Stay with me on this. After I’d… ‘finished,’ I realised I’d never used the toilet at work before. I’ve been here for four months. Shy people can’t pee in public. It was a proud moment for me. Seriously. So I looked around the tiny little room to find some loo paper. Do you ever get foot cramp? Or the considerably worse jaw cramp? Now, have you ever turned your neck in such a way that it cricks, and you get this immense pain only comparable to a mixture of jaw cramp, foot cramp and being kicked really hard in the nuts? Yeah. That happened to my poor, poor neck.

Some people would say that crying on a toilet complaining about cuts, bruises, a burn, a nettle sting, and then a neck crick all in the space of three days, would be a sign one’s life was heading down a metaphorical toilet. Not I. No, I see it as fate testing my patience, like a little impish child. Don’t you worry, readers. One day I’ll get my comeuppance.

One day I’ll sock fate right in the chops…

American author, Alexandra Bracken (b. 1987), once wrote: ‘Me and nice things don’t go well together.’

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
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