So I’m in the kitchen changing out the dishwasher and cleaning out the cat food bowls. Normal procedure is to scrape the food that remains uneaten, which is a considerable portion because my cats mainly lick the gravy because “Cat”, with soaking for any food that’s hardened overnight. Lately I’ve fallen into the habit of just dumping the cat food into the sink afterwards and letting the disposal take care of it.
This was the set-up for beefy-chunks Armageddon. I’m currently living with my folks while my brother and I search for a new house. I’m in one state, he’s the next state over due to work, it’s all complicated, welcome to life, here’s a beer. Anyway, one of the things I take care of in the house is the cat food. My Dad had been gone a week on business so I was more than a bit lax about bringing down the used food bowls for the Upstairs Cat, (He is designated as such because he doesn’t tolerate my sister’s Asshole Cat, who my parents took in because her boyfriend is allergic, and the feeling is mutual.) meaning that I didn’t bring them down at all.
Once it was time to bring them all down I of course cleaned them all at once because I am a Man and Men do things big! There wasn’t a problem, although the disposal sounded a bit off. So cut to today and I’ve been continuing this lax practice of scraping out the bowls. I run the disposal like always, water running and all, and it just makes this grinding noise. I try restarting it a few more times, turn it off, waggle a spoon around to see if it’s clogged, then turn the water back on and try running it again. The disposal grinds to a halt and all noise stops.
I try turning it off and on several times but it just isn’t going. Meanwhile, Mom has come into the kitchen to on the oven and sees me futzing with the sink. I explain what’s up and she says to just leave it alone, so I do. After a short time working at my computer I notice an odd smell. I look up to see smoke pouring out of the closed oven. Shit! Quick, brain, do a thing! So I rush over and do what anybody would do in this situation: open the over and stick my face down in front of it because I am a Man and Men follow the process of natural selection just the same as any other creature on Earth.
I am assaulted by acrid smoke billowing out of the oven but the oven is completely fine. I am not completely fine, as Mom comes hurrying into the kitchen to see what smells like “Holy fuck, danger!” and I go hobbling out the opposite door, sputtering and hacking. I go over to the couch and proceed to collapse in a heap that feels intensely naive. After some amount of time, my head and lungs clear enough and I take myself upstairs to lie down and shake the dizziness. This was at 5 PM.
I blink with the sort of confusion that typically follows being abducted by aliens when it is suddenly 8 PM and I’m lying in the dark. I come downstairs and there’s Dad on the couch. I didn’t want him to think I’d been up there all day so I started to explain but he’d already been filled in. As best as I can put it together I must have fried the disposal unit, which in my defense was installed in the 1970’s, and somehow it vented through the oven? Dad used the over later and told me it was perfectly fine so I have no idea.
I also can’t explain why the sink wasn’t smoking, I don’t know what happened short of something electrical because the smoke smelled mechanical and not like food stuck to the oven floor. So the disposal is indisposed and someone has to come look at it because I apparently decided that there isn’t already enough going on with the family. So having slept those three hours, I’m now awake. What to do?