The family had gone on an outing in the big city. There was, of course, the long drive home after the long meeting which followed the long wait in line for the doors to open. It was late.
“What’s to eat, Mom?” With five sons in the house this was a phrase I heard regularly. Other voices chimed in; everyone wanted a snack before bed. “You can have an English.” I popped the muffin in the open toaster oven on the ledge above the stove, slammed it closed and hit the start button.
This will require getting the butter out, I thought, opening the fridge to look for other goodies as well. I turned back to see what progress the toaster was making. Oh. OH NO! What am I seeing? It can’t be. Horrors! What is that?
Through the glass window of the toaster I saw a mouse frantically running in place, trying to escape its hot prison. Demonstrating multi-tasking I screamed, hit the off button which opened the door, and ran from the room all in ten seconds or less. The smell of burnt hair permeated the kitchen. Oh, no. A toasted mouse. Aarrrgh.
The men in the family – I didn’t care who, just as long it was not involving me – removed the appliance to the porch to cool down. “I’ll never use THAT oven again!” I declared. “Baked mouse! Yuck.”
Some time later the now cleaned toaster oven was donated to a worthy cause, replaced by something that had seen neither hide nor hair, burnt or otherwise.
Life was good once more.