Smoked And Found: An Undomestic Goddess

Monday, June 27, 2011
After recently re-telling a story about a Home Economics project turned tasteless, I've been reminded of another time that my prowess into the domesticated world has got me bonkers.

This was during the time when I was still in high school.

I usually got home from school at around 2pm every afternoon. As my mother worked all day and I am already a bit known to be useless in the kitchen, she would prepare me food the night before so that I could re-heat the food when I get home from school. We did not have a microwave oven at that time and so I would warm the food through the stove.

This was the case one fateful Thursday I arrived home from school and immediately got to the kitchen to heat the food. I remember it was a Thursday as my favourite weekly lifestyle magazine was on the shelf at the corner shop and I had bought myself a copy.

I switched on the stove and proceeded to put the pot on top of the stove. I vaguely remember that the menu for that day was adobong baboy (pork in soy sauce marinade).

As it took a bit of time for the food to warm, I decided to go to my room (about 20m from the kitchen) to drop off my school stuff and change my clothing. I must say, that time stood still for me as I paged through my newly-bought magazine with eagerness. It felt like only a few minutes had passed.

And the next thing, I became aware that there was smoke coming through the door of my bedroom. At first I thought it odd, but it suddenly dawned on me that I had forgotten to switch off the stove. I ran through to the kitchen. The whole house was filled with white smoke. Everywhere. White Smoke. I just hoped nothing was on fire. Yet.

I got to the kitchen and quickly switched the stove off. Placed the pot in the sink. Opened the cold water tap to let some water onto the pot. More smoke was created. I opened the 3 windows in the kitchen to let the smoke out. And then went on to each and every single window in the house. In total I must have opened about 8.

I thought the situation turned out for the best. No harm done. Just a few smoke. No real fire.

Of course such an incident would not have gone unnoticed. What with all the open house windows. It was like a smoke signal to the whole neighbourhood! What was I thinking anyway? Within 10 minutes of airing the house, my doorbell rang. Outside stood the landlord, who incidentally was also the corner shop owner, and his 2 other shop attendants, with fire extinguishers in hand.

I was so embarassed. I simply could have just died right there and then.

After much explaining and nerve-calming, I convinced the landlord that his house was not on fire. All it was, was just white smoke. Whew!

In the next 5 years, I continued to live in that house but I did not do much cooking or heating. My mother decided to ban me from the kitchen altogether, and I got KFC Streetwise 2 delivered to me everyday. It's safer that way, I suppose.

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