Found an uber-cute plantation-style house for rent in Maui a few years ago (admittedly less “Gone with the Wind,” and more 140-yr-old sharecropper’s cottage) on an old banana plantation, complete with original plumbing AND appliances. Quaint, but not without some inconveniences.
Jake, then 6, came home and announced he needed to take cookies to school the next day for yet another fundraiser. (Seriously? $9000 a year for private school and they need a BAKE SALE?) Trying not to panic, since I don’t cook and those “I sew MY child’s Halloween costume myself” mothers can be mean, I decided to at least attempt to fit in and make my kid proud.
Dug up what looked like a simple cookie recipe (no weird “cream of tartar” or instructions on how to draw little happy faces on the top with pointy tubes of frosting…for the love of God, who ARE these women??), set out the ingredients, then read “Preheat the oven to 350.” Hmmm. There’s 5 knobs on the front. When I turn the one that says “Temp,” all I hear is a hissing sound from inside the oven. I may not be Martha in the kitchen, but I’m reasonably sure ovens should not hiss. Called a girlfriend, who asked if the pilot light was on. WTH is a “pilot light”? “You have a gas oven. You need to light the pilot light inside the oven to turn it on.” Historically, kitchens with flames have not worked out well for me, but this was for MY BOY, so I was going in.
Clueless about where to find the mysterious pilot light, I flicked on a long candle-type lighter, opened the oven door, stuck the lighter in and waved it around, hoping it would somehow figure out where to go so I could get chopping on my bragging rights.
The next thing I heard was a BANG, immediately followed by a WHOOOSH of thick, greasy black smoke billowing out of the oven, covering me, the walls, the table, all my ingredients, and Poi, the mangy (and now seriously pissed) plantation cat that happened to stroll by looking for handouts, with oily black soot. Well, crap.
Jake is standing in the doorway, doubled over with laughter, with all the glee of a first-grader whose mother has just completely torched her kitchen for his personal amusement, while he chortled, “Boy, the other mothers aren’t going to believe THIS. We should take a picture of you, Mom. This is GREAT!!” Pick up that camera and die, mister.
But give me an hour to clean up this mess, take a shower and hose down the cat. Then we’re off to Safeway for Oreos. And if I get kicked off the Christmas Pageant Committee, we’re going back for wine. Bet those mothers can’t make THAT.
"Vikki is an author, humor blogger, public speaker, and former newspaper columnist. She can be found in "Life Well Blogged, Parenting Gag Reels," available at Amazon.com. She has been regularly featured on Erma Bombeck's Writer's Website and Better After 50 online magazine. Vikki shares her most embarrassing moments as she comes to terms with middle age, and she laughs as hard as we do. So pour the wine, grab your Spanx, and check her out at Laugh Lines!
Blog: Laugh Lines
***In case you missed it, Meno Mama is in a really cool blogging contest called Voice Boks! I would be very grateful if you could take a moment of your time to toss a vote my way. It's real easy---just click on the link here, scroll down to my blog name "Menopausal Mom," then click on the heart next to it and BAM you're done! Thank you for your support! http://voiceboks.com/top-50-hilariously-funny-nominated-parent-bloggers-2014