Friday, July 18, 2008

Oven Exorcism

I really thought today would be a nice, mellow Friday. I didn't have to work, so I woke up and had a light breakfast (Greek yogurt with berries and a cup of Earl Grey), poked around on-line a bit, then went to the library, where I paid my late fines and picked up a few books, including Heat by Bill Buford, which I have been wanting to read for sometime now. I considered several good-looking cookbooks, but decided to wait until I had a working oven. I was gone for maybe an hour, tops.

I am home for maybe ten minutes, and my oven starts beeping. "Hmm?" I say to myself as I head into the kitchen. The "pre-heated" light is blinking on my oven, and it continues to beep, which is normal for when it is preheated, but is not normal now, as the oven is off. I notice a note on the counter- "Replaced timer. Have to order baking element. Tuesday at the latest. -Maintenance Guy." I think that oh, maybe since Guy replaced the timer, it accidentally got turned on, and it's the timer going off. Upon closer inspection, this is not the case, as the timer light is not on, and the display screen mysteriously says "F2". I press the off button anyway. Of course, nothing happens, but I notice the oven (which is set to "Off") is really hot. I open the door, and the broiler is blazing away. This is not good.

I call the office (with the beeping continuing in the background) and explain the situation. Office Lady tells me as soon as Guy is back, she'll send him over. Fifteen minutes pass. The beeping hasn't stopped, and the apartment is starting to smell like a cross between an overheated computer and a hot-melt glue gun. I call again. Lady is polite but unconcerned, and firmly tells me Guy isn't back yet. I ask her to page him, she says she will.

Half an hour passes. The apartment is about 90 degrees, the air conditioning is running furiously, the beeping continues, and I move anything even remotely meltable/flammable away from the oven, which is so hot I can barely touch it. I am a raw bundle of nerves- freaked out, worried and totally pissed. I call the office again. Lady is a little annoyed and tells me Guy went home (?!*@!) but that she just sent Other Maintenance Guy out with some tickets, including mine. She says he probably went to the others first (of course, she probably didn't mention that mine might be kind of important.)

I call Kyle, angry and almost in tears (probably not helped by the fact that I have been to scared to go anywhere near the kitchen to make myself lunch and I am starving), and whine about the situation to him.

Half an hour later and still nothing. My head hurts, and I'm not sure if it's hunger, the beeping (which continues, uninterrupted), stress or the fumes. I call Kyle again. His co-worker suggests flipping the circuit to the oven, and I feel stupid for not thinking of that over an hour ago. I flip the circuit off, and the beeping stops, finally. I put our oscillating fan in front of the oven, grab a banana, and collapse on the sofa.

Finally, three hours and fifteen minutes after the whole ordeal began, Other Guy shows up. "Your oven doesn't work?" he asks. (Clearly, Lady didn't explain the situation to him. Grrr.) I explain the situation to him, and he seems concerned. He fiddles around with the now-cool oven and replaces the new timer with the old timer. When he flips the circuit, everything is back to the way it was before. Not normal, just the way it was before. He tries the oven out. "It still doesn't heat up," he says. "I guess Guy's ordering that part." I tell him I don't care right now, as long as the beeping stops and the oven won't burn down the apartment.

I finally eat something when he leaves- some cherries, some soy crisps and two microwaved s'mores. I'm so frazzled now... It was a long day. So, the devil is still in my oven, but at least its quieted... For now...


Emiline said...

Oh Pumpkin! That is so scary! I wouldn't have known what to do. I wouldn't even know where the circuit was.
The same thing happened to our oven a while back, where the broiler wouldn't turn off. That is sooo dangerous.

Glad you're okay! At least you had some fruit. I would have been so frazzled that I would have eaten like a whole pizza or something.
Like the new look by the way.

Pumpkin said...

It was sooo scary! Our bathroom is on the opposite wall from the oven, and when I put my hand on the bathroom wall, I could feel the heat from the oven through the walls!