May 8, 2009

no nukes

This post of Lagusta's got me thinking about microwaves, my past love of them, my fear of them, and how I use them as an excuse to pat myself on the back.

The short of the story is that I don't have a microwave, and I generally feel good about that. I have an occasional moment of thinking that maybe I'm a fool, and I could spend way less time accomplishing much more if I didn't have hangups about things like microwaves, except that I just do have hangups about things like microwaves.

There is one at work that sits literally 5 feet from my head, and my co-worker puts metal takeout containers in there, supposedly on a "bake" setting, and runs it for 20 or 30 minutes at a time. She sometimes sticks in a fork or two just to get the rays going crazy. I get an instant headache. I literally get dizzy in about 30 seconds, start to lose my vision, and have to get up and leave. I've talked with her about the microwave multiple times, but she either doesn't give a shit, or is pretending to have forgotten. This microwave feels on my brain like those old time mega microwaves in Circle K* used to feel. Some guy would be microwaving his frozen burrito, and you'd walk by, from the lowrider magazines to the saladitos, for example, and feel your flesh melting off your bones from nuke power.

*For those who do not comprende, Circle K is a 7-11 of the west. It's mostly the same: the poor night shift people get held up at gunpoint, they sell lots of lotto tickets and beer. There you get thirstbusters instead of big gulps.

The very first (and last) microwave I had I really loved. Nobody in my family cooked, AND we were always on diets. (Those thirstbusters were diet pop, and I ate buttered tortillas folded into quarters instead of sandwiches, because they were thinner.) 1980 rolled around and we got a mammoth microwave. My mother, a no nukes activist, hid in the other room when we turned it on. I never got headachey from that microwave, but my diet did improve, opening the world to frozen weight watchers and lean cuisine dinners. And little frozen diet desserts in only four minutes! When, in 7th grade, my friend and I invented a language (CAG) and wrote a book (The World According to CAG), there was a word for this machine. Micre, pronounced mick-ree. It was revered.

My parents moved on to smaller models, and the mammoth stayed with me. I went vegetarian and resorted to eating cheese melted on bread for every meal, prepared in my beloved microwave. When I went vegan, the microwave ceased to be useful (no cheese!), and got the boot. But I learned how to cook, then, out of necessity, and was, therefore, able to keep my curves on. I know you were worried I might be some skinny old thing...

Now I'm making baby food (of all things!) and dealing with the land of frozen food. I can see why someone would think a microwave useful. But I can't, I just can't. I've seen too many at people's houses where the insides are splattered with various kinds of food, then nuked into an indistinguishable filth. There was the argument I had with my rocket scientist friend where he insisted I had to believe the space program is valuable (I don't) because I was personally benefitting from access to microwave technology. All those billions of dollars just for microwaves and space trash and satellites that get mistaken for extra bright stars? And then there's my brains melting at work. That's proof, isn't it, that there's something still very wrong with these machines?

No, along with my pride over no t.v. (though now I watch trash on the computer, oh no), I'm keeping my anti-microwave sentiments intact, and feeling clever over it. Even if that makes me an idiot.

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