I love to cook. It’s one of my simple pleasures in life– finding ingredients that will work together and make some yummy deliciousness. And as much as I’d like to say I’m a gourmet, I’m not. I have a couple of gourmet tricks and meals up my sleeves, and if I can find the ingredients, I can follow any recipe. But most of the time I’m a simple food girl or a comfort food girl.
That means the Crock Pot is sometimes my best friend. So you can imagine my surprise the day it tried to kill me.
The Crock Pot lives on top of my kitchen cabinets. There’s nowhere else to put it, so it adorns the upper realm of the kitchen alongside vases, serving trays, a few baskets and a terra cotta wine bottle chiller. If I want to use it, I have to climb up on my little step ladder and haul it down. It’s a full-sized thing, hefty enough to be a slight, but not daunting, challenge for a girl like me to pull down from over her head.
That’s where things went terribly awry.
One day a few months ago, as I was pulling it down from its perch, the glass lid, rimmed in chrome, slid off the top. Before I even saw it, it had struck a hard blow right at my face. The rim slammed with all the lid’s weight behind it at a diagonal, hitting me in a line that ran from the bridge of my nose under my left eye and down across my cheekbone.
Ow ow ow ow ow.
Dazed and waiting for my vision to clear, I put the rest of the Pot down on the counter and carefully climbed down from the step ladder. You know that smell that you smell sometimes when you get bopped in the kisser? It’s a funny, fleeting smell…. I can’t describe it. It’s like your nose goes haywire trying to figure out what it ever did to earn such a beating. Anyway, I smelled that, and my sinuses cleared out, presumably running for cover. The little birdies that were circling my head (between stars) pointed and laughed at me in their high-pitched voices. I looked around to figure out where the lid had gone, and whether it had shattered into sharp and deadly pieces.
I could feel the flesh under my eye puffing up already.
Oh, well, this is fantastic. I’m going to have a black eye. From the Crock Pot.
I checked in the mirror on the freezer door – a leftover from my college years when my roommate Beth had put it on the freezer in our campus apartment. She left the mirror (which she had decorated back in high school with painted-on hearts and her completely inappropriate nickname for a guy she had a crush on) to me when she graduated, and I’ve always kept it on the freezer. I guess it’s supposed to make me confront myself if I reach for ice cream. Now I think it’s weird when other people don’t have mirrors on their freezer doors.
Anyway, I looked in the mirror. Sure enough, the bruise was already forming, swelling up a bit just under my left eye socket.
I reached into the freezer and grabbed a chicken cutlet.
What? I didn’t have any ice.
And no, this is not the first time I’ve used a frozen chicken cutlet to tend to medical needs.
Walking around with meat on my face and little tweety birds still circling above me, I tried to reason out exactly how to explain my injury to concerned co-workers and others. I had visions of strangers passing me and glancing worriedly… of co-workers whispering to each other in their cubicles or sending each other computer messages as they cast furtive looks in my direction.
And me, smiling awkwardly, flustered and redfaced: “Oh, no. It wasn’t what you think. It was my Crock Pot.”
Yeah. That’ll fly.
Fortunately, the bruise somehow skipped the black-and-blue stage and went right to the yellow-and-green stage. That’s much easier to cover with makeup, so I didn’t need to offer what was sure to be considered a lame explanation for what was clearly a case of domestic violence.
And wasn’t it?
Today, I have once again climbed up the step ladder to fetch the Crock Pot from its perch. It’s too hot to turn the oven on, so this is the best option. But every time I use it now, I’m very careful to make sure I keep a check on that rogue lid. It’s one thing to die alone and not be found for days. It’s another thing when the cause of death was a Crock Pot.
I mean that’s just dumb.
Though I am thinking about getting a Salad Shooter. For self-defense. In case I’m ever attacked by a vegetable.