Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Laugh At My Expense...

I thought I'd share this (mis)adventure with all of you:

I was about to clean some pots when I remembered hearing on the news that microwaving a cleaning sponge on high for 2 minutes kills any and all germs. So I decided to do it, since my sponge clearly had germs.

I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and went to watch more commentary on the State of the Union Speech (because I am a nerd). I went back to the kitchen and found that the microwave has fumes funneling out of its vents and through the small openings where the door closes. When I say fumes, I mean thick, gray clouds of smoke.

"SHIT!!" Was my verbal response to this hellacious scene, as I simultaneously push the "stop" button on the microwave and gave myself mental lashings for attempting to clean a sponge in the microwave (it's interesting how much clarity one gets when his apartment is filling with fumes...).

As I opened the microwave door to view the damage, I was instantly hit with the harshest and most basic of truths: liquid soap has chemicals, and microwaved chemicals (whatever the molecular makeup of said chemicals) cannot be good for the human immune system. The scent was something I cannot explain exactly, but it fell somewhere between Frito's Corn Chips and fresh-laid asphalt. Needless to say, my next move was to open all of my windows. What hit me next was a burning sensation in my eyes that I have never felt before, which forced me to go outside -- not only to breathe fresh air, but also to regain my ability to see. I literally could not see. I'd try to open my eyes inside, but every attempt was met with pure, burning pain.

Maybe I was supposed to clean the sponge before microwaving it, but that mattered little at this point; somehow I had to re-enter my apartment (without seeing or breathing) and remove the sponge (Ah, the sponge. I hadn't actually seen the sponge before I ran out of my apartment, fighting for my mere existence. What I found was somewhat amazing, but I'll get to that later...).

The following scene had to be comedic to anyone who would have been privileged enough to witness the event. First, I ran in, thinking I could retrieve the sponge quickly without falling prey to its fumes.

I thought wrong.

I got to about the 6th step and couldn't see anything, and I actually ran into a metal rail. I suppose that collision should have hurt, but my eyes burned much more and I was choking, so I ran (read: tumbled) back down the stairs and into heaven (read: fresh air). I did this three times before my Williams College educated ass finally had an idea: "I should probably allow the apartment to air out a bit before attempting to enter again."

So I sat outside at around 1:30 am in below freezing temperatures dressed in shorts and a t-shirt for about 40 minutes. I bared the cold -- not because I am a tough guy, but because I had no other choice. Besides, I figured my sacrifice would pay off. "By now, I should be able to enter, right?"

Well, sort of. I got to the top of the stairs without incident. However, the kitchen was still a gas chamber, as I learned the hard way (I've shown this trait time and time again...). So I ran into my bedroom and closed the door. I really had no ideas on how to proceed, but at least I could breathe. But I couldn't just let the smoldering sponge just sit in my kitchen; I had to get rid of it if I wanted to reclaim my apartment. So, I decided to employ the "Fuck it!" plan, which basically consists of an attitude of utter defiance against all odds.

What happened next would have made the best sit-com writer envious of what he/she had witnessed. I closed my eyes, held my breath, and ran toward the kitchen to rid my abode of the noxious object. Using only my mental map of my apartment, I proceeded to walk into every wall in my apartment; I once briefly opened my eyes (thinking I was in the kitchen) to find myself standing over the toilet...

Once I found my way to the kitchen, I stumbled toward the microwave to find a smoldering, shriveled brown..."thing" that was (I kid you not) bubbling on all four corners. The fact that the bubbling and the fumes continued to flow from the sponge was actually amazing to me, considering this was about an hour after this nightmare began. But then I remembered that my eyes were melting away, so I tore off a section of paper towel and used it to pick up this possessed object and took it directly to the garbage...outside.

Needless to say, the noxious odor continued to permeate from the kitchen, and I was afraid to go to sleep for fear that I may not wake up.


E said...

You're not the only one who's had this problem. (

I heard that part of the problem is that this only works with normal sponges, not ones with the green scouring pads on one side since those scouring pads contain trace metal particles.

Brother Spotless said...

I did not wet the sponge, and the sponge had a green scouring pad as well. Double whammy...