Construction has begun. It’s not much so far — just a bit of concrete slab here and there, but you can almost tell where the house will be once there’s one here.
While that’s been going great, other things, like my cooking, haven’t panned out quite so well. Cooking… pan? Get it? Never mind.
Cooking has never been my strong suit. I can burn water and undercook Minute Rice. Still, a guy can’t live on yogurt and orange juice alone, so every once in a while I try to actually make food.
I really shouldn’t. When I do, things like this happen.
Yes, this morning as I was preparing the most important meal of the day, I managed to light myself on fire. It was not a pretty sight… there was lots of jumping up and down, screaming, and general panic. Somehow, though, in the midst of my Johnny Storm impression, the very tiny part of my brain responsible for keeping me alive somehow shouted loud enough to be heard over the clamor of the other parts of my brain that were squealing like Jamie Lee Curtis.
“The shower, you moron,” that voice commanded me. “Get your ass in it. Now!”
I obeyed, shrieking like a man on fire, which I was.
Fortunately, it worked. It was too late for the sweater, but truth be told, I have a closet full of them. Every good geek keeps spare cardigans on hand for emergencies like this. You didn’t honestly think I was wearing the same one every day, did you? No, don’t answer that.
Unfortunately, the crisis wasn’t quite over. After thoroughly dousing myself with water, I ran back to the stove, which was still torching up like Michael Jackson in a Pepsi commercial. Again, I heard that little voice in my head above the sound of a 12-year-old girl shrieking in panic, which couldn’t possibly have been coming from my voice box, even though it was.
That little voice in my head is clearly smarter than I am. I grabbed the ray gun I’d built at work from on top of the pile of laundry next to the bed. I also picked up the sweater that was laying under it, because I knew there was no way pictures weren’t going to get posted of this event. I really didn’t want evidence of me in all my naked glory pointing a gun at a burning stove floating around the internet for all eternity. Rule 34 dictates that there are fetish sites for stuff like that.
Clad in my second-favorite yellow cardigan, I ran back to the space that will some day be my kitchen, aimed Cailleach at the stove, and pulled the trigger.
A few seconds later, the fire was out.
The whole episode got me thinking. What if I never had to cook? What if I could create a Star Trek-like replicator that changed matter from one form to another? I could point it at, say, a bowl of cereal, and it could turn it into something a bit more filling, like a roast chicken, without the unnecessary inconvenience of third-degree burns. At work later that day, I started working on it.
The transformation of matter is something that scientists have been trying to pull off for centuries, but I was sure I could do it. By the end of the day, I had a prototype, an upgraded version of Calleach with my new transmutation circuitry. I didn’t trust my own work enough to try it on something I was going to eat, since I’m not really into poisoning myself. I figured I’d test it on something a bit less edible like, say, Mr. Seymour’s desk chair.
If the intent of my invention was to save people from lighting themselves on fire while cooking breakfast, My attempt at a solution met with only limited success. And by “limited success,” I mean it failed miserably.
Mr. Seymour’s chair, his desk, and his computer, lit up like Richard Pryor with a crack pipe.
I quickly flipped the switch on Cailleach back to “Ice” and fired again. Fortunately, that function still worked properly. I was able to put out the fire before it spread past Mr. Seymour’s workspace, which I’m thankful for not just because these offices are a priceless storehouse of scientific knowledge, but also because torching the place to the ground could do really negative things to my employment status.
I guess I’m just going to have to learn how to cook, and give up on the alchemy. A geek like me should have known better than to mess with forces that totally jacked up Edward and Alphonse Elric.