…Even if you don’t follow them.
A classic line from a classic bit of spoken word, that being Baz Lurhmann’s “Wear Sunscreen.” (To give credit where due, it was written by Chicago Trib Columnist Mary Schmich, actually, and performed by Lee Perry… Produced by Baz, so he tends to get all of the kudos…)
Now that we’ve set that record straight, suffice it to say, the advice is sound. Of course, as the song also says, advice is a form of nostalgia. A way of fishing the past from the disposal, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
Problem is, when the recycling center isn’t open, all you can do is lob it over the fence and wait to see if they send you a check. By that I mean, teenagers aren’t all that good at reading directions. Maybe some are, but I can only speak from my own experiences. Hey, even I will admit that as a teen I often experienced DADD – Drooling Attention Deficit Disorder – by the time I reached the third sentence in any given set of directions.
It’s probably a hormonal thing, who knows… (Now that I’ve said that, someone with SDD - Satire Deficit Disorder – will be sure to explain it to me.)
The thing about teens afflicted with DADD is that they will do stuff that you just can’t make up. And, in their defense, I’m more than willing to believe that the advances in technology have contributed to this problem.
Case in point, my niece.
Now, the incident in question occurred a few years before the age of Proboscis Piercing arrived, therefore I know it simply had to be a case of DADD, and not brains accidentally escaping through the third nostril. And, I will give her kudos for actually READING the directions. The problem is, she comes from a different time.
Allow me to explain…
It was Christmas as I recall. But then, I’m old, so maybe I don’t recall properly. What I can say for certain was that the family was all gathered at my mother & father-in-law’s house for some sort of all day celebration. Although we had consumed mass quantities of food at some point during this process, the niece was hungry again and wanted something different than the leftovers. In particular she wanted some manner of carb. My mother-in-law rummaged around and pointed her toward a bag of those frozen biscuit pucks.
All good. A biscuit puck or two should certainly fit the bill where carbs are concerned.
Niece read the directions and then set about puck preparation while the rest of us gathered around the table and talked about the various things that non-teenage folks talk about, which is to say, stuff that bores the living daylights out of the teenage folks. Yeah. Grown ups are mean like that.
Four or five minutes into the conversation an odd smell began wafting over the half-wall from the kitchen and into the dining room. I looked up just in time to see the interior of the microwave burst into flames.
Scrambling occurred, and I don’t mean eggs. In a matter of a few seconds the fire was extinguished before it could spread beyond the confines of the newfangled coffee re-heater. Once the crisis was over and the investigation into the origin of the fire began, we didn’t have to look far. There, smoldering in the center of the Pyrex turntable was a charred disc. Truth is, it looked far more like an actual puck at this point than a biscuit.
As one cohesive unit, the entire forensic investigation team turned to the niece (daughter, granddaughter).
“Wow…” she mumbled. “I wonder why it did that…”
We were dumbfounded. “What do you mean you wonder why it did that?” one of us asked.
She shrugged. “The directions said to cook it for ten minutes. It shouldn’t even be done yet.”
The moral of the story? We need to bring back Home Ec in schools. If for no other reason than to teach these kids the difference between an REGULAR oven, a TOASTER oven, and a MICROWAVE oven before they burn the planet to a cinder. (We’ll save Infra Red and Convection for the advanced class…)
Just think, it could even count as a History credit…
More to come…