Sunday, February 21, 2010

The oven story

Things I planned to do this weekend:

• Finish watching my Star Trek Remastered Season Two boxset
• Read a lot
• Go to yoga
• Do a run
• Nap

Things I did not plan on doing this weekend:

• Buy a new oven

That is, however, exactly what I did.

I inherited the oven in Sparky Towers from the stupid girl who owned the place before I did, and while it's displayed some rather eccentric tendencies over the last four years (an electronic display that sometimes accelerates through cooking times like it's jumping to warp speed, beeping randomly as if it's trying to communicate with me via Morse code) it's always done what it's supposed to: i.e. cook.

Until Friday, that is.

Having gotten home from meeting Marcosy in town for coffee Friday evening (where I mocked him mercilessly for developing a Milo Ventimiglia-esque wonky mouth as a result of some dental work) I stuck two Sainsbury's jacket potatoes in the oven because I wanted a quick and easy dinner. Twenty-five minutes later I managed to tear myself away from Twitter long enough to check in on them and they were still rock hard with a gentle hint of ice around what was allegedly the 'tasty chedder cheese melt.'

Just going off track for a moment, why is it that supermarket bought jacket potatoes never - and I mean NEVER - taste as good as ones you take the effort to make yourself? Seriously, these looked, felt, and tasted like cheap breast implants.

And we're back. My first thought was that I'd done that stupid thing I've *occasionally* done of putting something in the oven but then not actually remembering to turn the oven on. But no; the oven was on, the dial was turned round to 180º, and the fan was spinning. I know this because my hair fluttered in the breeze when I opened the door. I even went so far as to tentatively rest my hand on the grill; there was no searing of flesh. It was stone cold. Maybe this was karma getting me back for mocking Marcosy's wonky mouth?

Luckily, the jacket potatoes had the option of being cooked in the microwave, so I bunged them in there then threw a bit of a strop, which only got worse when I ate them and remembered how gross they were.

So to cut a long story a smidgeon shorter, I decided I'd buy a new one (oven that is, not jacket potato). I suppose I could probably have the old one fixed, but really I have no idea how old it actually is, and visually it's a bit shabby. Not only that, but regardless of the number of times I've tried to clean it the damn thing is always sticky. Seriously, pressing the buttons feels a bit like you're pushing your finger (or any other body part I should imagine) into a tub of margarine.

And so today I trawled around a number of electrical shops before going back to the first one I set foot in and popped some money down on a silver affair that will apparently do everything I want it to (i.e. heat up oven chips and anything with Captain Birdseye on the packet). While I did object to having to splash out so much cash when I'd not actually planned to, I came around to the idea that an oven is kind of an essential household item and I really should have one that works. That and the fact that the idea of feasting on Rustlers microwave burgers for the next couple of weeks drove absolute fear into every fibre of my being.

Fun was nevertheless to be had, though, when the reasonably delightful young lady who was serving me was pushed aside by a rather pushy salesman intent on having me take out a five-year guarantee. Now, I *never* take out extended guarantees because Sparky Pa drummed it into me at a very young age that they're just a bit of a con, and his words were echoing around the empty cavern that is my skull as I listened to this guy trying to sell me on the benefits of paying an extra £80 on the off-chance that something might go wrong with my shiny new oven. I was very tempted to tell him that I would barely use the thing at the best of times, and it was really just there to fill a gap in my kitchen, but he was rabbiting on so much that I couldn't get a word in edgewise.

Eventually I managed to tell him that I wasn't interested. And then he started writing figures down on a piece of paper in a rather conspiratorial fashion, and promising to knock a rather epic £14 off the price of the oven if I took out the guarantee. This had all been a bit of a lark for a while, but now five minutes into his spiel I just wanted to pay for the bloody thing and go home and watch the telly.

"NOT. INTERESTED." I said in a rather firm voice.

I expected his reaction to be something like "oh well, that's your decision Sir" or something along those lines, but what I got was … well, he threw the pen down on the counter and turned his back to me like a stroppy toddler.

RUDE, I think you'll agree.

Anyway, so the upshot of all this is that I'm getting a new oven on Wednesday, and then I might just write a sternly worded letter of complaint to Curry's head office about the way their staff behaves in front of customers spending rather a lot of money on a Sunday afternoon. I doubt I'll get anything out of it, but I really do like nothing more than to stir things up every now and then.


Ponita in Real Life said...

You do know you can cook perfectly good 'real' food in a microwave, don't you? ;-)

Congrats on the shiny new oven, though! Have fun figuring out how it all works.

Tara said...

What are they whining about, you're buying a stove which is more expensive than the warranty he's so fervently trying to push on you. He needs to respectfully step off. That made me laugh, though, at the image of a grown man throwing his pen down and pouting. :D

Congratulations on your new oven!

Tim said...

Ponita - But you've got to have an oven! You can't do a … a roast in the microwave!

Tara - It was quite funny - I almost laughed when he stomped off!

Ponita in Real Life said...

And when is the last time you cooked a roast, Tim? You were stumbling about, trying to pull something out of the air there, that required a real oven... Go on! Admit it! You've never done one...

And in actual fact, you can... It just won't be browned on the outside... :-P

Just so you know, I've even made chocolate cake (from scratch) in the microwave. (Yeah, so... it was a bit rubbery, but it tasted okay and I was desperate!)

CyberPete said...

That was so rude! I can't believe it. Maybe he gets comission off the sale of the insurance? Anyway that's no reason to treat your customer like that.

Can't wait to see shiny new oven! I'm so jealous.

Tim said...

Ponita - Oh, NEVER! BUT! I do cook lots of fresh chicken in sauces and stuff like that that I wouldn't quite trust the microwave do!!

Although not having an oven would leave a nice gap for a comfy chair in the kitchen.

Cyberpete - Yeah, they do. Cheeky, huh?

I shall take pictures of shiny new oven as soon as it is in place!

(Quite excited by it now!)

Anonymous said...

I am more impressed that you are admitting you have eaten Breast Implants before! That takes a real a man to admit Tim. I just hope the lady that owned them was finished with her breasts before you ate them.

Congratulations on the Stove as well :)