Friday, September 23, 2016

1698 No Laughing Matter

Here’s the quandary:  The old pressure cooker no longer works.  It’s one of those snazzy electrical things, with a 1990-ish Star Trekky control panel on a brushed chrome body.  It’s taking a lot of valuable cupboard real estate and we have to get rid of it.

Sounds like a simple problem. Isn’t. You can’t put something like that out on the curb for collection without attracting a visit from the bomb squad.

Thoughts wander in this direction:  A cop with a bullhorn at 3 am on a weekday announces for all the neighborhood to hear

“This is the police.  Your house is surrounded. Come outside with your hands up.”

Thoughts of eager officers with one of those break-down-the-entrance ramrods eager to swing it at the front door, turning it to splinters and rolling a flash-bang grenade into the living room followed by a canister of rifle-launched teargas.

The bomb robot rolls to the curbside pressure cooker, picks it up, rolls it into a truck with steel walls three feet thick and slams the door shut.  Then we’re all cuffed and herded into patrol cars or a paddy wagon and taken “downtown” for interrogation.

Meantime, as the teargas clears, still more officers, these in hazmat suits, are scouring the house for traces of ammonium nitrate or dispatching bomb dogs to sniff every corner.

Guys!  It’s just a pressure cooker.  No bomb. Just a broken 1990s Star Trekky kitchen appliance.

Okay, curbside disposal is out.  Maybe we can bag the thing and after dark slip it into someone’s dumpster.  That’s a crime called theft of services.  But it sure beats a visit from the bomb squad and its ramrods, flashbang grenades, tear gas canisters, hazmat suits and handsome German Shepherds with sensitive noses.

Except when Homer and Gomer take their trash to the dumpster and spot the chrome thing and call the police, the scene will take place as described and cause a fuss out in back of the big box store.

The place and surrounding buildings will be evacuated and closed for the duration.  They’ll find fingerprints on the cooker -- our fingerprints -- and the whole break-down-the-door scene will spread to our house.

It’s just a pressure cooker, officers.  No bomb. Nothing but the fumes left by years of cooking the yummy kind of mush that pressure cookers make.  One pot dinners. Can’t you see the little picture of Wolfgang Puck or Emeril or Paula Deen on the side there?

Who would want to blow up Wolfgang or Emeril or Paula?  (Well, maybe Paula… but really!)

Maybe we should rent a steam roller and flatten the thing in a road somewhere. No one would be bothered by the sight of a former pressure cooker that’s been reduced to two dimensions by a 44-thousand pound steamroller.  

Plus where do you rent a steamroller?

Maybe just leave the pot in the cupboard.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

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