“Oats are the most dangerous of breakfast foods”, I tweeted somewhat prophetically on Monday morning.
See, despite my most careful preparations, I still managed to have my morning bowl of oats explode all over the office microwave. Smooth, real smooth. And, of course, as if that wasn’t enough, I also burned the roof of my mouth in my desire to actually have a breakfast that wasn’t trying to kill me.
Fast forward to Thursday morning… I’m over-tired, desperately looking forward to the long weekend. And, heaven forbid, wanting breakfast. I go through the motions. Oats. Water. Microwave. Low heat, because otherwise breakfast ends up decorating the microwave. Medium heat, because I’ve just realised how much shit I’ve got to do before all the public holidays, and can’t really face spending six minutes playing an excruciating game of the-oats-in-the-microwave-go-round-and-round.
Now, the office cereal bowls are mighty pretty. White, clean, decent-sized. But my god, do they retain heat like nobody’s business. I once heated up a stir-fry in one of these so-called “Microwave Friendly” bowls and almost dropped the damn thing all over my shoes after I took it out the microwave. So you can imagine what oats do to these bowls.
But, because it’s Thursday morning and I’m multitasking and trying to send pictures from my phone to my work email because the office Easter Egg Hunt was that morning and I absolutely must get the photos up, I forget that The Bowl Is Lava. And start taking it out the microwave… Foolishly, with my bare hands. The “Oh shit this is hot” registers, and I half-drop the bowl onto the edge of the microwave tray, and try to grab the stupid fucking thing before it pours all over my stomach and shoes and whatnot.
Bear in mind that microwaved oats are the closest thing to napalm in the civilian world.
Now, I’m pretty sure stuff like this is supposed to happen in slow-motion. It totally does in the movies. But this happened lightning fast. I tried to grab the sides of the bowl to catch it. I was 50 percent successful. Left hand was fine, right hand was plunged into the volcanic breakfast food.
I didn’t scream, I didn’t cry. Instead, I calmly turned to the kitchen sink to run my hand under some water. Only, there was somebody there, filling up the kettle. At an immensely leisurely pace, I might add. I calmly asked her to “Please move”, and I think she may have replied something about the kettle. I then informed her that I was “on fire” and pretty much lost control of my voice at that stage, snapping at her to “PLEASE. MOVE”. She did, at almost snail-like pace, it felt. And blessed, blessed cool water was running down my hand.
And so it was that I ended up feeding myself oats with my left-hand and flinching with every keystroke, and dashing to the water cooler at the gym. (Of course, Hardcore Gym Guy took one look at me running my hand under the water and quipped something about “That’s not going to work”. I’m not sure if he meant it wasn’t going to help my hydration, or it wasn’t going to help the pain from lifting weights. Regardless, he got the Sad Oat Story) .
It also meant that I spent a large portion of my night out last night stealing ice out of people’s drinks and resting my hand against the coldest glass on the table.
Today, I have the gnarliest blisters on my right knuckle, and a healthier appreciation for yoghurt and cold milk.