The legend of the microwave and the bird

I forgot to mention that Libertas recently posted this review of Andrew Klavan’s new novel, Damnation Street. As you know, I boost Klavan at every opportunity. I’ve got to read these newer mysteries. Unfortunately, no store in the Twin Cities seems to carry them in stock. Wouldn’t have anything to do with his politics, do you think? Nah, not here.

This will probably be my last post till Monday. I’m driving down to Iowa for the Viking Meet in Elk Horn, and although I’ll be staying in a motel room and bringing my laptop, I never count on web access.

Today’s interesting anecdote:

I was asked to sit in on what is called a “President’s Lunch” at the Bible School today, because a couple who plan to donate a large number of books to our archives were going to be there. When they told me where they came from, I told a story about my one visit to that town. I had been there with my musical group in the early ’70s, and my hosts had told me an anecdote about a microwave oven.

The lady laughed. “That was us,” she said. “That was our story.” They turned out to be the same people we’d met on that first visit. (Not so great a coincidence, considering the size of the town.)

The story goes like this:

This was just when microwave ovens were first entering the consumer market. They were very high tech stuff, and not a little frightening. Some people refused to eat food cooked in the things.

This particular couple had a neighbor who was selling microwaves. He made them a thirty-day offer. “Try it out, see how you like it,” he said. “You can cook almost anything with this, in almost no time. You can cook a twelve pound turkey.”

The couple told him they were going to take a chance and cook their Thanksgiving turkey in the microwave. They told him several times, to make sure he knew how important it was to them.

On Thanksgiving Day, at lunchtime, when everyone was sitting down with their families to eat, they called their neighbor.

“What have we done wrong?” they cried. “Come over here! Look what your microwave oven has done to our twelve-pound turkey!”

The neighbor and his wife left their meal and came over immediately, instruction book in hand.

“Look at this!” said the couple.

There on the turkey platter sat a tiny miniature bird, trussed, browned, but so small….

The dealer and his wife obsessed over the malfunction for some time, until the stifled laughs of the couple’s children tipped them off.

The couple had carefully stitched up and cooked a Cornish Game Hen.

I’ve always thought that was a pretty good practical joke.

7 thoughts on “The legend of the microwave and the bird”

  1. I’m not a fan of practical jokes; but I like it. I’ll tell you one that was played on one of the pro football players here. The ‘victim’ is a tough, trash talker… and in response to a joke he’d played on a player, the fellow put a mouse (yes, a tiny little mouse) in his locker. This guy comes in, opens his locker and SCREAMS when he sees the mouse and flies backward. The villian in the piece picks up the mouse and carries it toward Mr. Smackmouth…. who goes running out of the locker room… while all the other players fall down laughing.

  2. I played a practical joke once–well, actually, I was a member of the team that played it. I’ll tell the story when the statute of limitations runs out. It’s been almost 35 years now, so October should be safe.

    Remind me.

  3. My grandpa told me about a practical joke he did to one of his workers when he had a farm.

    He had this guy working for him for a long time, but he was kind of frightened of almost anything.

    One day my grandpa took a hook and went to this guy’s room while he was away, then he put a hat and a coat on it, and then hung it from the ceiling, just a few steps after the doorway.

    When this guy arrived from work late at night, he ran screaming to my grandpa telling him someone had suicided in his room!

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