So, while I was at home, sick, dashing for a plastic bag or the toilet bowl yesterday, I secretly cheered the auspicious nature of the sick day, because it allowed me to prepare for the return of the oven repair man, previously known as Mr. Amblyopia.  I’m developing a theory of our oven — that it hates cupcakes, and that it can’t stand to be watched.  Sure enough, I put in a batch of oatsies (but without pecans, ugh), hoping they’d be burning to high heavens by the time 4:30 rolled around.  I was really vested in this experiment.  I pulled myself off the couch, where I’d lain for the past 8 hours, and managed to stay upright long enough to mix up the batter and preheat the oven.  I couldn’t stay up long enough to wait for the right time to put them in the oven and babysit them, so Mr. Apron did that when he got home. 

He popped the pan in the oven, and we watched the clock’s minutes tick by, reminding ourselves that the VCR clock is now 3 minutes fast (it creeps up, no matter what we do.  At least the alarm clock is atomically synchronized.  Not that it helps my morning waking anxiety…).  Finally, he pulled in.  Mr. Amblyopia put his thermometer in the oven, and we waited.  The timer buzzed, and out came perfectly bubbling oatsies.  Mr. Apron dumped chocolate morsels on top and carefully spread them.  Still, we waited.  Mr. Amblyopia questioned me about the nail-polish painted temperatures on the dials.  I showed him the cupcake.  Still, we waited.  Mr. Apron left to go teach his student.  Finally, we checked the thermometer.  Dead on balls accurate.  Of course. 

So I dialed in some sympathy, hopefully, expressing how I understood it was his job to report back to the home warranty folks, and how he was supposed to witness first-hand what we talked about.  How I understood just anybody could make a claim, and it didn’t make sense for the warranty people to go around giving away new ovens.  Blah, blah, blah.  Then I turned it on.  An intermittent problem, when it comes to an oven, is really quite significant.  You never know if it’s going to ruin your baked goods.  And I do a lot of baking, I demonstrated.  You can’t just keep opening the oven to check when you have a souffle or a cheesecake in there; it’ll get ruined!  (NB: I have never made a cheese cake or a souffle in my life, but they’re great examples).  So, really, I concluded, an intermittently broken oven is just as bad as a broken oven.  If you can’t rely on it to work all the time, you can’t rely on it to work at all. 

I think I sold him on it.  He refused to take the burnt cupcake (as evidence) or a warm chocolatey oatsie (as a bribe), but he left saying he’d try to convince the warranty company to let him install a new thermostat.  I was hoping for a new oven.  Too bad these things aren’t so complex as all that, and you can just replace a part in a 30 year old oven and have it be, sigh, as good as new.  But isn’t that what we wanted all along?  I mean, assuming we weren’t trying to schlong the home warranty company?

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