Baking Balloons

Each time I’ve turned my oven on over the last few weeks, I’ve been met with the stench of burning rubber. It’s not some jerk doing wheelies on my street. It’s the orange balloon that’s melted on my oven door and melted onto the metal racks.

How did a balloon get in the oven, you ask? Wouldn’t I like to know. Actually, I don’t. It doesn’t really matter how it got there. The point is, it’s there and I haven’t cleaned it up yet. It could have been the eight year old, though I doubt it. Surely she’s old enough to know better, right? And the baby can’t reach to open the oven, so that just leaves the five-year old. I’m not sure why he would do such a thing. So, there remains the option that it could have been an accident.

The first time I noticed the problem, I spotted something orange on the cookie sheet my husband had used to bake hot wings. The orange was about the same color as the sauce. When it wouldn’t wipe off, I was surprised. It had a very odd consistency and I was really curious as to how my husband had managed to get wing sauce UNDER the baking sheet. (Ladies, try to refrain from speculating about how men manage to fend for themselves. Men, try not to get too defensive.)

The next time I spotted the situation was with my sniffer. I was preheating the oven for something. Can’t remember what. Let’s just say it was cookies. Stories are always better when you can imagine eating a chocolate chip cookie. Anyway, I threw the cookies into the oven and instead of smelling sweet sweet goodness cooking, I smelled rubber. Then I remembered the orange goo on the under side of the hot wing pan. I opened the door to the oven and saw a streak of orange across the door and on the rack where the wings had been. The correct guess of a balloon would have been far off, had it not been for that giveaway little ring. You know, the part you get red-faced blowing into.

The balloon incident got me thinking. First, how did it get there? Second, why do things always end up where they don’t belong? Oh geez, the other day I found a diaper in the washing machine. Another time, it was a pack of gum in the dryer. (That is a really big pain in the butt to clean up, by the way.) These are just a few of the many bizarre items found in bizarre places. So bizarre, in fact, upon finding them, I tend to turn and look for the hidden camera. Surely, I’ve just been punked and Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out with a toddler on his hip and say “Psych! Your kids totally got you!” Never happens though. It’s always just me and a google search trying to figure out how to clean up the latest weird mess.

What weird stuff have you found? My mom has a great story about my brother, a frog and the washing machine. Okay, maybe it’s not so great….

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