Monday, November 18, 2019


11:45 at night. My cell phone rings, waking me from sleep.

It’s Craig.

Dr. Grumpy : “This is doctor. … I mean, hi, Craig. You okay?”

(loud noise, someone yelling in background)

Craig: “Hi, Dad. Hey, how do I put out a fire in a microwave?"

I’m suddenly REALLY AWAKE.

(loud crash)

Craig: “Never mind, my roommate put it out.”

Voice in background: “What a mess, I'm going to get some towels."

Dr. Grumpy: “What’s going on?”

Craig: “Oh, nothing big, I guess. Hey, what’s a good way to get smoke out of a dorm room?”

Dr. Grumpy “Open the door and all the windows and put that fan you have in one of them.”

Craig: “Hang on… Okay, where’d I put the fan… guess that outlet isn’t going to work anymore, I’ll call maintenance in the morning.”

Dr. Grumpy: “Craig, what’s going on?”

Craig: “We were just making cookies, it’s fine now. I mean, it will be when the smoke is gone. Hey, can you order me a new microwave ramen dish thing from Amazon or something?”

Dr. Grumpy: “Why do you need a new one?”

Craig: “The other one is, um, kind of melted. I don’t think I can use it again.” (voice in background says something) “can you toss me some towels? Thanks. Sorry, Dad, there’s water everywhere. We had to throw a few buckets of water inside the microwave. (voice in background says something) I don’t think we can eat it, with the plastic melted into it on that side.”

Dr. Grumpy: “What…”

Craig: “Hand me the bag, I’ll just toss the ramen thing in there. OW! SHIT! IT’S HOT! SHIT! Hey, Dad, I think I burned my hand.”

Dr. Grumpy: “Put ice on it.”

Craig: “Will a cold Diet Coke can be okay?”

Dr. Grumpy: “If it’s all you have.”

Craig: “Okay.”

Dr. Grumpy: “Craig, What’s going on?”

Craig: “Oh, … We were just trying to make cookies. My roommate and I felt like cookies, so we bought a tub of cookie dough at the store.”

Dr. Grumpy: "You were making them in a microwave ramen dish?”

Craig: “It’s all we had, so we filled it up with dough, more like a cookie cake, I guess, figuring that way we’d be able to cook it all at once."

Dr. Grumpy: “Didn't the dough's microwave directions give you a time?”

Craig: “The tub didn’t have microwave directions, just regular oven, so we used those, but i guess that was too long. The cookie cake exploded and the bottom of the ramen pan melted and was smoking, then caught fire. My roommate tried to smother it with some paper towels, but then they caught fire, too."

Dr. Grumpy: “I wouldn’t…”

Craig: “Some guy on YouTube said it would bake them, but it didn’t. Hey, how long will it take all the smoke to clear from my room? I want to go to bed.”

Dr. Grumpy: “So go to bed.”

Craig: “I don't want to go to bed and leave all the doors and windows open, someone might steal my stuff.”

Dr. Grumpy: “Maybe a few hours.”

Craig: “Oh, good. I thought it might be days."


Andy said...

Attaboy, Craig. Improvise, adapt, overcome. And when all else fails, call Dad.

Anonymous said...

What's he studying? Advanced Stupidity?!

Moose said...

Except for throwing water on an electrical fire (eesh), this isn't THAT bonkers.

Yes, you can bake (bar) cookies in a microwave. i do it all the time. Plastic is fine, as long as it's microwaveable. Silicone is a bit better. But, yes, you learn the hard way that it cooks A LOT faster in the microwave. So does bread.

I'm surprised they didn't smell it burning before it all went to hell.

Ahhh, college.

A. Marie said...

I see that nothing about parenthood has gotten any easier since your recent hiatus, Dr. G.

Suzanne Lucas said...

Ha, ha, ha. College.

Anonymous said...

At least you didn't hear about this particular incident on the evening news. Look at it that way. Sounds like lines of communication remain open.... . I can only imagine what Nurse Grumpy would've said had she gotten to the phone first, though.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure Craig is related to you? Did someone switch babies at the hospital when he was born? He seems to be lacking a lot in the brain department. Hope you had a pleasant vacation.

Amanda said...

That was strangely adorable and hilarious.

jono said...

They were very uncommon and expensive when I went to college. Otherwise I or one of my neighbors would have tried the same thing with similar results.

gloriap said...

Thank you for coming back. You always brighten my day.

Can't Craig live at home and commute for a few years? He doesn't sound quite ready for Independent Living. (Did he ever get his laptop battery back from that girl?) I'm so glad those years are behind us.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Gloria, that was Frank with the laptop battery. Yes, he did.

bobbie said...

Welcome back, and WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ndenunz said...

As children get older, they usually have less problems. But, the ones they have, unfortunately, are more major.
I don't begrudge you that middle of the night phone call from one of your children. They are never a good thing.

Anonymous said...

You learn wisdom through experience, and you get experience through lack of wisdom. The circle of life.

Me said...

My condolences? (Not quite sure what the proper etiquette is in this situation) 😉

Ms. Donna said...

THIS was what you were juggling? So, any panicked call from Marie, or does Mrs. Grumpy field those?

Of course Marie is much to smart to admitting to a Parental Unit that she has the "munchies."

Anonymous said...

Welcome Back! You are a great Dad - because there was no way I would ever, ever, ever, ever phone my parents with an incident like this. Hooray! I do think it's so funny how many things we just have to do to learn. (not me, though, nope, never tried cooking chicken on the toast setting)

RC said...

Oh Grumpy, the college shenanigans are so enjoyable! I have college age kids. That first year in the dorm is quite the adjustment for all involved parties!

Cathie from Canada said...

With the new microwave he also needs a cookbook!

Anonymous said...

Having children - it seemed like a good idea at the time.

BobF said...

Take this post to a decent engraving shop and have them put it on plastic or metal plate. Stow it until the right moment 2 or 3 decades from now. Bring it out at, oh, say, Thanksgiving? Wedding? When HIS son pulls a similar stunt (you KNOW it's coming)? You will each get a good laugh, but with somewhat different mindset.

And know this: Such incidents/stories are going on in dorm rooms AND military barracks all over the world at this very moment.

Suzan said...

This post is the stuff of legends. My ex was hopeless when minding the children. I went shopping and came back to find that mister 8 had put chocolate in a mug to melt it. He left the spoon in and disaster followed. I was blamed even though I wasn't home.

MIster 8 is now a chef and he does have some hugely funny tales to share.

Shash said...

The risk management brain cells don't kick in until he reaches age 27. Just warning you.

Don said...

Craig is having quite the exciting freshman year.

Maybe explain the purpose of the fire extinguishers in the hall outside his dorm room

Loved the story

evodevo said...

Yes...Shash is right...took at LEAST that long for my son's frontal lobes to mature lol. Our phone calls at least didn't involve impromptu incendiary devices, just clogged toilets...and I didn't have to clean up!! It also helped that he finally met a no-nonsense girl who straightened him out.

Packer said...

Next time someone says ok boomer, this essay is getting shoved into their face

Jypsy said...

Probably should be some concern if things got that smokey that no smoke detectors went off. Might want to add one to his supplies list... and then wait to find out someone took the batteries out because it kept going off and making noise.

Anonymous said...

You realize Craig and his roommates were high, right?

Anonymous said...

Oh, all you people questioning Craig's intelligence - I can guarantee you have done some equally ill-advised things in your yoot. Heck, I do something like that at least once a year in my 50s. What made me giggle most was the throwaway thought "guess that outlet isn’t going to work anymore".

ASM826 said...

Is pot legal where he's going to school?

dogsledder said...

You are wasting your money sending this kid to college. He needs some time out in the real world first, working for a living.

Geno said...

Sounds like my granddaughter, straight A's. She ran into the car ahead of her and claimed the others guy was at fault cause he was on his cell phone and stopped too fast. We need classes in common sense.

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