I Set Off The Fire Alarm

(nee naw nee naw nee naw)

In the interests of not having their students burn to death due to culinary incompetence, my uni has fire alarms stationed about every five feet in our flat, including in the middle of the ceiling in my room in place of a light, so it’s gloomy with the desk lamp by itself, but at least I’m safe! And I understand that these things should err on the side of caution – it’s better to have an annoying alarm go off for no reason than lie there choking on fumes because the alarm kept quiet so as not to be intrusive – but today, I put the hob on, placed an empty pan on it, and five minutes later the alarm was having a fit.

I wasn’t even cooking anything, unless some kind of invisible super-smoke is produced when a hot metal disk comes into contact with a hot metal pan (science!) which leads me to yet another implausibly plausible conspiracy theory on this blog; this time, the alarm is not only sentient and omniscient, but is a judge of good cooking technique.

Because no smoke could have been produced by my diabolical warming of a pan, the alarm must have found fault with said warming, namely that I put the heat on well before I was done cutting the vegetables necessary to fry in said pan, which the alarm presumably looked down upon (both literally and figuratively) with the sneering demeanour of an Australian celebrity peering at some pathetic mortal who dares to fry that which should not be fried in an annoyingly smug manner.

But if John, and perhaps even Gregg, were watching me cook it would have been preferable to the cold silence of the alarm, whose means of communication is similar to that of a baby: everything’s alright so I’m saying nothing, it’s all still fine, things are going well HOLY SH*T A MINOR ISSUE THAT I CAN’T DESCRIBE TO YOU IN ANY MORE DETAIL THAN SCREECHING AHHHHHHHH-

And because of that silence, I’ve not learned what my mistakes were, and so can’t hope to learn from them; I’ve been reduced to unfounded conjecture and wild guess-work in this very post simply to find answers, answers that the fire alarm knows, but is not telling me. I want to complain to the fire alarm, to beg its forgiveness for my culinary misstep, whatever it mat be, but I can’t; it just sits, watches, and occasionally screams.

As a side note the meal itself wasn’t a success because I didn’t realise I had a non-stick pan, so all the oil I poured in to act as a lubricant was absorbed by the rice, meaning that it smelled like the heady mixture of peppers and fried rice I wanted, but tasted a bit like wringing out a sock into a mug and drinking the contents through a straw.

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