Stephanie’s family doesn’t like Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts. Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts are my favorite kind. So when we visited Stephanie’s family last weekend and discovered two boxes of Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts (they come in the CostCo pack with the Cinnamon ones), the solution was obvious.
I have been bringing the Pop Tarts to work to eat for breakfast. I heat them in the toaster oven in the office kitchen. Yesterday, I used a paper towel to get the hot Pop Tarts out of the oven.
Today, I find there are no more paper towels. There is, however, a box of Kleenex. I hesitate to fall back on Kleenex for napkin/paper towel duty. I reach into the toaster oven and touch a Pop Tart. It is hot. I look around, unsure what to do.
Flashback to Saturday, at Stephanie’s parents’ house:
ME: I made a mistake.
STEPHANIE: What happened?
ME: I put the Pop Tarts in sideways and now I can’t reach them.
[I nod at the toaster, where the sideways Pop Tarts remain below the top of the rather large toaster, despite the toaster having popped them up.]
STEPHANIE: Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.
[Stephanie reaches into the toaster and picks up the piping hot Pop Tarts with her bare hands, placing them on my plate.]
ME: How come you can do that and I can’t?
STEPHANIE: Because you’re a wuss.
End flashback. I realize that I am probably being overly cautious here. Surely I can handle taking a Pop Tart out of a toaster oven. Just ignore the pain. Build up the pain threshold. It’s only for a moment.
I lick my fingertips to prepare. It helps to have moisture on your fingers when you’re about to touch something hot.
I reach into the toaster, prepare to grip the Pop Tart, and my knuckles immediately brush against the scalding hot ceiling of the oven. I yank back my hand.
I give up and get the Pop Tarts out with the Kleenex, which doesn’t seem to be such a terrible idea after all, leaving me wondering why I didn’t just use it in the first place.
I realize my hand still hurts, and maybe I have actually burned myself. I get an ice cube out of the refrigerator and rub it on my knuckles, dripping water on the floor. At one point, the ice slips from my hands and slides across the floor as I attempt to retrieve it. I imagine a slapstick scenario in which my clumsiness with the ice results in other employees slipping, causing a chain reaction of injuries.
I decide I’ve had enough of the ice. As a woman enters the kitchen, I feel compelled to mention how I just burned myself on the toaster. She helps me dig out some burn cream from an old first aid kit in a kitchen cabinet. It comes in a one-time use packet that includes way more ointment than I need, but I don’t want to waste it, so instead I end up getting my hands getting all gross and oily, and then I have to use more Kleenex to get the stuff off my hands while not wiping it off the burned part. The first aid kit includes a knuckle bandage, which sounds perfect but turns out to be huge, and doesn’t stick to my still-slippery finger. After further Kleenex use, I manage to get an ordinary small Band-Aid to stick.
Finally, I go to my desk with the Pop Tart, having squandered my morning email-checking time, and begin to eat.
The Pop Tart is no longer hot.