Jimbob's Journal
Kitchen Safety
by Jim Harris
For the Modern Male

Over three billion men are injured in cooking accidents each year. You have probably never heard this statistic, because no one likes to talk about it, but it's high time someone did.

Bert, 43, a bachelor, flipped a red-hot corn fritter into his own face. He ran screaming and delirious for seventeen miles, wearing only his "Home of the Whopper" boxer shorts before a passing motorist noticed him and took him to a hospital. By that time, the fritter had fused to his skin, requiring a highly specialized team of surgeons (best known for separating Siamese twins) for extrication.

Tom, 27, a stay-at-home dad, was removing a bag of unshelled walnuts from the microwave when it exploded with the force of ten sticks of TNT, subjecting him to a horrifying hail of nutty shrapnel, and necessitating the services of yet another team of renowned surgeons.

The list goes on, men searching for snacks and finding misery and disfigurement instead. It's so sad and unnecessary, since just a little knowledge can go a long way. All you really need are a few basic tenets of kitchen safety.

RULE 1. Wear protective gear. It just makes good sense. Goggles, hardhat, and asbestos garments are all essential to the safe and responsible preparation of food.

RULE 2. If you should drop something, avoid the impulse to immediately pick it up. You could rupture a disk or knock a pot of boiling water onto your back (Or both. Imagine being severely scalded AND hopelessly stuck at a ninety degree angle. ). Instead, run the following check list concerning the fallen component; Do I really need it? When do I need it? Articles of low-ranking importance can be left to accumulate until periodic "sweeps", during which you make a deliberate, well-planned excursion to the floor to round them all up at once. Things that are needed right away can be picked up with the feet, or, if you're wearing shoes, a sharp stick.

RULE 3. Be prepared to stand guard over the food for as long as it takes. Never let any of it out of your sight, because that's when things can go wrong and seconds count. If, in spite of your diligent reconnaissance, an item of food should become involved in flame or otherwise behave in an unexpected or unnatural way, swift decisive action is imperative. Identify the source of the conflagration and GET IT OUT OF THE HOUSE. Time's a-wastin'! The quickest way to do so is to toss it out the window. If the window is shut, throw it through the window or knock out the glass with your sharp stick.

Always shout an appropriate warning such as "Burning beans!", or "Hot meat!". Some experts recommend yelling "I'm being robbed" as a better attention-grabber, but I disagree. I once threw a piece of flaming toast out of my fourth-floor apartment screaming, "I'm being robbed", and it so confused and frightened an elderly woman on the street that she pulled out a gun and shot her husband. As a result of that incident, I have developed clinical depression which prevents me from holding any job that requires me to actually do anything. Since I am suing myself, I cannot say anymore about it while the case is pending. So you see, there's more at stake here than just your corporeal integrity. Your very mental stability can be permanently disrupted in the wink of an eye.

RULE 4. Have fun! Armed with these simple rules, you can cook with relative impunity and turn your kitchen into a Paradise worthy of the cover of a Jehova's Witness pamphlet. Hot meat, anyone?

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