Fear Of Ovens

The cheap cookers at our university were malicious death-traps, just as nature and thousands of years of social conditioning and trends intended. Because what better a way to prepare someone for the dangerous post-university-world than to test them day-in-day-out with a horrific cooking death trap?

Precisely, it doesn’t half keep you on your toes. I’m sure that ours was haunted. Often, on one of those days when because of my age (not a student any more and I shall leave it at that) I wake up in the middle of the night stressing that I may have left the hot-plate on and might potentially burn (or have burnt, and am now myself a ghost) the house down, I think of that awful old oven. I wonder if it thinks of me. Except I doubt it does. I really doubt it does. And why should it? It has plenty of other things to think about. Like how much fun it’ll be to scare the hell out of the new students moving in in a few months time…
People say that things like ovens and bicycles and tins of food don’t have a soul. They say they don’t think and feel. I would beg to differ about that: our cooker had a soul and it was one of a deranged maniac. So often, after the gas hob had suddenly lit and singed a load more hair off my forearm – by the end of uni my right arm was practically hairless – I thought I could hear it laugh to itself, its big oven door opening in a kind of demonic cackle…