Fun, Follies and Loss of Innocence in Novel Land

Turkey Trouble

Shocked Young Woman Looking At Smoke Coming Out Of Oven In Kitchen

‘Tis better to open the oven door or not to open the oven door? We found out

When the weather turns cool and fall rolls around, it’s time for turkey.

I’ve been to and hosted quite a few Thanksgivings, but one was my most memorable.

That happened some years ago when the wife and I put a huge, big-butted turkey in a baking pan with very low sides.

Let’s face it, that pan was barely deeper than a cookie sheet.

Like the bulging upper decks of a cruise ship . . .

. . . the topside of the turkey loomed out past the perimeter of the pan.

Anyway, we got the bird in the oven, and it got to cooking.

And to dripping juice off its upper part onto the bottom of the oven.

The juices on the hot oven floor start smoking.

The smoking juices start drying into dark crud.

The drying crud catches on fire.

More juice drips and dries and makes more crud and more flames and lots of smoke.

We don’t know what to do.

Wife opens the oven.

Good idea?

Uh, no.

Fire gets fresh oxygen.

Flames blast out of the oven at wife.

She jumps back and shrieks, “What do I do!”

I don’t really know, but I squeak, “Throw salt on it!”

She does.

Flames miraculously go out.

Smoke, though, billows from the oven.

Fire alarm screams

Smoke floods through the house.

I run around opening all windows and doors, including the garage door.

We swing newspapers and towels trying to push the smoke outside.

Through the front window, I see our Jack Russell run out of the garage, across the lawn, onto the sidewalk and up the hill.

Cars pull up.

Our guests get out of the cars.

They stare at smoke coming out of the house.

They stare at me running away from them up the hill while the fire alarm keeps screaming.

Did I catch the dog?

Yes, after chasing him down the other side of the hill while he ran and peed on one bush after another.

When he was out of ammo, I got him and went back to join our guests.

They were fanning smoke out of the house.

We borrowed a bigger pan from neighbors for finishing off our already smoked and singed turkey.

Now, when I look back on past Thanksgivings, that’s the one I always recall . . . when we almost cooked the house.

QUESTION: What got out of control for you?


  1. Erika Ravnsborg

    LOL! this is hilarious and relateable. I haven’t cooked a turkey before but I have assisted in one. Sadly it was never funny.

    • Phil Cobb

      Thanks, Erika!
      Of course, it wasn’t funny at the time, but now when I look back on it, I get a laugh out of it, too.

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