For the last I don't know how many years, our microwave has not been working optimally.
More specifically, out of the nine digits on the keypad, only the ones in the far left column -- the "1," the "4" and the "7" -- actually work.
Rather than ditching the microwave, this predicament has forced my husband and I to use our creativity. And we've learned, quite refreshingly, that you really only need three digits on a microwave. A frozen pancake is perfect after 44 seconds. 71 seconds works just fine for anything that's supposed to cook for a minute. (1-1-1 will get you there, too, but of course requires an extra keystroke. And it's all about efficiency in our house.) 1-7-1 will get you get you pretty damn close to two minutes. 4-1-1 will reheat a container of Chinese leftovers like nobody's business. And so on and so forth. We've long joked that we were going to write The One-Four-Seven Cookbook, which would only include dishes that can be prepared using those three numbers.
In the last few days, however, we've had a heart-stopping turn of events.
Our 7 no longer works. Our dreams of being perched atop the bestseller list have come crashing down around us.
Because trying to cook with just a 1 and a 4 just might push the limits of our culinary (and mathematical) prowess. I think, sadly, the time has come to retire this microwave. (Or, perhaps, to send it to the Smithsonian?)
I'm sure by week's end there will be a gleaming new little number on our counter, one with nine perfectly good digits just begging to be used. All of them. We'll actually just punch, say, "4-3-0" to heat a Lean Cuisine for four and a half minutes, instead of 4-1-7 or 4-4-4. But I don't know. What fun is that? Where's the challenge? It just seems so...easy.
So I'm taking a moment to bid farewell to our little scrappy microwave, our little $50 piece of Japanese engineering. Despite being, um, differently abled, you've served us well, friend. Godspeed.