When I was a boy, in the late 50's, my parents didn't have a lot of money. And for about a two year stretch, we really didn't have much money. This is still almost to surreal to me, but for a long period of time, we didn't eat anything but navy beans for dinner. I can still remember the 50 pound burlap sack of dried beans stored in the furnace room. For variety with our bean dinner, Mom would cut up an onion or some lettuce to throw in it.
But once in a great while, there would appear a box of Chef Boyardee pizza mix and my sisters and I would salivate all day like a trio of Pavlov's dogs, waiting for Mom to make the pizza. Granted, she never bothered to get anything else to put on it, so it was mostly just what came with the box, but she might throw some more onions on it, and maybe a couple of chopped up slices of bologna.
To us though, it was haute cuisine. And today, I still have a taste for a homemade Chef Boyardee pizza from time to time. Not so navy beans. I can't stand the sight or smell of them. Even going past a church or social club advertising a "Bean Supper" turns my stomach.
So, on this particular Saturday night, we whipped up a pizza by the "Chef", turned on the oven and let it bake. Several minutes later though ...
Me: What's that smell?
Jan: What smell? Pizza?
Me: No ... it smells like gas.
Me: Yeah, like from the stove.
Me: Yes dear ... stove. The range. That heated up box over there.
Jan: Oh, you mean the oven. Where the hell did you get "stove" and "range"? Are those hillbilly words?
Me: Shut the hell up. I'm serious, don't you smell gas?
Jan: Now that you mention it, "sniff" yes. Is it coming from the oven?
Jan and Rob: "Sniff", "Sniff", "Sniff"
Jan: Maybe we'd better turn the oven off.
Me: But the pizza's only half-way done. "Sniff".
Jan and Rob: SHIIIIIIIITTTTTTT!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!
Fortunately, there was no fire, but I had never seen a stove door blown open before. I approached the appliance slowly, armed with a fire extinguisher. I nudged the device with my foot and then quickly gave the inside a couple of squirts of foam and turned off the gas at it's source.
The next day, we went out and bought a new stove, and of course, since we had planned to buy stainless steel appliances some day, we started with this particular piece. And, of course, it now doesn't match any other appliance in our kitchen.
Funny, we've had the new stove for a couple of weeks now, and still haven't used it. Maybe we're still a little gun shy. So, it sits there in all of it's stainless glory, mocking us ...
Hey, You Pussies! Light Me Up!