My house smells like a stinking fish stick!

My wife and I get dressed up in our fancy clothes once a year. Occasionally there are weddings and Christmas parties, but once a year, I dust off my suit and she gets a nice, new dress.

Each February we go to a black-tie event that we’ve nicknamed “Dr Prom”. I’ve attended Dr. Prom for three years and I’m still not entirely clear on the purpose. Usually two or three Physicians are honored for something or another, but to me it just seems like a big party.

We typically try to get the kids out of the house on the night of Dr. Prom, but this year my mom travelled to stay with them (thanks mom!). This meant that we’d have to attempt to dress for our big night out with a five-year-old, a two-year-old and a baby in the house. My goal was to feed the kids before we left so my mom wouldn’t have to deal with dinner. I quickly scan the kitchen and find fish sticks, hummus and carrots for the kids. I pop the fish sticks in the toaster oven and get the kids ready for dinner. Ding! Off goes the toaster oven timer. I plate up food for the kids and continue to get ready. As they ask for more fish I continue to get them out of the toaster oven, then the next thing I know they are gone. Wow, did these two kids really just eat 12 fish sticks? Impressive.

Off to Dr. Prom we go.

Over the course of the next two days we use the toaster oven several times. Each time we both comment that the house smells like fish. Eventually the smell has to go away, right?

Tuesday morning, 7 a.m., I’m making waffles for my kids and the toaster oven starts smoking…a lot. Eventually the smoke sets off the smoke alarms in our house. What a great way to start the day. I look into the toaster oven to find a charred fish stick stuck to the oven’s heating element. With a pair of tongs I grab it out and fling it into the sink. Sigh of relief. Problem solved. Not two minutes later I check my waffles and see a fire in the back of the toaster oven! A second fish stick in flames in my toaster oven! Using my tongs, I fling the fiery fish stick into the sink along side its mate. I briefly thought about trying to pass them off as a breakfast delicacy, blackened fish sticks.

Lessons learned from this incident.

1. Count your fish sticks

2. Slow down

3. Where there’s smoke, there may be more than one thing on fire

4. Order delivery for your kids on date night

5. Next year, pay attention to the purpose of Dr. Prom


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