Eileen Cook Author, Writing Consultant, Editor

The Microwave that didn’t know when it was over…

My parents bought me a microwave when I went to college so that I would a way to re-heat my take out pizza and make popcorn. Now this was in olden times so the microwave was roughly the size of washing machine and had to be delivered by horse and buggy.

This was a time when things were built to last so that microwave continued to work its micro-magic through college, my first apartment, back to college for grad school, I moved it to Boston when Bob and I got married, and then I moved it to Canada when we came here. It was in storage for awhile when we lived in Europe, but when we bought our first house it moved again with us. In the past few years I’ve avoided standing in front of it while it was on in case it was leaking any sort of radiation, but other than my mild paranoia it’s still working. I don’t recall ever taking it in for repairs. I wipe it down with some Fantastic once a week and otherwise haven’t had to do a thing to it.

The new house comes with a microwave. One that is more large toaster sized versus our current behemoth. It is time for me to end my 20 plus year relationship with the microwave. Like a boyfriend who doesn’t seem to grasp the idea that it’s over- getting rid of the microwave has been more difficult that I imagined.

I contacted Goodwill. They did not want the microwave. I called Salvation Army. They were open to finding the microwave a new home, but I had to drop it off. I lovingly cleaned the microwave one more time and even dug out the old owner’s manual which I still had and stuck that inside. I nearly ruptured something carrying it out to my car. This is not a small appliance. You can cook a turkey in there. (the owners manual has a recipe in fact) I drove to Salvation Army and they took one look at the thing and said they don’t want it after all. It’s too big. Too old.

I drove the microwave to another thrift store. They also didn’t want it. I pull over and tell the microwave it’s not it, it’s me. It shouldn’t feel bad about it, but tragically I have to take it to the dump. I drove to the dump. The person there tells me they can’t take the microwave because it needs to go to a recycle center. I drove back across town to the recycle center. The fellow there tells me that while they accept TV’s, computers, printers and other assorted appliances- they don’t take microwaves. Apparently there is a special microwave recycle center that is the designated micro-graveyard.

I had no idea exactly where this micro-graveyard could be found, but near as I could tell it was far away. I had already spent over half a day trying to get rid of a perfectly working order appliance. I went home and called a haulage place that came to get the microwave. It cost me $20. The fellow asked if it worked and I told him it did. He said he might give it to one of his kids.

Poor kid. He’ll never get rid of that thing. It’s a zombie microwave. You can’t get rid of it. On the plus side- it still makes a mean bag of microwave popcorn.