An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Exhibit A

I just want to point out that I’m paying attention, UNIVERSE. And that by stubbing my foot on one of Marlo’s more hefty toys last night and breaking the third toe on my right foot was your way of saying WOMAN. WAS YOUR TAILBONE NOT LOUD ENOUGH.

So what you’re saying is that I have to walk around the house wearing shoes and a helmet at all times. I mean, is it that literal? Or is it more metaphorical? Am I supposed to slow down, is that the message? Anyone suggesting that someone with two kids and two dogs should slow down obviously did not take physics. Universe, are you single? Do you even have kids? Because if you get to sleep in on Sunday morning I CANNOT TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY.

Apparently it’s trying to talk to me about cooking as well. In fact, I bet the Universe has Child Protective Services on speed dial and gets an itchy finger every time I look at the stove. I will admit, I’m just winging it in there. I’ve watched other people cook, and I’m good about picking up on details. I mean, I can make a mean pot of rice. And when a bowl has “dishwasher and microwave safe” stamped on its bottom, you can bet I think it’s telling the truth. Who am I to doubt the bowl?

You guys. That bowl was lying. At least, that is the defense I used when, after successfully cooking seven strips of bacon, I poured the leftover grease into this bowl:


At least I know you’re not supposed to pour the grease down the drain, AM I RIGHT!? Give me some credit! I picked up on that detail! PLUS TEN POINTS FOR ME.

But I guess “microwavable safe” does not cover the temperature of bacon grease. And I should have immediately sensed trouble when I heard the plastic of the bowl popping as the grease filled its sides. Nay, I trusted the bowl. I believed in the bowl. I rooted for that damn bowl. GO BOWL GO.

And everything looked fine as I transferred the bowl to the countertop next to the sink. I could see the grease cooling, congealing a tiny bit, and I might have thumped my chest with my fists and yelled WHO’S IN CONTROL NOW, BITCHES!

And then not a half second later that bowl disintegrated. And hot, sizzling bacon grease pooled all over the countertop down into the sink. And into the drain.


My reaction was not unlike that time when I was a freshman in college, and my sister had asked me to babysit my two-year-old niece, the cutest, blondest little thing who suddenly started projectile vomiting the goldfish crackers I had given her for lunch. And I was all, STOP! DON’T! GROSS! Thinking that those commands would put an end to that orange volcanic eruption. And five minutes later when it was over I was all, WHY DIDN’T YOU STOP?! WERE YOU NOT LISTENING?

That’s called Quality Babysitting.

I just stood there watching in slow motion as the bowl melted into a puddle, not knowing what to do, so I just screamed STOP! DON’T! Because a four-year degree from BYU taught me nothing.

Jon came running in to see what the hell was going on, and I physically obstructed his view from the mess. I didn’t want to hear it. I could envision the tone in his voice as he shook his head and muttered HEATHER, HEATHER, HEATHER. The same tone he used when I attempted a back hand spring on a trampoline after two huge glasses of homemade wine.

That was a fun trip to the ER.

But I couldn’t hold him off, not if I wanted to make sure that the sizzling bacon grease didn’t melt the pipes under the sink, so I frantically turned on the water and and started blowing air with my mouth. Surely that would help cool things off.

And once he started to shake his head, I was all, dude, I didn’t take a class on microwaves. How was I supposed to know that bacon grease is hotter than a meal you zap for five minutes? I mean, I know you’re not supposed to put tin foil in a microwave, and it’s not a good place to store cats. I’ve got the basics down.

Oh! But get this! Jon is old enough that he DID take a class on microwaves. Because when they bought their first microwave the store offered the whole family a free class! I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Come on. It does not get more Renaissance Man than that.

I headed toward the recycling bin to throw the bowl away, but Jon was quick to stop me. Oh no. There would need to be a written record and photographic evidence of this event. Because ten years from now when we’re fighting over who is right, he is going to pull this up and go THERE. THAT’S WHY.


  • MissAga

    Oh, Heather, are you going to get from the Ikea people now…
    I’m just saying. Brace yourself.

  • witchuponastar

    Okay, Heather, the problem with putting it down the drain isn’t that it will melt the pipes (it won’t), it’s that it coats the inside of the pipes and causes clogs. You shouldn’t put it down your drain but if you do you should run your hottest water with it so it gets liquified and carried out of your house. My husband is a plumber, I know what I’m talking about. Except he says I’m not allowed to put bacon grease down the drain and I have. Every week for 6.5 years and nothing has ever happened. So really, what the hell do plumbers know?

  • lilfootsmommy

    we have those same bowls from Ikea. I don’t think I’ve put them in the microwave (yet). I do have to say I’m thankful you test drove them for me 🙂

    I am really glad though that you weren’t hurt by the grease! First the tailbone, then stubbing your foot…the grease was a fortunate near miss! Phew!!!

  • ohsnap87

    Hi Dooce!

    Been there. Done THAT!

    What NOT to do! Do not leave a cup and a half of water boiling on the stove while you take a phone call and answer a few emails. So much for my oatmeal this morning ;-(

    The lid knob melted off. We threw the hot pot onto the snow.

  • Greysmom

    to get even with him, you need to post the pics of the infamous “pen incident of 2010″…
    you ruined a $2 bowl and he runs for the camera… he smashes 2 cars and we don’t get to see? 🙂

  • ohsnap87

    oh… and I once put a raw egg in the microwave. I put a small hole in the shell, figuring that that would be enough.


    My husband was in the the next room and and cried, “What was THAT?”

    I said, “nothing.”

    He ran in to see if I was harmed. When he saw me trying to clean the mess in the microwave he laughed so hard and insisted he call his Mom to tell her the story.

    i don’t care. I thought it was funny myself. For some reason… I thought u could microwave an egg…

  • Schwally

    Not to take attention away from the bacon…..but have you checked with a doctor about bone density or osteoporosis? You seem to be breaking quite a few bones pretty easily….just a thought! Trying to look out for you!

  • momof8

    . . . and then YOU pull out the pictures of your messed up cars! And you totally win!!!

  • akross00

    i totally started a grease fire a few months ago while cooking bacon. i tried pouring the sizzling fat into a styrofoam cup (if it can take hot coffee, why not bacon grease?!) and it promptly disintegrated IN MY HANDS. and then there was fire. good thing i remembered from my 7th grade home ec class that baking soda puts out grease fires. i’ve been too embarrassed to share that tale until now. time to go say a few hail marys.

  • They made me choose a username

    Now I want some bacon. At 12:57 AM.

  • They made me choose a username

    P.S. I’ve heard that bacon grease down the drain attracts rats, but I assumed that pertains more to New Yorkers than the rest of humankind. (Also, my husband says that makes no sense, but I swear I’ve heard it, so it must be true. For New Yorkers.)

  • They made me choose a username

    So I had to Google it and see if this was in my imagination, and it does get a mention in a guide to Seattle rat-prevention:

    (Several paragraphs down the page.)

  • Badger

    You are the Valedictorian of death-of-microwaveable-bowl-by-bacon-fat.

  • Googooboyy

    Love the title given to the post. ‘Exhibit A’.

    I’m sensing with my spider sense that ‘Exhibit B’ shouldn’t be too far off. ; )

    Btw, there are numbers given to plastic products as indication of their industrial strength. Check that out next time.

  • heymamas

    I am no Betty Crocker myself and I applaud you for even knowing not to wash the grease down the sink. Not sure I knew that one myself.

    Although now that we are talking about it, an old coffee can out in the garage that my Mom used to use for this sort of thing, does come to mind.

    Sadie at heyMamas

  • Violette

    Here’s a cool trick to deal with hot grease — line a ceramic/china (anything heatproof) bowl with aluminum foil, then pour the grease in. Wait until the grease cools and congeals, then wrap the foil around it and toss. Voila!

  • teksupddg

    for those who buy coffee in bags, don’t like pickles,
    or used all the foil to line your windows to keep the aliens out, a metal spoon in a mug is also a way to manage your bacon grease.

  • ohyouandi

    Just this past weekend, I poured a TON of bacon grease into an empty cookie package. Keebler Grasshopper mint cookie container, to be exact. Side note: for those craving Girl Scout Thin Mints all year long, these taste EXACTLY like them! Anyhoo….I wasn’t sure the container could withstand the bacon grease, but it did!!! I was amazed. Still find it hard to believe that bacon grease melted your little Ikea bowl (I have the same ones and LOVE them!). Speaking of melting…

    When I was in 6th grade, I had one of those candle making kits, and decided to make some candles on cold winter afternoon. Of course I didn’t follow the instructions, and when I poured the hot wax into the flimsy mold, I had to grip the mold tighter (since it now weighed more) and that’s when the bottom of the mold popped out, and hot wax went everywhere….down the sink, down the cabinets, all over the stove, all over the sheet linoleum floor. I knew my mom was gonna be pissed, so I attempted to clean it up before she found out, so I started w/the floor. Big mistake, since mom’s have eyes and sensors everywhere. But the funniest thing was when my brother, wearing his neighbor-knitted purple slippers came tearing into the kitchen, hit the recently “waxed” floor, and fell on his bippy and broke HIS tailbone! So in one short afternoon, I managed to clog the sink, wreck the cabinets, f-up the stove, burn my hand AND cause my brother to break his tailbone. Needless to say, I never made another candle…

  • Hey Emilie

    Dude, you can’t recycle that bowl! What are you thinking? Our recycle bins only take #1 and #2 plastics, which this little Ikea bowl is NOT! What kind of hippie are you?

  • yrdsale4me

    I keep a couple of glass jars (from salsa or spaghetti sauce) on hand for this purpose. That way, I can keep the lid on the jar while accumulating grease so it doesn’t attract pests. Once the jar is full, I put it in the trash *with the lid firmly in place*.

    If you can’t put something like that in your trash, I recommend putting the grease in a ceramic or pottery coffee mug and waiting until it’s not quite solidified. Then use a spatula or spoon to put the chunks of grease in the trash.

  • OhAimee

    LOVE this, and love hearing people’s horror stories! Congratulations. We’re human!

    Here’s my Ikea Fail (I.E. ME Fail) moment: to be EXTRA sweet, I baked a big ol’ batch of my boyfriend’s favorite cookies. Only the kitchen in our tiny loft is tiny, and I ran out of counter space and had nowhere to put the last cookie sheet to cool.

    So I uh, put it right down on his beautiful, oval, white Ikea conference table. The thing is enormous and is the focal point of our home. Two minutes later, I smell burning. There is a cookie sheet sized/shaped melted ripply spot on the table. And it’s there to stay.

    That wasn’t a particularly pleasant afternoon and I don’t think he appreciated my idea that maybe we could ripple the WHOLE table so it looks like purposful ripples. Like Abercrombie! For tables.


  • tokenblogger

    I like those orange bowls. I hope you had more than the two.

    I thought non-jew pholks kept their bacon grease in an old coffee can on the stove?

    I mean, you grew up in the south, too. Even more south than me.

    Geez, Heather…

    ah ha ha

    My captcha word is JEWtraw!

  • chicgeek75

    BTW, any paper plate that has sparkle to it… like those you might use for New Years? Yeah, that’s foil, as I discovered. Microwave one of those suckers and you’ll have an little electrical storm right in your own kitchen. Seriously, it may sound simple, but all I know is I thought, “paper plate = microwaveable”. Funny thing is, on the bottom of it says, “do not microwave”. Only, who thinks to look at the bottom of a paper plate before microwaving?

    PS – we bake our bacon in the oven, which is really good and easy cleanup. You just line the pan with foil, and then when the pan is cool, you can fold up the foil and toss it in the trash. Or, you can soak up the grease with a few sheets of paper towel.

  • button

    I had NO IDEA that you weren’t supposed to pour grease down the drain until just recently. I knew my mother must be the source of the problem, because I’d seen her pour grease down the drain countless times. She explained that you just don’t pour it down the side of the sink with the disposal because it will make the rubber curl. So great job knowing this tidbit. I’m still ashamed.

  • Yolanda

    What Southerner doesn’t have herself an old greasy coffee can dedicated to bacon grease? Or at least a mason jar? My momma always had one and when I moved out I started the habit, too. Some curses were uttered when my Pacific Northwestern husband confusedly threw the can out one day, having no clue why we were saving old grease.

    And another broken toe? Really? I think the universe is saying you need calcium, stat.

    But at least the bowl photos were perfectly lit and beautiful. There’s that, right?

  • strawberrygoldie

    You know how things on top of your refrigerator will shift as you regularly open and close the freezer?

    I did not.

    Until the Fry Daddy that sat on top of the refrigerator shifted its
    leftoverfriedcatfishandhushpuppyoil-filled ass to the edge. I blame my husband. He saved the oil.


    I open the freezer.

    The Fry Daddy, in SLO MO, MIND YOU, falls to the floor, erupting crusty, fishy oil into the air.

    The sound the oil made, when it splashed onto the floor? I hear that in my nightmares.

    My son still laughs hysterically when he recalls just how many times I yelled “FUCK!” at the Fry Daddy that day.

    Mommy of the Year. Yup. Dat’s me.

  • Mugswife

    Ok. So I am assuming you took a picture to document the ruining (is that a word?) of two cars incident? So you can pull that picture up and say, see, thats why I’m right.

    You did document that, right?

    If not, thats why he will be right.

  • Peter P

    Do it flow better if you say ‘literal and metaphorical,’
    or: ‘literal and metaphoric?’

    Or… do I just sound like that constipated ENG102 professor from wayback?

  • Angie_from_Oz

    Pyrex Heather, Pyrex.

    PS – the new McDonalds ads are quite overpowering – I love Macca’s but maybe the ads could be a little less obtrusive?

  • austinscott

    Ahhhhhh…. All is right with the world now Jon. Got your pen back didn’t ya. Heh heh….


    Heather, pop one of those bowls in the oven. (lol)

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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