The Goat & The Goose's Neck
(or “How to dry wood in a microwave” – NOT!)
A Research and Development report from UGSFW
As Betty left for work she told Carl (the Goat) “Make sure you smoke that pot today!” The Goat, being an obedient spouse, set about getting ready to burn the “crust” off the frying pan that Betty had procured at a local rummage sale the day before. As he was setting up to do his chore, Reverend Steve came by and offered to give him a hand smoking his pot.
As the Reverend got the propane cylinder and the BIG burner out, the Goat decided that this would also be the perfect time to dry out the gooseneck he had carved from some free wood. (Free wood is the stuff that finds it way to the Union Grove School of Fine Woodcarving (UGSFW) Research & Development Department from a variety of sources, some unknown to this day.) As Director of R & D, the Goat felt obligated to continue his research in area of wood drying. Putting the neck in his spouses’ prized microwave and setting the timer for about five minutes, he went back outside and continued with the pot smoking. And smoke it did! While the Reverend toiled with the pot, the Goat passed through the kitchen, again setting the timer to five minutes and hitting the “start” button. Some time later as he passed again through the kitchen (we never did find out why the Goat kept going to the kitchen and the Reverend did all the work) he gave the timer dial a good turn and hit “Start” on his way out.
The Reverend finally got the pot clean enough to pass the Goat’s inspection and was given permission to use “the Facility”. When he returned to the driveway, he commented on the heavy layer of smoke that had penetrated into the house from the pot smoking project. The Goat, being older and wiser, asked “How could smoke get into the house when all the windows are closed?” When there was no response from the Reverend, the Goat thought he should check on his Research and see what had Developed. Entering the house, he noted that the smoke layer started about four foot above the floor and had the odor of burnt wood and plastic. Suddenly, through the haze there was a small light glowing brightly. Following this beacon, the Goat made his way to the microwave. Slowly opening the door, he gazed upon a small glowing ember on a gnarled, twisted plastic dish (well, it used to be a dish!). Another research project gone astray!
Calling the Reverend to help him open windows and set up fans, the Goat set to work at something he knew he had lots of experience at… hiding the problem before Betty finds it! They blew the smoke out of the house and took the telltale ember and melted dish to a hiding spot in the garage, but there was no hiding the odor of burnt wood and plastic that permeated every nook and cranny of the UGSFW Campus.
When Betty returned home after a hard days work, she run in to see her beloved microwave but was almost bowled over by the smell in the house… a smell that got noticeably worse when she opened the microwave door! By this time the Reverend, in an exhibition of his uncanny sense of “will to live” had “an urge to go to church”. The Goat was not so lucky. He only had the garage to go to and Betty knew all the hiding places in there. A shiny pot was not enough to pacify a wife that had just lost her prized microwave! The Goat was innocently sitting at the carving bench, carving a gooseneck (Betty thought “Why is he carving another one of those?) when she entered. “What is that smell in the house?” she asked.
“EHHHH” the Goat responded, reaching for the knob on his hearing aid. “Maybe something from that pot I smoked for you dear. Did you see it? Isn’t it nice and clean?”
“The pot looks nice, but my microwave didn’t fare so well! What went on here today?” she asked. “And why are you carving another goose neck?”
“Well, if you must know, WE had a little accident this morning” said the Goat, trying to implicate the Reverend into his story. Referring to his notes, he continued, “A research project didn’t work quite as planned and the microwave caught fire!” There, he said it! Would she accept this as a simple scholarly deed that went astray? Would she understand that pot smoking while doing research could have devastating results?
It is best that the story end here. The Goat still uses the garage, Betty still can’t use the microwave, and research at UGSFW has been put on a temporary hold (at least the house can no longer be used as a “lab”). Student and Faculty life are slowly returning to normal at the campus (not to be confused with a “normal” normal). Maybe the sweet smell of leaves burning during the Wisconsin Autumn will displace the smell from the microwave… or will it kindle memories of things that used to be?
Written by Denny Bell, Pleasant Prairie, WI, an attendee at UGSFW.