We weren't having a great day.
Little things kept popping up unexpectedly just enough times to be annoying. We'd no sooner resolve one issue and then another would appear to take its place. Ever have days like that?
But it was getting to be late afternoon. We'd gone, what, five, 10 minutes without a problem? I thought we'd finally turned a corner.
Until Kim wailed "Bruuuuuuce."
Uh-oh. I know that wail. It's not good.
Kim was in the kitchen working on a hashbrown casserole to take to the annual family reunion. I'd been playing a mindless computer game on our laptop in the next room, because I needed to do something mindlessly for a few minutes. But I got up and went into the kitchen.
"I messed up," said Kim. I thought she meant the casserole. But then she pointed to the stove.
"I put the (plastic) bag of hasbrowns on the burner and forgot that it was still hot," she said.
One of the burners on the ceramic range was covered in melted plastic. Kim was beside herself.
"I don't have time for this," she said. "I still have to make the baked beans. Check the computer and find out how to clean this up."
That was a great idea. I googled "melted plastic on glasstop stove" and found any number of possibilities. One was to take a butter knife and carefully scrape off the plastic. Tried it. Nope. Another was to take baking soda and pour vinegar over it. So we did. I liked the reaction that resulted. It looked like it would take paint off a battleship when it bubbled up. But in the end, no dice.
Then I tried WD-40. I knew this stuff had a lot more uses than quieting squeaky hinges. You can use it to slide rings off swollen fingers or to take gum out of your hair (how does that happen?), among other things. So after cleaning off the baking soda/vinegar science project, we tried the WD-40.
After a few minutes to soak, I took a sharp knife and began edging the melted plastic off the flattop burner. It was working.
"Go fix your baked beans," I said. "I got this."
Within 15 minutes, the burner was clean, although it smelled a little bit like an oily bicycle repair shop. And as far as I could tell, I hadn't scratched the surface of the stove or done any collateral damage. So I went back to my computer game.
About 10 minutes later, I heard, "Bruuuuce."
"The cat missed her litter box..."