Last night I grilled hot dogs (I know, yuck) for dinner, and today I microwaved a leftover one for lunch. In fact, I microwaved it twice because while I was fixing my lunch, I got a call that I needed to go pick my son up from school. So I got out all the lunch stuff, microwaved the hot dog, got the call, put all the things back in the fridge, picked up my son, got all the things back out of the fridge, re-microwaved my hot dog, and brought my cylindrical mush of pig anuses back to my desk to stuff down my gullet while trying to dig myself back out of the hole that the interruption to my work day had helped make deeper.

Or to put it another way, I savored my thrice-cooked tube steak while admiring what few and trivial things the well-oiled machinery of my personal work habits required that I pick up upon my return.

As the hot dog sizzled in the microwave, I had a sudden memory of the first microwave my family ever got. It was a huge Amana brand countertop microwave with a door that swung downward like that of an oven. Some guy delivered it on what I recall as a Saturday. Only my dad and I were home, and we plugged it in and cooked a couple of hot dogs right away, marveling at and perhaps falling just short of high fiving over how they swelled as they cooked. It was like some sort of sorcery. Food, cooked in instants — and entertainment too! It’s possible that we cooked more hot dogs than we actually required, so that we could watch the demonstration again. And that is the memory.

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