In 2000, I started helping families take care of funeral pre-planning. For the past six years I've worked mainly in Johnson County, serving with my friends at Rosser Funeral Home in Cleburne. Seems like anywhere I am excitement can break out at any given moment.
It wasn't long ago that I was at the funeral home when lunch time rolled around. Chili's is across the street from Rosser's and I decided I would just walk over and grab a bite to eat. For some reason on that day, I decided to eat at least a bit healthier than the normal burger and fries, so I ordered a turkey sandwich and a bowl of soup. And to make things even stranger, I decided I wouldn't even eat the whole sandwich. I ate half of it and asked my table attendant (my politically-correct term for waiter/waitress) for a "to-go" box. I figured I could eat the other half of that sandwich tomorrow for lunch. I paid for the meal, and made my way back over to the funeral home.
Best I remember it wasn't the very next day, but at lunch time a couple of days or so later that I remembered the half of turkey sandwich down in the kitchen refrigerator. I headed downstairs to find my quarry. I decided the sandwich would taste even better if I heated it in the microwave. It was wrapped in paper inside a small styrofoam box. I put the box in the microwave, set the timer for 45 seconds and pressed the "start" button.
Most everyone had left the funeral home for lunch. While my sandwich was warming up, I stepped across the hall to talk to the one director who was still in the building. Before the timer had even gone off indicating that the heating process was over, I walked back over to the kitchen. From the door I was reminded that the paper they gave me to wrap my sandwich in was lined with foil. Looking through the small window on the front of the microwave I could see flames at all corners of the box.
I remember running to the microwave and quickly opening the door. In case you've never seen styrofoam burning, let me tell you this. As it burns, mixed in the smoke are tiny, worm-like particles. They float in the air for extended periods of time.
When I yanked that door open, the back-draft pulled untold thousands of those things from inside. The kitchen air was filled with 'em. Looking inside the microwave I noticed that the entire top and about half of the walls were completely black.
I don't remember much about eating my sandwich that day. I DO remember that it took a while to get the mess cleaned up and how thankful I was that the funeral home wasn't full of people. And I will ALWAYS remember that foil + styrofoam + a microwave = a bad combination.
Life's an adventure. I'm livin' it up!