"How (Not) to Cook Oatmeal in the Microwave - A Sort of (But Not Really) Tutorial" by Caryn Caldwell

Oatmeal: It’s explosive.

1) Carefully read instructions on oatmeal packet. This time you will do it right. For once, breakfast won’t end in messy defeat.

2) Stir together milk and oatmeal.

3) Set microwave according to directions. Hide pre-victory grin. Whistle. Exude confidence.

4) Watch oatmeal spin on tray, ready to halt all cooking at first sign of boilage. Squint a little. Hold breath. Fear overflow, despite yourself.

5) Stir and check status. (Answer: Oat flakes drifting in warmish milk soup.)

6) Another minute in microwave.

7) Still floaty dry oats + milk. This could take a while.

8) Set microwave for one more minute. It’s still raw, and barely lukewarm. You’re totally safe.

9) Go set table. Take your time. Swagger a little.

10) Saunter back to microwave, spoon in hand, poised to stir.

11) Open microwave door. Discover that, in your absence, your impending meal became an oatmeal volcano, spouting thick, gloppy, magma-esque mess all over clean microwave tray.

12) Congratulations! Your oatmeal is hot and (mostly) cooked. So is the tray beneath.  Blow on breakfast. Wait for it to cool so you can finally eat it.

13) Clean-up time. Soak bowl for sixteen hours. Chisel cemented cereal off bottom of microwave. Try not to swear.

14) Vow to use water instead of milk next time, though tasteless paste isn’t your preferred dining choice.

15) Scribble “Buy bigger bowl” on shopping list. Amend to “Much, much bigger.” Underline. Add exclamation point.

16) Or there’s always toast. Toast is safe. Usually.

Your turn – what’s something you repeatedly attempt, even though you know it will lead to your ultimate doom? Talk an elderly relative through way-too-techy computer issues? Jump into NaNoWriMo with the threat of Thanksgiving (and all those pies you have to bake) hanging over your head? Make coffee in that complicated machine in the break room? Sew pants? Come on! Make me feel better. Spill it. (Yeah. Spill. You and my oatmeal…)