Oven Blew Up

Parker Young

One day, our oven blew up. No food was inside, so we didn’t miss a meal, but still it was a problem. We put in another oven. That oven blew up too. We gave up on ovens altogether and put an armoire full of knick-knacks there. The armoire blew up. Exploded might be a more accurate verb. Now we were really puzzled. We put a drying rack there. Explosion. Perhaps we should not put anything else there, I said. Then Uncle Jim came over, and during his visit he must have stood right where the drying rack used to be. He exploded. This made us angry. I called the landlord. He couldn’t remember who we were or which property of his we lived on. I gave him the address and he hung up right away. He never returned my subsequent calls. We may have to move, I explained to the kids. Why? they said. When I explained it all, they became upset, the news shocked them, because as usual they hadn’t been paying attention. Don’t worry, I said, none of us will ever explode. But they didn’t believe me. If you’re so sure, they said, prove it. I looked to my wife for support. Yeah, she said, prove it. She started crying. Uncle Jim walked in. We thought he had died.

Parker Young lives in Chicago. His writing has appeared in Hobart, X-R-A-Y, Babel Tower Notice Board, and elsewhere. His debut story collection is forthcoming from Future Tense Books in 2022.