It was fairly obvious that the people who lived here before us moved out without bothering to clean. Who could blame them? I wouldn't have; if I was losing my house to foreclosure I'd probably pack up and leave without bothering to move a single dust bunny. I wouldn't go to the extremes of some of the horror stories we've heard--cement poured down sinks and toilets, ritual small animal sacrifice in the middle of white living room carpet--but the last few weeks of gook would be left right where they were.

So I wasn't surprised or upset that the oven that came with this place was obviously well used. Just clean it and get on with things, no big deal.

Well, no big deal except I hate cooking, and I hate cleaning, so I put it off for a while. When I finally caved and realized we needed use of the oven, I put it on self clean, grimaced through the smell it emitted and waited five hours for it to finish, then opened the door.

Still kinda gross.

So I grabbed some wet paper towels to wipe it out, and as I reached in I wondered why it smelled so funky. Kind of like a diabetic cat's breath after two or three cans of fish and shrimp wet food. Sickly sweet, rancid...gross.

And then I pulled back the paper towel and realized that some of what I wiped up...mouse poop.

Now, there was not a mouse in the oven, and surely the high heat from the self cleaning cycle took care of one if it was under the base of the oven, and I would think that much heat killed any cooties, but there was no way in hell I was ever cooking in it. The thought skeeved me out on about 53 levels, and almost made me gag a little.

The Spouse Thingy just shrugged and said Ok, we'll replace it.

I think he would have eaten food cooked in a mouse-cootied hotbox, but why fight the inevitable? Thumper was not going to use it. Ever.

So we went to Home Depot and selected a nice replacement for our smelly, mouse poop infected range. Yesterday it was delivered and installed, and it was baptized with pumpkin pie.

The I kind of have to use it, at least semi-regularly.

And clean it.


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