How to crisp your shrimp

Tonight I lost a dinner of shrimp and fries to maybe the weirdest thing I’ve ever had happen in my kitchen. The food was on a baking sheet in the oven. The oven timer went off, so I started to press the “off” button on the control panel membrane and the door latch engaged. I could NOT get the thing to unlock, either. The only way I know to lock that door is by pressing the “Auto Clean” button, but it’s eight buttons to the left of the “Off” button, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t press it by mistake. I turned off the oven so no more heat was generated, but since the thing was locked it retained all its lovely 425° temperature and started burning the food.

I called the Sears people (maintenance contract vendor) and it was too late in the day to reach them (6:00PM). I called the Whirlpool 800-number and it was WAY too late to reach them. I called the Fire Department and they said they couldn’t come out for an oven door, despite my telling the guy that things inside the oven were burning. I tried taking the door off by lifting it up and pulling the bottom out, but because it was latched that didn’t work.

Finally I lifted and pressured and pulled and I got it free of the latch, but my $9 worth of battered shrimp and my frozen fries were nothing but charred remnants. The kitchen was pretty full of smoke there for a while.

I’m going to have fun explaining this to the Sears people when I set an appointment.

The “Auto Clean” button is nowhere near the “Off” button, so I’m pretty durn sure I didn’t accidentally press it by mistake. I have no clue how this happened.