How to be an Adult #1: The Rangehood.
Being an adult is confusing. Suddenly you live alone and you’re expected to know how to look after yourself (and possibly even dependents). Worse, there’s no manual, and let’s be honest, if there were, would you really bother reading one? With that in mind I have decided to share a few of my most adult discoveries, so you might be saved the effort of calling your mum, dad, or neighbour for help.
How to be an Adult #1: The Rangehood.
You know the thing above the oven that has a light and a fan? Well apparently this is called the “rangehood”.
Wait, let’s take a step back. The oven is the thing that heats up your food when the microwave is broken. Don’t stress too much about this until it happens, but as a side note, ovens and stovetops (the circles on top) are hot, so it is best not to touch the elements directly (a lesson I relearn the hard way at least once a month). Apart from that, ovens are relatively simple to use once you work out what all the weird little symbols and numbers mean, which is virtually impossible. That said, if you turn all the knobs, eventually your food will heat up. Unfortunately, if you have a gas stove, I can’t help. The only time I’ve used one of these, I set myself and half my sister’s kitchen on fire.
Now back to the rangehood. Many of you may not realise that this device requires maintenance in the form of cleaning. *shudder*
I know, I know. You’re shaking your head and telling me that nothing REALLY needs cleaning. Just sweep it under the rug, so to speak. But unfortunately if you don’t clean the rangehood, it’s going to stop sucking air and when that happens you’ll be left with a unit filled with smoke, a fire alarm that won’t stop beeping no matter how hard you hit it with the broom, and a cat clawing your face because… well, because he just likes clawing your face.
Once you’ve aired the house for a few days, during which you live off takeaway for fear you might cause some new and more horrific culinary disaster, you’ll decide you need to fix this whole… situation. If you call an electrician to come fix the problem, they’ll probably tell you to contact an ‘appliance service specialist’. Once you work out what an appliance service specialist is and hunt one down, they will laugh at you and tell you that you need to CLEAN the rangehood (see, I told you). Of course, if you’re anything like me, at this point in the conversation you still won’t know what a rangehood is, but now you’ve read this post you at least have that knowledge under your belt. Forgotten already? Zoned out two sentences in? Refer to Figure A above.
Now back to the cleaning. OBVIOUSLY when you hear the word ‘cleaning’ from the appliance service specialist, you stop listening completely and become distracted by the absurd shininess of the oven on display on the other side of the room. This is fair enough. Nothing earthly should be that shiny and it is totally understandable that you lose concentration as you fantasise about aliens delivering ovens via beams of light in some deserted paddock out Huonville way. Don’t be hard on yourself, but whether you are listening or not, it is important you continue nodding.
After a few minutes the appliance service specialist might hand you a bottle of spray and ask you to hand over some money. If she does, pat yourself on the back as congratulations for a successful human interaction! If she doesn’t and you find yourself standing outside the service center no wiser and with no more facility to handle the situation, you’re going to have to go back inside. The appliance service specialist will give you a strange look when you ask her how to clean the rangehood, because she probably told you before, but if you keep repeating “but how” every time you get confused or zone out, she’ll eventually hand you the desired cleaning product and you can go home. Level One ACHIEVEMENT!
I’m still not completely sure what you’re supposed to do with this bottle of spray. It will have a list of “instructions” on the back, but we all know instructions are for babies, and you’re an adult now! We can make some assumptions. The fact that it is in a spray bottle, for example, is a helpful hint. The fact that the rangehood has clips for you to remove the main filter is another. My suggestion is that you remove the filter – this will take some prying and you might break a nail and/or slip and nearly impale yourself on the utensil stand, which includes up-facing knives. Do not be dissuaded. You are nearly there! Once you have removed the filter, go outside and spray the spray on it. I recommend using approximately half the bottle, because you want to be thorough and don’t want to go through all this again any time soon, but you don’t want to return to the service center to buy more next time either.
Then get your hose and blast it.
No doubt you will be tired at this point. Go inside and watch a movie. Have a glass of wine. You deserve it! Don’t worry if you forget about the filter for a few days, maybe a week. It’ll still be there when you stumble onto it the next time you think to look where you’re going as you leave the house. Once you find it again, return to your oven and attempt to put the filter back in the rangehood. Don’t stress if it doesn’t fit properly. Nothing and no one is perfect. You did your best. And now you can eat again… but next time I’d suggest you just invest in a new microwave.