Okay, so I may have exaggerated a little with the title of this post, but check it out; this thing is flat as a pancake, jet black, and it never moves… just like a real dead cat!
What you’re seeing above is a Leschi Wärmekissen — or microwaveable warming pillow — which my wife received from her parents for her birthday. (Until this year, I had no idea you could warm yourself using bags of wheat shaped like roadkill. It’s just so grim and humorless. God I love this country.)
So my wife gets this thing and, because she’s a huge philosophy nerd, promptly names it “Minerva.” Minerva was the Roman version of the Greek goddess Athena, and Athena was the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and… you know what? They should have just named her “Miscellaneous.”
My wife took Minerva into the kitchen, put her in the microwave and zapped her ass for exactly one and a half minutes. She then shook the bejeezus out of the poor thing — mixing all the wheat kernels inside — and gave her another minute and a half. When Minerva finally came out of the microwave, she was hot. Like, surprisingly hot, and growing hotter with every passing second. My wife wrapped the thing around my neck and exactly three thoughts sprang into my mind:
- I am impressed because it is burning me.
- The kernels inside are seeping moisture onto my neck.
- Are children allowed to use warming pillows? I mean, you just know there’s gonna be a lawsuit after a little kid gets a hold of one of these things and gleefully wraps molten grain around his jugular…
So we placed Minerva in a dish rag and that helped with the moisture. It also helped keep her from blistering the skin over my vertebrae. I really was impressed though: the warming pillow kept its heat for almost an hour. Here is the sequence of events:
Once Minerva began to cool, I went back into the kitchen and attempted to reheat her myself. And since I am American, I figured, hell, more is better, right? Wouldn’t the heat last even longer if I were to leave her in the microwave for, say, two and a half minutes at a time? And that’s how I managed to turn Minerva into “Popcorn Minerva.”
Ever since that day, she has smelled exactly like scorched popcorn, which is how she became more my birthday present than my wife’s. I’m the only one who uses the foul-smelling thing. I keep Popcorn Minerva stuffed into the back of my hood, which is pulled up over my head all day long as I work. The smell permeates my hoodie and seeps into every pore of my skull, so when my wife comes home at the end of the day, she pulls my hood back, sniffs my forehead and tells me I smell, “like an old man.”
This one is totally my fault. I can only award myself 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds for the manner in which I destroyed my wife’s birthday present this year:
(I get one diamond for effort. If the cat had burst into flames, I would have earned at least 3 for style.)
Would you like to read another post about life in Germany? You might dig this one: Culture Shock: Even More Things That Suck About Living in Germany