I have been contemplating many things of late; especially late. You know the dark ponderings that make you wake at exactly 4 am in the morning lathered in a cold sweat. Sometimes I lie there naked trying to control my breathing. Did I turn off the oven? Of course I did, I always turn off the oven. But what if I forgot on this one occasion. I never forget and I always check twice. This is not exactly the case is it Flaxen? You always check at least three times. The third time is after you have left the room for 30 seconds. So that's settled then, I did turn it off.
Then truly a dark thought: What if on this one occasion I forgot. After all, life is governed by chance. Turning off the oven, or engaging in any activity for that matter, is subject to probability. And just because you have performed a particular routine a 1,000 times is no guarantee the sequence will continue. There is only one sure way to tell. Yep, but I'm cosy warm, especially now as the sweat has dissipated into the sheets. I could ask my sleeping partner to check. But even I know that would be selfish. And of course, I know what her response would be. So, I just need to remove the dark thought from my head and get back to sleep. Easy, just need to wash away thoughts of hot ovens from my weary brain with an infinite series of irrational numbers- that usually does it. And anyhow, I'm getting up at 6 am. What harm would it be if I left it on for another two hours? Now you are being sensible Flaxen that befits your self-perception as a rational being. Good, I can get back to sleep. One thing, though. You are aware how hectic things are in the morning? Rush, rush, rush. No time for breakfast; no time for fripperies. All is time organised and in sequence. This is the one time in my life I don't have time to check if I've turned everything off. That is because I don't turn anything on, not even the lights. Luckily I know the layout of my home down to a fine degree and navigate all potential obstacles and toe bruisers with veritable aplomb. A finely choreographed performance executed at speed. Exactly 12.5 minutes from leaving my bed I'm ready to drive to work.
No guarantee that I'd check that the oven was off then. Also, I would have to factor in a further 3 minutes to be absolutely sure. That would disrupt my schedule and we can't be having that, can we?
At this stage, even my befuddled 4 am brain has worked out that the only way to be absolutely certain is to get out of bed and check. And so I slip out of bed, bollock naked and stumble out of the bedroom, down the corridor, in the dark, toward the kitchen. "Yelp". Bloody dog! He is supposed to be in the laundry room. "Loki, go on, get back into your basket". Like all good dogs, he ignores his master and follows me into the kitchen. And there it stands like a shrine resplendent in ceramic and chrome. A beacon of hope shining out to restore my fragile, but fragrant, sanity. Except there was no light. If the oven had been left on there would have been light cascading through the oven glass door, but there was none. So I hadn't left it on then.......unless the bulb has fizzled out. Better check the knobs. Everything completely turned off. Close eyes, count to three: still off. And back to bed. "Loki into your basket". Loki looks at me with big soulful brown eyes, which I can't see, and promptly jumps onto, then into, my bed.
Lying in the dark at 4.20am, quietly satisfied and ready to drift off to sleep to sleep the sleep of the just, it suddenly occurrs to me. We had a takeaway last night. Arse, Arse, Arse.