The last few times I've used the oven, I've noticed that it started out a bit smoky. I figured there were enough pieces of food flotsam at the bottom that it was time to run the self-cleaning cycle, so once I got finished washing the pots and pans tonight, I set the oven to clean.
Then it started to smoke. Quite a bit. It always smokes a little when it's in cleaning mode, but it was getting rather alarmingly thick. So much so that I opened a couple of windows and turned on the attic fan to clear it out.
Still the smoke kept pouring from the vents around the stove and then I had an awful thought.
I went upstairs and asked my husband, "Did you ever take the pizza out of the oven last night?"
The answer was, "No."
My plan to wait out the smoke was suddenly unfeasible. I shut off the clean cycle and waited for the appliance to cool down enough to remove the offending food item.
It had been two pieces of Papa Murphy's pizza on their cardboard baking tray. When the oven finally cooled down enough to unlock its door, I removed what remained: a charred, curled wisp of what had once been the tray, held down by two charcoal briquettes shaped exactly like olive-studded pizza slices.
Remember that scene at the end of Time Bandits with the evil in the oven? It was a lot like that, only with regular grey smoke instead of yellow.
I've finally gotten most of the lingering smoke out of the air, but I'm sure it will be clinging to all of our textiles and hair for some time to come. I think the only one who enjoyed the experience was Dr. Jones because it gave him the opportunity to fluff up his coat and sit in an open window.
The good news is that it didn't end up setting off the fire alarm, which is hard-wired into our home alarm system. It was embarrassing enough to fill the house with smoke under such stupid circumstances without having the fire department bear witness to my stupidity.
The takeaway is, of course, always check the oven before you run the self-clean cycle. Duh. Now I can no longer make fun of my husband for the time he once did something similar.
And with that, I think I should probably turn in for the night before I do any more damage. Sheesh.