1. OK, Bill, just because you understood it without a caption doesn’t mean that everyone else did. Care to enlighten everyone else? Or at least just me?

  2. I got it, but it took me about 30 seconds. After wondering why it wasn’t a washing machine.

  3. Oh…. I thought the joke was *entirely* the SOS pads. Never would have gotten Self-Cleaning Oven any more than I got Safe Cracker.

    I guess there’s a fine line between when the humor of a pun is its self-evidence that it leads the listener on without revealing, or when it is puzzling and the reveal is an “oh, *that’s* it”, and the third case where where the caption serves as a release valve laugh track.

    IMO this one would be the 3rd, and I think it’d be better with a caption.

  4. It’s actually not the oven that’s being cleaned, though.

    Tales from the Claim File:

    Back in my insurance days, I had a claim from a client who had a problem with the self cleaning oven.

    For those who don’t know, they “self-clean” by getting very, very hot and burning the grease and food particles. It may leave a little residue but it should mostly combust. In this case, “very, very hot” means about 500°C. This is hot enough to be dangerous. During the cleaning cycle, there is a safety lock that prevents the oven from being opened until the temperature is back to a “safe” level.

    So, guy had oven on self-clean mode. Noticed burny smell. Checked on oven. There was a fire burning in the oven. He could not open the door to extinguish it. Fire department was called and he and spouse left the home. The fire department could not get the oven open either and, figuring “better out than in”, dragged it to a window and tossed it out. The oven fire was then dealt with outside.

    Guy said that he and his wife had intended to go out for a walk that evening while the oven cleaned but got delayed (forget the reason), otherwise it may have spread throughout the whole unit.

  5. I don’t recall. I think it could have been accumulated crud. I think the claim didn’t go far because there wasn’t much other damage. Not enough to make a claim worthwhile after the deductible. That was always a delicate conversation. I didn’t want people to think I was refusing to process their claim, but I did want to plant the idea that claiming for $2,000 when you have a $1,000 deductible and you’re going to get a 30% premium increase as your reward, best not to do it.

    Bonus Fact: I have a self-cleaning oven and have been too afraid to use the feature.

  6. I doubt that the oven fire would have caused much damage or even lasted too long had your claimant just let it be — the firefighters probably caused a lot more damage than the oven ever would have. The oven is built to withstand temperatures up to at least 500˚ C (otherwise how can you offer a cleaning cycle that gets that hot?) — grease burns at less than 450˚ C, so the actual fire is not going to be that much hotter than the oven is at anyway. Plus there’s not going to be all that much more combustible stuff (I mean, how dirty was this oven? Are there really visible chunks of stuff in there? Yuck! But even so, it’ll quickly burn away), and the oxygen supply is probably pretty limited too. Think of it as a wood stove — just leave it in place and let it burn itself out.

  7. Ordinarily I would agree with larK, but there are exceptions, such as when the excessive heat causes seals or electrical connections to fail. We had the latter happen when I was a kid, and the loose wire bounced across the back wall of the oven, arc-welding little holes in the steel as it went. Problems can also occur if the insulation to neighboring cabinets isn’t sufficient. One would expect that the engineers would have built in safety factors, but such incidents can still happen:

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