Andrew J. Lederer's BRAND NEW LIFE

I turned on the oven last night to heat a frozen pizza I’d doctored with better than average salami and freshly chopped garlic (chopped by me, so none of those imprecise garlic measures for which the impersonal garlic profferers are known). Aware that the best pizza ovens are hot, I decided to preheat to 530°, the maximum short of broiling.

The oven started to smoke — a thick (in an olfactory sense), toxic-smelling smoke. Thinking quickly, I turned it off.

I strongly suspect the other guy used oven cleaner and never removed it. I fear my lungs have been scarred by lye.

To get some cross-ventilation, I briefly opened the bedroom door, then closed it and utilized the bedroom’s air filter. But after many hours — all night in fact — the bedroom still choked as I suffered through the (short) long, cold, perhaps extremely toxic night.

In the main…

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