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Microwave ovens were new technology in north Alabama in the 70s, when I was growing up. We got everything late. My mother, born in the 1940s, has told me that she remembers (just barely) a time before TVA brought household electricity to the area, even.

Anyway, my grandfather (“Papo”) didn’t trust microwaves. Nothing could possibly cook something so quickly. “It don’t stay cooked,” he said. His proof was that my grandmother (“Nanny”) had cooked him some bacon in the microwave earlier that day, and within seconds of her putting it on the table, it had unshrivelled itself back out into a sweaty white-pink raw state.

He pointed at it. “See?”

I did allow that it looked pretty nasty.

Nanny just glared at him, and then at me.

She kept using the microwave, though, for years and years after that. I guess he stopped complaining, or she maybe figured out how to use it better.

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