An elucidation, an apology to the snack food so many hold dear.
  1. At twelve years old, I got my first job—managing the snack bar at the (tiny) city's baseball diamond in the (tiny) city where I lived.
    Population: around 1500. Things to do on the weekend in Angels Camp: watch tee-ball, softball, and baseball while eating sunflower seeds and rooting for all the teams, since you know everyone from the pinch runner on first to the wide swath of sweet kids hiding from their fielding duties in far right field.
  2. It was perfect.
    I split shifts with one other girl, and got to manage the bitty snack shack all by myself (!!!) every Wednesday from 3:00 to 8:00, and every Saturday all day.
  3. I sold candy bars, soda drinks, slushies in three different flavors, peanuts, granola bars, Gatorade (red, orange & blue), sunflower seeds, hot dogs, and yes, nachos too.
    For all this, I was paid handsomely: $4 whole dollars an hour. I was rich, I was paid with a real, honest to goodness check, and I felt invincible.
  4. All spring and summer, I thought the grossest part of my job was cleaning out the hot dog warmer at the end of the night.
    That is a smell that sticks with you, my friends.
  5. That was, until the other girl, Kim, the girl who worked Sundays, had to call out sick about two hours into her shift.
    I said I would cover for her, and asked if she had put the nacho cheese into the warmer yet.
  6. Kim said, "Of course, please come soon. I'm really sick."
    Why would I ever second guess her?
  7. The nacho cheese, it took about two hours to warm up enough for the big pump on the machine to dispense hot orange cheese product (the horror!) onto these little hockey puck corn chips we filled a small paper boat with.
  8. When I arrive, literally at a dead run, to the snack bar, I quickly put up the hot dogs, counted out my start cash, and checked to see that the cheese warmer was on. So far, so good.
    How unsuspecting I was.
  9. This would be a good time to mention that the snack bar had a real, working, if old, oven inside of it. We never used the oven, so I paid it no attention that fateful Sunday.
    How unsuspecting I was.
  10. It was now close to lunchtime on a hot summer Sunday. I was slinging slushies left and right. Kids were lined up all the way back to the diamonds, patiently waiting to buy a Snickers bar for fifty cents.
  11. There was an odd smell in the snack bar, and I couldn't tell what it was. It smelled...bad.
    I chalked it up to the dirty water hot dogs.
  12. This happened in an instant: there was a high-pitched whine, and by the time I could figure out from where it was coming, disaster struck.
  13. Earlier that morning, Kim, sick and lacking, any energy to properly open the snack bar, forgot to put any cheese in the warmer. No problem, she thought— there's a solution right here!
  14. Her solution:
  15. Turn on oven to broil and crank it up as hot as any oven could ever get.
  16. Place completely unopened ten pound can of cheese inside oven.
  17. Lock oven door.
  18. Leave, and tell no one.
  19. The result? A CHEESE BOMB.
    It blew the door straight off the oven. Shards of aluminum, wrought and hot, flew out and stuck in the walls where they landed. The cheese? It was everywhere.
  20. It was a nacho IED.
    And miraculously, I survived!
  21. Nachos: very dangerous, and very good; isn't that the definition of sublime?