For Christmas one year, my mother's wish list consisted of a blue Kitchen Aid mixer and matching toaster. (Don't worry—she got plenty of other gifts, too.) The toaster wasn't like conventional toasters; instead of two bread slots, it had one long opening across the top and really was a pain to use. But it was blue and fancy, so she loved it.
One night, Mom made club sandwiches for dinner and had to toast the bread. The toaster was sitting on the counter, so she popped in three bread slices and dropped the lever. Seconds later, we heard squeaky shrieking, and then smoke started rising from the toaster. Mom jerked out the bread, but the dark smoke didn't stop. We quickly realized Mom wasn't just making sandwiches for dinner. She unintentionally baked a mouse.
Before we could unplug the toaster and get it outside, a horrible smell filled the house. The stench was unbearable. You could actually taste the flaming rodent in the air. We all lost our appetite that night.
Once the toaster was outside and the smoke subsided, we turned it upside down, and a few droppings fell out. The mouse, however, was permanently attached to the heat coils.
My parents' house is in the middle of a big field, so mice are common. And despite her desire for high-end appliances, my mother didn't cook all that often, so apparently the mouse thought the toaster was a safe residence. When Mom does cook, she sometimes gets creative with dinner. However, mouse flambé is not something any of us are anxious to try again.
I still blame my brother for not giving us a heads up. As we were airing out the house, he remarked, "Well, I thought my Pop-Tart tasted funny this morning!"