Not-so affectionate, but well-earned, nickname for the kitchen I share with 10 other people at the student residence.

Let's face it: We are dirty, procrastinating pigs. During exam times, nobody bothers to clean up after themselves, the kitchen is a sticky mess, and piles of dirty dishes cover every flat surface except the floor.

But even in those glorious times when we all remember to empty the trash can and buy extra dish rags (the sponge on the drainer is stinky and squirty...), the Dangerous Kitchen is a minefield of homicidal household appliances.

If it ain't one thing, it's another....

Pull the oven door too hard, and you will either squeeze your fingers on the handle, or cause the glass front of the oven door to come crashing down on your feet. The oven has also been known to spontaneously ignite.

The kitchen sink faucet makes ominous groaning noises. Like some volcanos, it erupts about once a year, preferentially on Saturday nights. By the time somebody in a now completely drenched tuxedo has managed to stop it haphazardly spewing water everywhere, everybody including a strategically-placed socket near the floor will be ankle-deep in brownish liquid, causing the lights to short out again.

In seemingly random sequence, one of the eight burners on the stove will smell like burned hair and overheat / short-circuit and cause a power outage on the whole floor the second you turn it on.

Your return in the evening will be less than delightful.

The dangerous part of causing a short circuit are 10 irate students who will appear on the scene seconds later. All of whom may have lost an hour's worth of coding, ten pages of their final paper, or were left standing butt-naked in the dark shower when the power went out.
Some may be carrying axes.

You could die from the danger of the dangerous kitchen!

When left to its own demonical devices, the electric kettle sometimes turns itself back on. One day, it will set the house on fire and roast us alive. That'll teach us for not descaling it.

You must walk very careful, you must NOT lean against it

The Dangerous Kitchen re-vegetates itself. Each time a student moves out or goes on holiday, he leaves all his houseplants in the kitchen, where we never water them and hope they die.

Despite our efforts, a wilderness of prickly, thorny, rampant flora shares our habitat, ever growing with a vengeance. They scratch our fingers, entangle us in vines, and throw themselves off cupboards in clay pot Kamikaze attacks. My personal favourite is a 4-foot palm tree with surprisingly sharp leaves that we grudgingly agreed to keep near the recycling bins. It stabs me in the ass each time I throw away a tin can.

When the nighttime is falling and the roaches are crawling...

The fauna is no less hostile; we've had spiders, silverfish and fruit flies. In bad summers, we find maggots - fly larvae - in the recycling bin. We've even had ant colonies. On the fourth floor.

And the stuff in the strainer has a mind of its own...

Obviously, any food left in the Dangerous Kitchen can and will turn into a biohazard. You have never shared a kitchen with 10 people unless you've shoveled liquid broccoli off shelves, poured lumps of green milk into the sink or scratched greyish goo out of used and abandoned pots.

A student with good connections to the meat market went home and left a half dead oxen's leg rotting in the fridge. While defrosting the fridge, we found an old yoghurt that was completely encased in an ice cube on the back wall.

Although I mentioned but the tip of the revolting iceberg, sheer horror turns into morbid curiosity at some point in your university career.
'There's something gross in the fridge today! I don't know what it is...'

Who the fuck wants to clean it? It's disgusting and dirty!

Who indeed? The kitchen floor is either sticky, slippery or full of crumbs. The sink is blocked by food scraps. Bits of old newspapers are sticking to the kitchen table. In the broom cupboard, we found pages of university magazines dating back to the 80's.

But that which does not kill us, makes us buy Frank Zappa's albums.


A tribute to Frank Zappa, who may or may not be silently spinning in his grave