If you’re coming to my house for a social call, a casual tête-á-tête, a little visit just to say hi, make sure to take note of both your surroundings and your offerings. Bring wine if you like; wine is benign. A six-pack, perfectly balanced with a sunny smile and a warm greeting will make the afternoon bright. Even a bag of chips is good  because bags of chips have never been identified with ominous tidings or uncanny prophecy.

But avoid the Pyrex if you want to stay married. Or if there’s any potential for emotional disaster looming. Beware if you are mid-argument with someone; the stakes may get a whole lot higher once the Pyrex enters the equation.

On the other hand, if you are looking to hasten the conclusion of a thing–if you are, say, looking for the exit in an unhappy romance–feel free to bring the Pyrex-oven-and-microwave-safe-glassware, full of glistening and delicious morsels of food. Perhaps the Pyrex on its own would be enough to speed up the process, but this theory has not been qualitatively tested in the affirmative. There has often been food in the Pyrex in the past, and if you are truly committed to ending a thing, best to hedge your bets on a full dish.

The first example of Pyrex as prognosticator came ten years ago. Two friends dropped by unannounced while I was making lunch. It was a beautiful day, sunny, warm, deceptive in its cheerful aspect. We sat around our kitchen table laughing the laughter of the innocent, naïve souls who did not yet know how to read the signs.

One friend got a phone call; he took it on our porch.

I used a hot mitt to remove lunch from the oven, in Pyrex, which upon meeting the cool air, blew up in my hand, sending shards of hot glass over the entire kitchen.

My husband, noting the glazed expression on my face and the fact that I had no shoes on, threw me over his shoulder, a classic fireman rescue straight out of Hollywood disaster movies. Our friend on the porch, taking his phone call of doom, saw me in this rather embarrassing position, and wondered what sort of horror had befallen me, especially when he was receiving the message from his wife that they were getting a divorce. It was over between them. She was with someone else and was finalizing their marriage by putting in the papers.

Our vinyl kitchen flooring was a little melted in places, I was completely fine, the Pyrex and our lunch was a wash. Our friend was devastated. He had been married for years, and with the woman for far longer; we had been at their wedding. They had a child. It was a hopeless situation. And the Pyrex told all.

Years passed. We moved to a new house. Friends of ours came together with nary a breakup or disaster in sight. No Pyrex coincided with any social mishaps. I hadn’t used Pyrex much after the explosive necromancy of the past; since it blew up once I wasn’t encouraged to test its integrity every time I baked something. But nothing terrible had befallen any of our friends or loved-ones in a proximal relation to any oven-ready glassware in a long time, so perhaps we let our guard down.

Perhaps we had forgotten the lessons of the Pyrex, Harbinger of Doom.

Four years ago, two friends of ours were coming over to dinner. It was a reunion planned with great joy; one of our friends had come out of a career which had been one of the most surreal experiences of her life and now that she was relieved of duty, she was stunned at the life she walked back into. She was instantly famous, recognizable to any and all who walked down the street. She was weary and needed a respite from all the attention. I have pictures from that night. She looks sad, her life exciting and interesting, but overwhelming and stressful just the same.

She asked what she could bring, and I said anything that went with gumbo would be fine; a vegetable dish or cornbread, maybe. I did not think to specify the container; who does?

She is a terrific cook, one who takes great delight in feeding those she loves. She hadn’t cooked for anyone in months and had placed all her affection and all her joy of of good friendship in her big pot of greens. She and her beau walked up to the door with her lovingly prepared collards, the perfect accompaniment to a Dutch oven full of gumbo. The bag, heavy with liquid, slipped a little, and then more, and she watched, helpless, as the collards in their Pyrex sepulcher fell and shattered across our front walkway. She was devastated, started to cry because she had poured her love into them, and now they were cast across the pavement in a cruel dispatch, the tea leaves of Southern comfort food embossing our sidewalk with messages we couldn’t decipher.

We did not know that the disaster was not the loss of the greens; they were going to be delicious and we mourned them. But the Pyrex does not concern itself with mere sustenance, the food of the flesh; its concerns are metaphysical, otherworldly, ineffable. For our friend’s beau, unlikely as it seems, was the same beau who had been served notice on his impending divorce when the first Pyrex blew up in my hands. We even remarked on the uncanny similarities of events, laughed nervously at the unlikely coincidence, though since he was already divorced, his first wife couldn’t divorce him again.

Alas, there are more options in the fore-shadowing of Pyrex.

At about eight o’clock, the beau received a phone call from his now ex-wife: she was moving out of state with her new family. And she was taking their child with her.

Let me state for the record that we were good friends with this beau, but we hardly ever saw him. We most often mingled with him at large barbecues, where apparently the mishmosh of Pyrex mixed with other off-brand examples of oven-safe glassware watered down the chimes of the universe. Perhaps Pyrex has a direct line into the psyche of this one friend, which only aligns, like certain constellations, when in proximity to my husband and myself. Location is irrelevant: we live in a different house than the delivery of Interstellar Pyrex Message Number One, but the message seems to follow us to where-ever we are.

It would appear that Pyrex, in some unspoken relationship, has chosen my husband and I as the locus for emotional disasters to befall our friend and his kin.

Years pass, fortunes change. I turn forty. A celebration, a convivial atmosphere. Pyrex? None to be seen, but I wasn’t looking–I was turning forty, after all. Surrounded by my friends and loved ones, including the couple, Famous Person and Pyrex Lightning Rod.

They decided to part ways after almost a decade together. At my party, on our deck.

I had been too caught up in my own personal drama of forty-ness to look for the clues; where had the Pyrex been hiding? How had I missed the signs? But maybe this is not a part of Pyrex Prophecy. My husband and I just need to be near the Pyrex, we don’t even need to know it’s there for the powerful voodoo of Pyrex oven-safe dishware to work its ill-wind upon our friends. Maybe we are merely tools the Pyrex utilizes to channel the messages from the celestial spheres, creating a zone of safety for our friends to receive Pyrex Prestidigitation. We are the jewel and the medallion on the Staff of Ra, shedding light upon the stage where the drama will unfold, but not actors in the play. We must merely exist for the Pyrex to deliver its missive.

I want you to come over to our house, and we will share all the delights our house has to offer.  I set a good table, our house is warm with cheer. We will sit under the grape arbor in summer and around the table in fall. We will laugh, and take great joy in each others company.

But it is only fair to reveal the Truth of Pyrex. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

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QUENBY MOONE used to be a graphic designer who wrote once in a while. After her father came down with a touch of Stage IV prostate cancer, she became a writer who did graphic design once in a while.

She's written a book called Living in Twilight (no relation to vampires - unless dying of cancer is a part of Edward's story) in which her design skills came in handy, and includes some of her stories featured on The Nervous Breakdown.

50 responses to “The Pyrex Tolls For Thee”

  1. Joe Daly says:

    This is freaking me out. I just used a large Pyrex measuring cup to fill my coffee machine. What am I doing sitting here typing, I need to get home and empty that machine stat!

    Thanks for the fun read. 🙂

    • Quenby Moone says:

      You may be in luck since neither me nor my husband is standing next to you or your Pyrex glassware. If we were, I’d say “HIT THE DECK!” but you may be safe.

      For now.

  2. Judy Prince says:

    Excellent funny, QB! Am heading to the kitchen right now to purge the PYREX CURSES. Not to worry you or anything, but doesn’t the corp that makes PYREX CURSES also make little components that go into our automobile engines? [shudder]

    • Quenby Moone says:

      One never knows exactly where Pyrex lives, nor where the curse will surface. Only that it seems that my husband and I have become the conduit through which it delivers its messages of doom. If you stay at least fifty feet from me while baking in Pyrex, maybe you’ll be okay!

      • Judy Prince says:

        Gurl, this calls for Pyrexorcism, a ritual brought to high art by Jesuits Gone Wild and involving stone toilets and Pyrex spiders. Not to worry. We gotcha covered. OMG—has anybody checked the elements making up a light saber?! Pyrex?!

  3. D.R. Haney says:

    I don’t own any Pyrex! This is excellent! I’ll be there in ten minutes, QB!

    Ding-dong!

    Oh, gosh, you know what just happened? Somebody — some perfect stranger — just rang my bell and, over my protestations, handed me Pyrex cookware. This is a bad omen. I’ll drop by some other time, QB, but thanks for the invite!

  4. Matt says:

    I’ll admit: I had to stop reading this about halfway through and go Google “Pyrex” as I had no idea what it was. The closest I could come up with was the geological material pyrite, which just made no sense. “Why in the hell,” I was asking myself, “would anyone be cooking with Fool’s Gold?”

    There. Mystery solved. I don’t own any Pyrex cookware, so I think I’m safe.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Mayhaps the pyrite works elsewhere! Maybe you can channel a direct line into Fool’s Gold prophecies. There may be all kinds of openings with all kinds of mundane chemical elements, cooking utensils, twigs, and we just haven’t cracked the code yet.

      I leave the Fool’s Gold to you, my friend. I’ve got my hands full with the Pyrex!

  5. Zara Potts says:

    I love your fortune telling pyrex dishes and I love that your husband hoisted you up in a fireman’s lift to protect your naked feet from the glass.
    That has made me happy this morning.

  6. This post explains the plethora of vintage Pyrex I have found trolling tag sales….. the cursed live on….

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Seriously, you need to watch out for errant Pyrex! The good Pyrex masquerades as the bad Pyrex, and I haven’t been able to figure out how to tell them apart!

      If I had, marriages might have not been saved, but not dissolved in my kitchen!

  7. Irene Zion says:

    I blew up a pyrex dish a couple of months ago. It certainly blows into many sizes of shards, I must say.

    I bake bread all the time and the metal pan which I fill with water is too short-sided to keep the steam going without refilling it.

    So I come upon the pyrex lasagna dish. Wow, say I, that has higher sides! That will last longer!

    Well, the problem is that I never make a little of anything. This day I was making 16 loaves of sour dough Italian bread. I had to refill the pyrex. The pyrex had already been heated to a pretty high temperature. I poured tap water into it from a tupperware pitcher.

    BOOM!

    Had to carry my goldens out firemen’s carry too. They had bare feet.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Blammo! Smash!

      I feel for your golden’s tootsies–it’s to your great credit that you and your back summoned up the strength to carry them out of your kitchen in the classic fireman lift! I seriously cringe when I think about my husband’s spine crinkling under that weight. Yikes! I mean, I’m small–but dayyum. That’s awkward!

      Pyrex. Secret bomb-making material masquerading as everyday kitchenware. They ought to label it as lethal.

  8. Slade Ham says:

    Somewhere there is a family of Pyrex sitting around the diner table. One piece tells the others, “It’s the strangest thing. Every time we get together with this friend of ours and someone brings Quenby Moone, bad things seem to happen.”

    🙂

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Now, waitacottonpickinminute! Are you saying that the slaughter of hapless families of Pyrex have met their premature demise because I stumbled along? Have you no heart? Have you no soul?

      I meant no harm to come to the Pyrex. I am but a conduit–I have no choice in how I end up being used as such!

    • Judy Prince says:

      Yeek, QB, sorry, but Slade’s caught you. All those suppressed rages towards your friends…..all those nights reading bodice-rippers and wishing your husband would do the Fireman Carry…….all those damned parties to give and go to and cook for…..

      I give Slade a 5-star for this one. But, Slade—can you do a Fireman Carry?

  9. Slade Ham says:

    Hahaha, not just the Pyrex, but your friend’s bad luck as well. You are just as constant in the equation as the Pyrex, no?

    I’m laughing quite hard at my logic right now 🙂

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Holdup. Don’t break my brain. Are you saying…that…only I….

      That…I…am…both….THE CAUSE AND THE EFFECT?

      No. I refuse to believe that I am the one thing that brings tumult into the lives of my friends.

      Maybe ONE of the things, but not the sole thing. I hope. Me and Pyrex; bad news.

      • Slade Ham says:

        It’s almost certainly the Pyrex, but my mind had to entertain the other option. I’m over it, haha. You are free from liability. You are way to good of a person to be responsible.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Egad! Fate accompli!

        • Slade Ham says:

          Ah, shit. See what I started?

        • Quenby Moone says:

          Seriously, now I don’t know what to do. My mission, delivering the messages from beyond through the conduit of Pyrex–curse or good deed? I mean, he could have gotten dumped in a restaurant–or the proctologists, you know?

          On the one hand it’s a complete burden of responsibility, waiting for Pyrex messages from god knows where, but on the other hand, wouldn’t you rather get dumped in the privacy of my house than, say, the McDonald’s while you’re picking up a McMuffin?

          Think about the options here!

        • Slade Ham says:

          You’ve clearly been chosen… You couldn’t fight it even if you wanted to. You’re most definitely a positive force. A good dinner and good company certainly makes bad news easier to take than hearing it over a Quarter Pounder.

  10. Greg Olear says:

    You’re such a riot, QB.

    My wife has a shall-we-say Pyrectic effect with wedding singing. She has an amazing voice, and so is (or was) asked to sing at a number of weddings. Not sure how many, but more than two or three. The divorce rate of those marriages is staggeringly high — in the 80th percentile, I think, and maybe higher. (Thankfully she didn’t sing at her own wedding!)

    Glass can shatter by absorbing bad energy. For reals. We were just discussing this at dinner. So your Pyrex story makes perfect sense. It’s more sensitive than glass.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      I have started riots, how did you know? (not really. I don’t think so, anyway.)

      That’s eerie about the wedding singing. She should have a disclaimer drawn up all pretty and legal-like saying she claims no responsibility for said-80-percent-rate, and that they proceed with her singing for their nuptials at their own risk. We need to think of Stephanie here and any impending lawsuits!

      As for my Pyrex and bad energy, all I know is the shizzit blewed up. And then my friend dropped a Pyrex dish and the shizzit blewed up again. I don’t know nothing.

      I just report the facts, Ma’am. Man. Man’am.

  11. This is so strange. Literally, we went out to dinner tonite and I was telling Greg
    what I had learned about glass breaking and what it means. And we hadn’t read your post yet.
    Someone random I met earlier was telling me that she learned that when glass breaks it absorbs
    negative energy.

    We were talking about this because I almost broke a glass at dinner tonite.
    And one time early on in mine and Greg’s relationship,
    we were having dinner at my Dad’s house with my step-mom.
    Talk about negative energy. My step-mom and I had not spoken in two years before Greg came along. We had just started to make attempts at reconciliation before this dinner.
    I went for the water glass – a nice crystal goblet – and it exploded immediately in my hand – just exploded. We always kind of marveled at how bizarre this was.
    After talking to this random person and now hearing your story – I know this is true. You are like the force for absorbing negative energy – you and Pyrex – you’re like the Wonder Twins! When we finally meet – let’s have plastic only, ok?? Unless of course your wonder powers are needed – who knows!

    And yes, a staggering amount of weddings I have sung at have ended up in divorce. The only ones left standing are my brother and sis-in-law and a devout Catholic friend from childhood. (mind you – this does not count singing in groups – only solo) – This has happened maybe 7 or 8 times – this divorce thing. So much so that I say no now when asked. And I did not sing at our wedding – I was even asked. I’m like the Pyrex wedding singer.

    • Greg Olear says:

      When I accompany Steph on guitar, the couple not only gets divorced, but one of them changes sexual orientation.

      Steph, your wedding-singer stage name should be Pyrexia.

      • Quenby Moone says:

        All hail Pyrexia! I’m hiring you for a lot of marriages in the past, the ones that deserved to fail out of the gate.

        I don’t feel comfortable setting you up for gigs in the present, though. That’s too big a responsibility!

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Pyrexic. Pyretic? You’re a Pyrexic wedding singer, which sounds completely impressive, and if it weren’t so terrifying you could put it on a business card! It’s a dark force, to be wielded only by heroes who know which couples should divorce–jerks who married gems, total bores who don’t deserve the level of awesome they managed to score.

      Still, it’s a weighty burden.

      I promise to use my power only for, um…I don’t know what. A decent break-up in a safe environment? That doesn’t sound cool at all.

      But the glass breaking in your hand should have put your step-mother on notice! She should have pricked up her ears and paid attention to the cosmos, for they were telling her a little sumptim-sumptim! Messages like that don’t come every day, and one needs to pay attention when the arrive.

      Yes, perhaps plastic cups are in order when we meet. Even though it’s only the one friend who seems to get the whammy of Pyrex, we’ll err on the side of caution!

      • I think my step-mom did take note. She has been slightly nicer to me since then – could
        be that Greg is so charming and seems to be a balm for all of my family woes – or it could be the exploding glass.

  12. And I do want to add – that yes, you are a riot.
    I loves your writings, woman!

  13. Wow, it exploded… That’s terrifying.

    I was once working in a restaurant kitchen, cleaning dishes. A guy asked me, “Are you afraid you’ll break something?”

    “No,” I said. “I’ve been here three months and haven’t broken a thing…”

    Just as I said those words, the glass in my hand shattered. I wasn’t squeezing it and it didn’t fall. It just exploded for no reason.

    But glass is glass.. Pyrex? That’s a head-for-the-hills moment.

    • Quenby Moone says:

      BLEW. UP.

      Not a little “Oops, broke a glass,” kind of broken. Not a quaint little, “Darn, got a nick in this lovely wine glass, which is thin enough that in a pinch I could use it for a tissue.” You are right, David. This is a “Duck, cover, kiss-ass-goodbye” moment.

      It was completely surreal, and all four of us, even though our friend had just had his ass handed to him by his soon-to-be ex-wife marveled at the complete unlikely confluence of events.

      I love your restaurant story! Especially because I love stories in which the cosmos sort of tweak the nose of people making broad statements: “I haven’t broken a thing!” I love the cosmos! Yay!

      • Yep, some people call it “God,” some explain it away with other wild theories… but sometimes weird things just happen and you can’t explain it. It’s nice when it ends up being comic.

  14. Judy Prince says:

    Just got out a baking dish—brand name Anchor-Hocking. Is that like a Pyrex? Should I purge it? Wait, it’s all right as long as QB isn’t nearby. Whew. Glad that’s settled. 😉

    • Quenby Moone says:

      I think it’s brand-name specific, Judy. I have a feeling you’re in the clear. Also, I have a feeling if you invited me over you’d have the good sense to put all the glass bakeware in the basement and cut your phone lines, just to be absolutely sure!

      • Judy Prince says:

        Just ate some of the spaghetti squash that I’d baked in the Anchor-Hocking glass dish; was actually a bit scared to take it out of the oven (fear is a frightening thing!), but everything’s all right.

        Oh you gurl; you’re the deliverer—not of mayhem and break-ups—but of us from the potential shardiness of PYREX!! Stand Tall!! Walk Proud!! Write a bodice-ripper starring your (fictionalised) husband Fireman-Carrying his wife through a forest . . . into a little clearing . . . with Bambi . . . it’s all so clear to me now, full-bellied, and at half one in the morning………… [snores]

  15. Richard Cox says:

    Wow, that’s hilarious, although not so funny for the Pyrex Lightning Rod. I can’t believe the pan exploded. I read through the comments and it seems like it’s happened to others.

    I have two Pyrex pans I’ve used many times for baking and nary a problem. The next time I do I’m going to be all suspicious-like. Thanks a lot, QM!

    • Quenby Moone says:

      Pyrex Lightning Rod definitely got a bum deal out of the thing. I mean, I just get to write about the personal train wreck; PLR had to live it!

      First off, that you bake anything puts you on a high spot on my list of awesome, because I’m very easily motivated by food, just like a pooch. Secondly, since you’re nowhere near PLR (or me) I think your bakeware may have a better survival rate. I’m not an authority, but that seems to put you solidly in a low risk category for Prophetic Pyrex.

      At least this is my hope for you. No-one wants to be the bearer of bad news, even through Pyrex.

  16. Simon Smithson says:

    I wonder – is there some way to reverse the curse? Maybe by preparing a meal backwards in the Pyrex?

    I don’t even know how such a thing could be done. But there must be a charm!

    • Quenby Moone says:

      If I had kept the shards, you think I could have put it back together and saved the marriage? Naw, that was a doomed thing–the Pyrex merely mentioned the obvious finality of the thing.

      But I’m going to start cooking backwards to see what happens. I’ll get back to you with results.

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