We love our dogs and every year we try and get them something special. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had purchased a bulk lot of used tennis balls for them. since they were dusty with court clay, he washed them in the washing machine, but instead of drying them in the dryer, he put them in the over to dry. Again, without telling me.

As I began to prepare for my day of holiday baking, I gathered up all of my ingredients and baking tools, and began to preheat the oven. It was an old oven, so I knew to start the temp at 450 degrees in an attempt to get the thing hot before the holidays were over.

Are you starting to see what is about to happen?

I should have investigated when I heard our black Labrador Retriever, Jack, whimpering (and staring at the oven door.) It was the smell and the blue smoke that began to fill the kitchen that was my call to action. Opening the oven door, I was greeted by the sight of what appeared to be giant smoking peas. A lot of them.

Do tennis balls explode when super-heated? I didn’t want to find out. At least the dogs were smart enough to run.

I turned off the oven and quickly gathered a large stockpot and tongs. As fast as I could, I began to toss the hot balls into the pot; all 22 of them.

And then the pot went under the kitchen sink. I realized my mistake as the first steamy fumes enveloped by face and fogged my glasses. And the kitchen began to fill with the smell of evil. Five years later, when the weather is cold and the time for holiday baking comes around again, you can just catch a whiff of burned rubber that permeated the walls of the kitchen. Ah, the smell of the holidays.

(I did get a new oven though! Guilty husbands can be very giving.)

And you can see from the video, they got new tennis balls too.

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