Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry outlined his key cabinet-level priorities in a speech to Energy Department staff late last week, highlighting his continued research into getting the office microwave to satisfactorily heat his Hot Pocket lunch. Perry stressed that figuring out the microwave quickly was a critical step in assuring a smooth transition for the new administration.
“I’m working around the clock trying to figure this little guy out. Only then can I really get down to business with the department,” said Perry of the organization tasked with safeguarding America’s 8,000 nuclear warheads. “Every microwave is different when it comes to Hot Pockets, and getting the hang of it can take time, patience and a little luck.”
The microwave, a Magic Chef MCM1611B, features 11 power settings, which have frequently bedeviled Perry in the months since he was confirmed as energy secretary. Sources claim its multiple presets and uneven heating have resulted in sub-optimally warmed Hot Pockets. The ongoing struggle has increasingly frustrated the former governor of Texas.
In his remarks, Perry singled out a recent microwaving accident in which his Hot Pocket unexpectedly exploded. While clean-up crews were tasked with scouring the inside of the unit, Perry said it had simply been a matter of “taking my eye off the ball.”
On another occasion, the secretary’s Hot Pocket emerged still frozen in the middle. This was an especially trying instance, he said. Department staff attribute it to Perry’s accidental entering of the wrong preset code number, likely “popcorn” instead of “frozen dinner.”
“It’s disasters like these which remind us all what is at stake with this microwave,” the secretary noted.
Perry has gone so far as to consider using other microwaves in the James V. Forrestal Building, which houses many of the energy department’s 12,944 scientists and administrative staff, and in Perry’s estimation no less than 12 microwaves that he can fully understand and operate.
The secretary has refused repeated calls by staff to adopt an alternate lunch item such as a peanut-butter sandwich.