I woke up extremely early (5am) and decided to make cheesy potato casserole for breakfast. The first frying pan I selected to brown the potatoes was too small, so I transferred the potatoes to a larger pan and placed the inadequate pan on the back of the stove, amid a ramshackle barricade of pans that need washing. When the potatoes were ready to go into the oven, I pulled a cookie sheet from beneath the pile o' pans to put the casserole dish on.
Then I went into the living room to watch cartoons and play a video game for 15 minutes. I heard a crackle in the kitchen but didn't investigate, assuming something plasticky was resettling in the trash. I noted that I was sweating (erm...glowing damply) and disparaged myself for being so out of shape that cubing and frying potatoes was apparently an athletic endeavor. Then, a couple of minutes later, I noticed a kind of haze in the air. Not smoke, per se, but there was a definite change in the environment. I walked to the kitchen to discover that when I had pulled out the cookie sheet, I had toggled one of the back burners from Off to High. This burner supported a ceramic warming plate that had cracked under the heat and was now turning black.
In my panic to remove the pieces of ceramic and clear the back of the stove, I didn't notice that I jarred the oven's dial from 350° to its highest setting (if there weren't some resistance before broil, it would undoubtedly have switched on the broiler element). Fortunately, the casserole had only 5 minutes left to bake, so not too much damage had been done when I went back to fetch it and discovered the change.
And this is why I'm not a morning person. Too much excitement. I wanted to go straight back to bed, not to work.