I was standing in my kitchen, making coffee with my Aeropress, when I heard a noise. The noise sounded like something plastic bounced off something metal and then landed on the floor. I looked around the kitchen floor, I have a very small kitchen, and was unable to find any random bits of plastic that didn’t belong. On a whim, I decided to look behind the stove as well, since there is a very sizable gap between the stove and the wall. Sitting in the gap was a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer, but nothing else was readily apparent. Forgetting about the sound, since I could find nothing amiss, I went back to making my coffee.
Turning around to grab the kettle after pressing my coffee, I found that there was no way for me to open the cap over the spout on my kettle! The plastic switch that, when held down by tightly gripping the handle on the kettle raises the cap, was missing! This was when I realized that the item making the sound was, in fact, the switch from the handle!
Pulling out my phone, I did another inspection behind the stove, only this time assisted by the light. With the recess so illuminated, I was able to more easily see the bottle of hand sanitizer, to discern a stainless steel pan scourer, and to see a small, curved piece of black plastic in the corner. I had found the switch for the handle.
Unfortunately, this put me no closer to actually getting this piece of plastic out of the recess behind the stove. My kitchen, almost Lilliputian in its scale, does not allow me to fully remove the stove from its alcove. This is, actually, not because of size of the room, but because of the size of the gas hose attached to the stove. Unfortunately, the only way for me to finish making my coffee was for me to retrieve the piece of black plastic. A plan began to form in my head.
Pulling the stove out as far as it would go, I lifted myself with my arms and planted my buttocks upon the sink. Shimmying along the sink as far as possible, while keeping my legs always to the left side of the stove, I maneuvered as far towards the alcove as I possibly could, then lifted and rotated my legs, holding them above the back, or right side from my present angle, of the stove. I then walked myself further along on my hands until my legs were in the alcove and I could squeeze between the counter and the hood, now allowing me to stand in a hunched over position behind the stove. I found, now, that I could not bend all the way over in this tiny space. Something else would need to be done.
I decided I needed to practice picking up items before I went for the the that I truly needed. I began my hooking the nozzle of the Purell over the big toe of my right foot, then slowly lifted it up until I could reach it with my hand. This worked perfectly, so I next went for the scouring pad. Grasping it between my big toe and second toe, I lifted it up to my hand as well with no problems. I figured that now I had this down and could successfully retrieve the black plastic. I was wrong.
Because of the angle it was laying at, I was unable to get a good grip on it with my toes, so I could not lift it to my hand. I was going to have to try and squeeze down into the alcove and pick it up with my hand.
Bending and twisting my body in ways that it is no longer designed for, I was finally able to get down far enough to grasp the piece of black plastic. My fears of being stuck in that position were, luckily, not realized and I was able to extend myself to a fully stooped position and place the black plastic piece on the counter. Now, I had to figure out how to extricate myself from this tiny alcove.
Twisting around, so my back was towards the counter, I bent backwards as far as possible, placed my hands on the counter, and was able to lift myself up and out in a simple, fluid motion. Reversing my method of shimmying into the space, I brought my legs up to the right side of the stove, moved myself as far left as I could, then swung my legs all the way to the left so they were hanging off the opposite side of the stove. I moved the rest of my body further along, then dropped down to the floor and shoved the stove back into place, my job complete.
Unfortunately, the piece cannot be reattached, so, while I was able to finish making my coffee, I will still need to purchase a new kettle.