other day, I started to make spaghetti sauce. I was browning some
garlic in olive oil when the phone rang. It was a person I was
trying to interview for an article for the past week.
Immediately, I headed upstairs to my office to conduct the
interview which took about 10 minutes.It wasn't until one of the
smoke alarms went off that I realized I had forgotten about the
olive oil and garlic on the stove.
ran down the steps, and immediately noticed the heavy smoke
filling the living room.In the kitchen, flames were flying outof
the pot that was sitting on the burner. I quickly turned off the
stove, covered the pot and threw it in the sink to cool off.
Then, I grabbed a dishtowel and ran to the smoke detector to
begin the Smoke Detector dance.
What, you don't know the dance? Oh, well let
me explain it to you.The Smoke Detector Dance is when
the idiot who forgot she had boiling oil on the stove must now
find a way to trick the smoke detector into thinking that the
toxic smoke has dissipated and is no longer a danger to the house
or the people who live in it.Usually, the dance involves jumping
up and down like a maniac while waving a dishtowel or pot holder
in front of the sensor on the alarm.
Luckily for me, the dance was a success and
the alarm closest to the kitchen did go silent after a few
seconds. Not so lucky for me, the smoke had made its way to other
parts of the house and all the other alarms in the house started
blaring at once. I was running up and down the stairs waving
anything I could find in front of the detectors trying to shut
them up.Since I stopped flailing at the first alarm, the smoke
returned to its sensor too and well, it felt the need to screech
again. I did manage to get the windows open, but the fresh air
was not enough to deactivate the smoke alarm. Finally, in an act
of desperation, I took all the batteries out of the smoke
alarms.Silence truly is golden.
it's not my fault that the smoke detectors can't tell a real fire
from a not-so-real fire. It is my sincerest opinion that smoke
detectors should have a "Sorry, I screwed up, but the house is
not burning down" switch which shuts off the freaking alarm sound
on voice command.
After I got the alarms disabled, I went to
assess the damage in the kitchen. There was nothing I couldn't
clean up in an hour. Sure, some of my white cabinets wore a
coating of black, greasy soot, the bottom of my microwave grill
was charred and the ceiling now had a few black spots, but I
could hide most of the damage with a little scrubbing. I had an
hour until my husband came home.
was this an issue? Well, let's just say my smoke detectors earn
their new batteries each year, and my husband constantly reminds
me of these fiery occurrences. Allow me to share some of his
favorite fire experiences. And before you judge me, just know
this. Not one time - well, only one time - has the fire
department had to come to my house.I am, for the most part, a
one-woman flame putter outer.
first incident - or rather incidents - occurred when my daughter
was a baby.I was nursing, and everything was going along fine
until she decided at six months of age that she was not going to
nurse anymore.Yep, just like that, she was done - no weaning, no
anything, and this left me and my boobs in sort of a pickle.Since
she was not nursing, I had to constantly pump. I hate to be
graphic, but to not pump would risk a breast explosion of epic
I would pump and pump and pour the contents from the pump bottle
into other containers and then sterilize the pump bottle in
boiling water for the next go round. Apparently, I had some kind
of mental block with the whole thing because I would always
forget about the container that was sterilizing in a pot of
boiling water on the stove. It was only the eye-tearing smoke of
burning plastic that sent a reminder to my brain that trouble was
afoot in the kitchen.
would think that one run in with burning plastic would be enough
incentive to remember the boiling breast bump container. Well,
one would be wrong. I went through seven, count them, seven
breast pumps in less than two months.
second incident that occurred was done out of love. However, that
is not what I told the fire department. Yes, this is the one
incident when help was sought.
Okay, let me just do the rip-the-band-aid-off
quickly method and say this really fast, and if you could, maybe
you can read this one really fast as it is a little embarrassing.
Here it goes. I am not a good lights-on person when doing the
deed. Call is shyness or catholic guilt - whatever, I don't do it
in bright light. However, I used to think it would be romantic to
have scented candles around to add to the ambience of the
romantic moment. Come on, all the soap operas and TV shows have
these sex scenes where hundreds of candles light up the bedroom
giving it that warm, inviting glow, and these scenes never end in
a huge conflagration that requires a fire department rescue and
one of the parties wearing the CO2 foam from a fire
the record, I lit one stupid Yankee candle. That's it - one
stupid candle. Unfortunately for me, in one of my more acrobatic
moments, my foot went off in a totally misguided direction and
sent the candle flying across the room and onto the rug. The
whole incident gave new meaning to the Doors' song "Come on,
Baby, Light my fire."
Well, after the fire department left (I, of
course, lied to them as to how the fire got started, and they, of
course did not believe me, and so I had to move), I vowed that no
more candles were ever allowed anywhere near the bedroom. Now,
that I live in another township and the candle industry has come
up with wickless candles that run on LED technology or something
like that, I can recant this edict in good conscience and once
again have romantic bedroom lighting.As long as it does not
require a fire extinguisher next to the bed, my husband is