Thursday, November 15, 2007

When in crisis, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

Today as I was sitting in the break room at work, I was distracted from my crossword puzzle by the following story; being told by a very animated and (shall I say irritated?) co-worker.

"How do you know when it's going to be a bad day? For starters, it might be a bad day if you wake up to the sound of the smoke alarm going off at 5 AM in the morning like I did this morning!"

"With the alarm screaming, I hit the floor and ran down the hall to see what was going on. I couldn't see anything because in the excitement I forgot all about putting on my glasses."


(Yes, it was the smoke alarm. Apparently she didn't need glasses to confirm that.)

"I ran to the kitchen to see if I could find a source for the smoke, falling over the dog like a keystone cop."

"In the kitchen, I found that my husband had put the pot from the coffeemaker on the stove to warm up cold coffee. He forgot that it had a plastic handle. The pot was black and the handle gone, burned into a pile of ashes."

I'm guessing the situation was under control by then -- if that sort of situation can be under control. I'm also thinking that she might of been wondering why she still couldn't see.)

"My husband was fanning the smoke alarm to get it to shut up."

"Open the doors and get rid of the smoke," she yelled, as he tried to take the smoke alarm apart to remove the battery.

She finally realizes she still couldn't see at this point.)

"The cover was stuck on the alarm and we couldn't get it off. I took over the fanning of the smoke alarm, which came back on at full blast every time I quit fanning."

"Turn off the furnace, it's pulling the smoke back through the house!"

"How do you turn it off?"

"Put it on O-F-F!" she screamed.

"The cat was terrorized by all the noise and bolted out the open door to escape from the maniac people. We wouldn't see her again until hours later." she said while rolling her eyes.

"After the smoke finally cleared, and the alarm quit alarming, I found my glasses and restarted my heart. There was no point in trying to go back to sleep, of course." (she says this like everyone should know how this feels...of course.)

"It was not until much later that I found out what really happened."

(How did she find this out? I still don't know.)

"Apparently, there were actual flames shooting from the pot. My husband threw water on it -- water on an electric stove! Can you believe it?"

(Actually I can. Coming from this particular person, I can only imagine her husband.)

"Somehow he miraculously managed to survive without getting electrocuted or burning down the entire house."

"I couldn't believe he actually had the nerve to pour me a cup of that burnt up coffee to drink. I decided I could wait until I got to work for my coffee."

(The nerve? Try; the balls? He should have been apologizing for being a dumb-ass.)

"On the way to work this morning, he mentioned that he needed to go buy a new coffeepot, knowing he was in trouble."

"May I ask why you threw water on an electric stove?" she asked, almost able to control her aggravation by then.

"What should I have done? Roast marshmallows?"

"Use baking soda! Smother it with flour! Use the fire extinguisher. Smother it out with a towel. Google it on the net. Call information. Write your Congressman. Anything but throwing water on an electrical fire!"

"Well, I turned off the stove first," he replied. "Besides, I didn't know where the baking soda was."

(That's male logic.)

There is a lesson to be learned from all of this. Probably you can figure it out for yourself so I won't belabor the point.

If there is one good thing about all of this, at least she knows the smoke alarm works.

If you see a fire engine parked in front of her house tomorrow morning, do not panic. It is just her honey making coffee or toast or something.

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