So, you know that thing where you’re having a cocktail and then the wall catches on fire?
My husband Mike, his brother (the infamous Bother-in-Law, Gary) and I were having cocktails in the living room. Maybe “cocktail” isn’t so much the word as “vodkas and gatorades” which I’m pretty sure isn’t fancy enough to be called a “cocktail.” I was out of little umbrellas.
We’d had enough of these high-test sports drinks that Gary got giggly and decided to make a fire in the fireplace, which where we prefer them. During the construction of this fire, a subtle acrid smell filled the room. We assumed plastic had been stuck to one of the logs and didn’t think much more about it.
Shortly after this, Gary made his way into the kitchen, where he said it smelled even worse. I turned from my spot on the sofa, and noticed a black hole where our electrical outlet used to be, glowing embers showering from its dark maw.
“The wall’s on fire!” I yelped. Which I thought was a pretty clever response. Playing charades would have taken too long.
One word… sound like … tire? Um, higher? Flyer? Hey…is it hot in here? Um… choir?
We all leaped to action:
I jumped over the back of the sofa, sprinted past the fire and down to the basement, where I cut the power to that wall.
Gary tackled the tiny, smoldering blaze head on.
Mike went to Web M.D. to see if electrical fires can give you diabetes.
And Gordon Labradoodle ran over the rest of us, hip checking us into walls on his way to the door to try and escape.
Luckily, in addition to being a bit of a hooligan, tactless and a delightful party host, Gary is also a master electrician. What were the chances!
Well, pretty good, considering we knew the outlet was wonky and had warned Gary to be careful plugging things into it because sometimes the whole wall shorted. Gary had plugged his iPhone into it anyway, and hadn’t mentioned the wall probably went dead due to a faulty connection that caused the outlet to arc and which could feasibly cause a fire.
To his credit, he did mention all that after we put out the fire.
Gary had a wonderful time backward engineering the outlet’s crimes and revealing them to us like a Gatorade swilling Sherlock Holmes. Mike stopped feeling the wall for heat every 2 seconds about 4 or 5 hours later, though he still isn’t sure if he is diabetic. Gordon finally escaped, where he dropped to his furry knees and kissed the dirt.
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