So Here’s The Fire Story…
I know what you’re thinking. There’s smoke pouring out of my house at 5:00am and automatically you think I’ve set the bed on fire while Andy is sleeping. That’s ridiculous. I love that IKEA comforter cover.
What ACTUALLY happened:
Andy has old (“it’s antique!”) wood stuff because he is a packrat. To condition said stuff, Andy’s mom says to use linseed oil. My mom agrees, and I do remember her always having linseed oil around for the hardwood floors and when someone forgot to use a coaster on a wood table. And off we go to find some.
We do. It’s used. SHOULD be end of story.
I wake up at @5:15a.m., which is not unusual for me since sleeping longer than two hours at a time hasn’t happened in years. No, I don’t know why but it sucks, thanks for asking. Anyway…I smell something burning and I’m ticked off that someone is smoking and it must be coming through the bathroom ventilation, which happens from time to time. I walk down the hall wondering if we burnt out the new dehumidifier since it runs non-stop in the summer. Nope, but it’s totally coming from our house because my eyes and my throat are burning. What the hell did we leave on in the kitchen??? I turn on the light and the whole place is filled with smoke and there’s a smoking heap of I-don’t-know-WHAT on the kitchen floor, next to the can of linseed oil. And there’s Andy, ten feet away, where he fell asleep on the couch…still sleeping. (By the way, YES we have smoke detectors and NO I don’t know why they didn’t go off. They work just fine every time I cook something.)
I yell, he jumps up, I’m wondering WHAT THAT IS ON THE FLOOR AND WHY IS IT DOING THAT and he says something about taking it outside and I should open the windows.
1: You can’t open our windows without incurring a hernia and certainly not quickly.
2: Andy has this billowing mass of whatever in his hands to run out of the house with and he is totally naked.
And there he goes. I’m standing in this smoke, wondering what to do first. Windows? Pants? Go let naked man back in the house? I choose pants. Don’t judge. Then windows. Then I hear naked man yelling for me to bring his bathrobe, standing out in the courtyard with a wet pile of smoldering yuck in one hand and his junk in the other.
Now THIS really should be the end of the story, and yet it’s not.
I’m sitting on the porch at 5:30a.m. because I can’t deal with the smoke in the apartment or the hallway, and I’ve propped the porch door open for fresh air. I call the police, to see if we can get facilities management to bring a giant fan (for those who don’t know, I live in a university apartment building). Can’t get a hold of anyone to do that so they decide to ask the local fire department to bring a fan. What I WANT is a fan – what I GET is three fire trucks, lights and all, and what has to be a bunch of really bored firemen. After they assess our situation (which is basically a smudge on the kitchen floor and a wet, blackened pile of what used to be a kitchen towel and sponge on the sidewalk) they tell us it will smell pretty bad for a day or so and to air everything out. No fan.
But some really hysterical security camera footage that I unfortunately can’t show you, because that’s a work no-no to play with security footage.
(By the way, linseed oil gives off heat when drying and could spontaneously combust. It says that right on the can. I thought spontaneous combustion was some kind of urban legend.)
Only later did I realize how much of a failure I was in a crisis. I had a perfectly good fire extinguisher in my kitchen. My sink is stainless steel. Two options so much better than streaking out in the yard for the hose. But way less entertaining to talk about with y’all.