Do you ever have this experience. You see the potential danger in a situation, register it, do what you can to eliminate that danger, then end up succumbing to it anyway? Would it have happened if you hadn’t recognized its potential? For example, for about a year in my early twenties I seemed to be very susceptible to falling. I’d trip and fall at least… once every couple weeks. I’ll admit, sometimes alcohol was involved. But other times perfectly sober walking down the street and BAM on my ass on the ground. One night I was running from a cab to the door in the middle of the winter when the Boy shouts out “It’s icy there, be careful you’re going to fall.” I thought to myself, “He’s right I am going to fall, I should be careful,” slowed down and carefully started watching where I was stepping trying to avoid the ice. BAM on my ass and twisted my knee. I recognized the danger and still it found me. Had I kept running I probably would have made it to the door without injury.
I had a very similar experience this morning, but with less falling and more fire.
The Boy wanted me to make him pasta salad to eat post-work, pre-volleyball, so he could put off eating dinner until he gets home post-volleyball. No problem. I may have gotten too wrapped up in my knitting last night and forgot to make it. No problem, I’ll make it in the morning. I got up, I had a shower. I came out of the bathroom to put on a pot of water so it would boil while I was getting dressed – timing is everything in the morning. I stop. I recognize the danger. My plastic electric kettle is sitting on the stove. HAZARD! I wrap the cord around the kettle and put it on the back burner, careful to ensure that nothing plastic is touching the element I am going to turn on. Satisfied, I turn on the burner and go to get dressed.
I hear a crackling noise. I think nothing of it – probably just the crap on the element that I spilled last time and didn’t clean up. I hear another few pops. Probably just water spurting out from the bottom of the pan. It starts to smell a little funny. I think to myself, “Did I just turn on the back burner?” It smells a little more. OH *&%@!
I run to the kitchen and see 12-18 inch flames engulfing the plastic kettle. A fire extinguisher would be really handy right now… I don’t think we have one. I fill a glass with water and throw it on the fire. I throw another. And another. And another. Flames are lower and I can turn off the stove. I grab the kettle and throw it in the sink and throw another couple of glasses on the still smoldering element. That the smoke alarm is blaring at this point pretty much goes without saying. Fire managed, I tackle the smoke alarm. A shirt would be nice though as I’m going to have to open the doors to get the smoke out. Good thinking.
As I’m on the chair taking down the smoke alarm, with the front door open and smoke billowing out the door, my neighbour from upstairs comes down to leave for work.
Him: “Are you okay?”
Me: “Yup, just trying to burn the house down.”
Him: “Okay, good luck with that. You’re sure you’re okay?”
Me: “Yup, no problem”
Him: “Okay, have a good day!”
Me: “Thanks you too” (Thinking – well I’ve already had a small fire today and it’s only 7:45 how good can this day be?)
Let the clean up begin. Who threw water all over the floor?! I called my boss to say I was going to be a bit late this morning – I had a small kitchen fire and was just in the process of cleaning up. Now that immediate danger was out of the way, and I had given myself whatever time I needed to get cleaned up and ready – time to take pictures.
Do you know how hard it is to sop up water inside the stove? It took a long time, and melted plastic aside… it was really dirty in there!
Clean up complete, I moved on and made the pasta salad.