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Friday, March 16, 2012

I lost Joey and a fireplace story.

Sigh.. You know I'm not good at this stuff so somebody please walk me over to Joey's blog. I can't find it and you know how I am without instant gratification.

If you missed chat last night you didn’t learn the lesson of make sure you get your fireplace cleaned out regularly, which we did not and, hence, my lazy afternoon with my dogs turned into a fiasco.

The dogs needed a bath so as is my custom I took each canine one at a time and showered them after I washed my hair. The three of us needed drying out and warming up so I lit a fire. I soon noticed that the smoke was going the wrong way so the afternoon of two alarm systems began. We still had the smoke detectors from 2000 and the new ones that came with the ADT alarm system. I put the howling dogs in the back room and called ADT, whose number were in letters “1 800 ADT ASAP”. As the fire raged I got this puny little extinguisher from the kitchen that sort of ‘whizzed” on the fireplace. Of course I took time to save the birthday balloons flying around in the smoke. I ran out into the yard so I could see in bright light without my glasses how to convert ADT ASAP. (Try doing that with your hands shaking).

I assumed the fire trucks were on the way because we are connected! (I know this because they showed up very fast when I brought the smoke machine in the house on Halloween one night… while the Yankees were playing in the World Series… another story) I told ADT I forgot the code and could they turn the alarm off. She said she couldn’t help me. WHAT? I called Mr. Ryder and I got his machine. ADT told me to go downstairs and pull out the battery. I ‘reentered’ the house and went into the basement and started yanking wires. Nothing stopped. She said go to the electric panel and turn all of breakers off and back on so we can reset it. I did that but then I realized I’m in the basement almost right under the fireplace in the pitch dark. I went back upstairs where the dogs were barking and got the flashlight (for boats) so it was really awkward to hold and put the panel back together. I put all the fuses back on and went back to fireplace where the smoke was still steaming.

I didn’t hear any fire trucks coming!

I told the lady, “I think I need help here”.

“Would you like me to call the fire department?”

(&^%!!&*) “Why yes I think that that would be a good idea”

The fire station around the corner must have been on break because it took ten minutes for the company further across town to show with trucks cars, bell, lights and sirens. The first guy through the door was ten feet tall with big legs and a mean face so I was in love.

I have to back up here. Before I showered I had been painting so the only clothes handy were paint splattered scrubs and my feet were bare, my hair was wet, no undies or make up on and green nail polish was glowing for St. Patrick’s week. I looked simply stunning as twenty five firemen ran toward the house. There were two trucks and so many cars blinking that the street was blocked off. Naturally, here come the neighbors. I was the shortest one wandering around and my young sweet neighbor (whose wife is going to have a baby in time) came by and stood next to me. He was soooooooo cute.

He said, “Do you need me here”

“Yes! I know one of these guys is going to chastise the homeowner and they won’t be so mean if a guy is standing here.”

So the firemen used their big extinguisher and put out the fire and smoke ascended up the white wall. Sigh…. Now, the second alarm system decided to go off. The dogs were in cardiac arrest by now. There was an antique lard boiling pot my great grandparents used to make soap sitting next the fireplace.

The fireman in charge said, “Let’s use this and get the logs out of here.”

“Not the lard bucket!” I said. Too late. It was filled with hot logs and taken outside in a trail of smoke.” Only one fireman was old enough to know what that bucket was and I mumbled, “My grandmother is rolling over in her grave”. He laughed.

I heard the two dogs but I lost the cat. One fireman said, “Maybe that’s what’s up the chimney.” I panicked, freaked and teared up when he said that but about that time a cute little fireman came down the stairs and said, “No, she’s asleep on the bed. I just saw her”. So while I wasn’t looking a fireman with a see-through-the-wall-smoke-detector had gone through all the rooms in the house. My brain exploded wondering if there were paddles, canes and belts lying around.

Finally, Mr. R calls back. How do I tell him all this and entertain a house full of luscious fireman? I told him just to hang on and listen so I held the phone near my cheek but facing the fireman as he started his speech. I pointed to the phone and said, "He’s the homeowner.” There was a problem resetting the alarm so I gave the phone to the fireman with the speech.

About this time the fire department from around the corner showed up. I had to bite my tongue and count to ten to keep myself from going ballistic on their heads. While they stood around they tested the hydrant right in between my house and my neighbor’s. The good neighbor was standing next to me while drips of rusty red water poured onto the steaming logs in the gutter and the two of us wondered if this thing really worked.

There had to fifty people standing around but they all disappeared as quickly as they came except for my one neighbor, an artist, from down the street. She just stood there and looked at my outfit. “ M, what were you doing this time? Nice polish on the nails, too.” I think I threatened her.

My neighbors from next door offered to let me sit in their house until my home had aired out. I took them up on the offer and he and his wife forced vodka down my throat for a few hours until it was time for me to come home and go into chat. Somehow,” How was your day?” turned into a very long answer. Nothing I said was coming out right and I had to take some serious abuse from some very disrespectful brats. Just remember this was all Caroline’s fault because I was working on weekend stuff in the morning and was concerned about her first trip to the mountains.