Setting the House on Fire and Other Things I did Today

After so many years, it appears that the pyromaniac within me is still alive and well. To be fair though, this time around I wasn’t trying to set the house on fireit was more of a turn-around-and-find-flames-in-the-kitchen kind of thing really.

Allow me to explain.

Mondays are always difficult when it comes to choosing what to cook; my mind is barely out of weekend-junk-food mode and there’s the usual ‘is the weekend over already?’ denial that this day brings. So I decided to make tacos for lunch. Simple, quick, and always a favorite in my house.

I cooked up the ground meat, cut the lettuce and tomatoes, put out the sour cream and taco sauce, and congratulated myself on a job well done. I had this whole housewife thing down to a science! 1950s housewives eat your heart out!

It was while I was giving myself these mental high-fives that I noticed something odd from the corner of my eye: black smoke was escaping from the closed oven door.

Oh shit, I forgot the taco shells I put in there to toast.

I raced to the oven (a small countertop conventional oven, not the big gas oven thank god), with tongs in hand ready to pull the burnt taco shells from inside, only to realize that the shells weren’t merely burnt as I had imagined, but were in fact on fire.

Like a happy little campfire in the middle of my kitchen, the shells burnt inside the oven while I stared at them in bewilderment. I would like to say that I channeled the no-nonsense 1950s housewife and handled this kitchen emergency like a cool-headed pro, but that would be a lie. In reality, I shrieked and ran around like a headless chicken, all the while shouting ‘it’s on fire! it’s on fire!’

Opening the oven door only seemed to make the flames worse and caused black smoke to billow out into the room, threatening to set off the building’s fire alarms, so I did the sensible thing which was apparently to do nothing and only stare at the flames.

Which is how my husband found me when he ran to the kitchen in answer to my shrieks.

“Pull out the plug at least!” he yelled while trying to simultaneously throw open all the windows in our little apartment. Seeing the sense in his command, I quickly yanked out all the plugs in my immediate surroundings from their respective sockets. Satisfied with a job well done, I turned around to see the husband running over with a brimming cup of water. Images of a short-circuited electric oven blowing up in our faces flashed across my mind and I shrieked again, this time at my husband.

“Don’t do that! It’ll explode!”

“Are you crazy? No, it won’t, it’s unplugged! We have to put the flames out!”

“No, it’ll explode in our faces!”

The husband (understandably) looked at me like I was crazy.

“Let’s blow it out!”

So we opened the oven door and started blowing at the mini fire like it was some giant birthday candle, which for the record only made it worse.

“Close the door!” I insisted, “it’ll go out on its own when it doesn’t get any oxygen!”

The husband again looked at me like I was crazy. Can you blame him?

I gingerly opened the door and started sprinkling water on the fire like you would onto the face of a person in a graceful faint, which wasn’t exactly effective against an actual fire.

“What are you doing?? Throw the whole cup!”

“No! It’ll explode!”

While the husband and I argued about the proper way to put out the dwindling fire, Lilly ran up to us yelling “stop talking! stop talking!”

Apparently, the house being on fire was interfering with her daily dose of My Little Pony. That girl definitely has her priorities in order.

By this time the fire, probably bored with our infantile attempts to put it out, winked out on its own, leaving only a blackened oven in its wake.

So yes, I very nearly set our apartment on fire, I apparently have an underlying fear of things blowing up in my face, the neighbors probably think we’re either crazy or were trying to kill each other, and the toddler cares more about My Little Pony than the wellbeing of her home.

Not too bad as far as Mondays go, right?

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