Thursday, October 27, 2005

Boiling Water Ain't for Sissies

In the writing group I moderate, the writing prompt of the day was “What is your most memorable Halloween?”

The only Halloween that stood out as being “memorable” was the time I almost caught the house on fire. Would that count?

I was cooking hot dogs for the kids before we set out to go trick-or-treating. My son was dressed up like a ghost and my daughter was She-Ra (remember her?). I, of course, was a witch as I was every year I took my kids out.

The kids were getting impatient as it was approaching trick-or-treating time and hot dogs and French fries seemed to be the fastest thing I could cook.

I fed them their hot dogs and French fries and we were on our way.

The trip lasted about an hour. We were on foot and couldn’t visit other neighborhoods, which probably helped in my dilemma because when we returned, the kitchen cabinets were on fire.

I screamed, panicked and called 911.

The lady on the other end picked up and before she had a chance to utter a word, I screamed, “My house is on fire!”

“Lady,” she said, “you’ve dialed 411. You need to dial 911.”

Meanwhile, the house was filling up with smoke and I’d wasted enough time dialing the wrong number.

I hung up and grabbed a potful of water and doused the fire.

I’m just wondering how many houses would have been saved using this approach.

I know I’m no cook, but it seems I can’t even boil water without remembering what to do when you’re done. However, I did create a new image for my kitchen – charcoal black.

I remember the last time I tried boiling water with dire circumstances. We were living in an apartment in Newport News, Virginia. We had sliding glass doors that you could lock from the inside. I walked outside for a second to hang clothes on my makeshift clothesline and went to go back in, and the door was locked.

Meanwhile, there’s water boiling on the stove. I ran to my neighbor to help me. By the time we got back, the water had boiled out and smoke was filling up the apartment.

The neighbor took his cane and broke the window. He climbed inside and turned the stove off. I thanked him and called maintenance to repair the window.

I know I’m no Betty Crocker, but it seems I can’t even boil water.

I think I’ll leave the cooking to someone else.


  1. "Dinner will be served at the sound of the smoke alarm."

    Okay, even I'M not that bad. I've never (insert knock on wood) set anything on fire except charcoal briquets. ;)

  2. What do you bring to a house warming?

  3. FTS - LOL, I should use that as my motto. *grin*

    curious servant - Hostess Ho-Ho's...;o)

  4. You and FTS should cook a meal together. You could sell tickets.

  5. LOL, what a dangerous combination! It would put new meaning to global warming!


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