January 9, 2007

Black Smoke

If there are things to experience in 2007 that I've not experienced before, I have already come face to face with my first two scares.

I got my spine shaken over the holidays. I was making dinner - my "fish-a-la-phelps", and watching a bit of a movie that was on TV in the next room. My younger sister then said to me calmly "there's a fire in the kitchen".

"FUCK!" I yelled. Ran in there and the frying pan with the 'good oil' had turned evil and was bellowing a very large flame into the black smoke that had gathered a good 30cm of thickness throughout the kitchen ceiling - almost down to the doorways. I had no idea what to do. I took the fry pan off the element and noticed the element knob was charred black and slightly melted. The flames persisted, so I dumped it into the sink and just as I turned on the cold water to try and cool the plate, I had the sinking feeling that I was about to do the wrong thing. Too late - it turned into a fireball and melted the side of the dishtray, various utensils and pot handles that were on the bench. The flame came very close to my face and had I been closer, probably would have burnt my nose, eyes and hair.

Luckily, the pan wasn't too hot so the flames died out with the water that was on the pan. It wasn't until then (only 10 or so seconds later) that I realised that I was breathing in black smoke and I started to cough. I proceeded to open the windows and realised that my partner and my sister were proceeding outside. Then the smoke alarm went off. Great load of help that thing was. I thought to myself - I need to move that alarm into the kitchen out of the hallway. I turned the oven off and went outside onto the grass to breath in some clean air, and deeply breathe out the smoke.

Then the shock hit me - calmly and with much shame. This was a close call. It could have been worse. I could have burn't the house down - because I was distracted watching a dumb movie while preparing dinner!

When you think it won't happen to you.. When you think that this close-call won't happen to you, it probably won't. But it will likely happen when you least expect it, when its not in the forefront of your mind. Some way, somehow you will slip up and you will kick yourself in shame, whatever the consequence.

Last night, my mother fell asleep with a candle on. She woke up smelling smoke and the candle had taken light to a photo on the wall 10cm up from it. She jumped up, ran to the bathroom just as the smoke alarm went off (which was still in the hallway thankfully) and dumped a glass of water onto the candle.

I hope there isn't a strike three still to come.

My new mantra for 2007: Be Aware. Make it yours as well. Please :)

Level 42 - Fire (unreleased demo)