It all started at about 1 AM when John said he wanted a midnight snack. He decided to make some tater tots, of all things. Our deep fryer died some time ago, and with my husband's relatively new struggle with diabetes and hypertension, I was not about to replace it. A normal person would have baked them in the oven. But this is John. My love, my life, my soulmate, the father of my children. But living with him is kind of like what I imagine it to be like for the Man in the Big Yellow Hat to live with Curious George. Seriously.
So he fills a pot with canola oil and heats it up. I am in the bedroom, just around the corner from the kitchen, playing on Facebook, when I hear him ever-so-calmly ask, "Honey, do we have any baking soda?"
And I think to myself, "Why in the
And I peek around the corner into the kitchen...
Yep. That's what he said. Oh my God!
I just see 4 feet of flames shooting from my stove. What happened next is a bit of a blur. I thought we had a fire extinguisher under the sink. Guess what! We don't! And so I started randomly jerking open cabinet doors. (Like the one with drinking glasses in it...what in the hell was I thinking?) And John is screaming at me "Get me SOMETHING!!!!!!" I did't think about the flour that was in the cabinet right behind John, which would have worked with the grease fire in place of the baking soda. I couldn't think of anything other than the flames, which were getting higher and higher. And I yelled at John, "Should I call 9-1-1?????" And he shouted back "Ummmm, yeah Andrea. GOOD IDEA!!!!!" (Hey, I do not appreciate that sarcasm, Mister!) And so I reached for the cordless phone while simultaneously screaming to Evan in his downstairs bedroom. The poor kid ran up the stairs in his little boxers, looking all bleary-eyed and confused.
"Evan, baby, run downstairs and throw on clothes and go outside though the back door. Hurry, baby, please!
So he tries to come up through the kitchen, and I had to shout at him, "No Evan! FIRE! Get OUUUUUUUUT!" And bless his little heart, he did. In the meantime, the only thing nearby for John to grab was a neat little stack of Zach's receiving blankets that were folded on the kitchen table, waiting for the next morning to be put away once Zach awakened. So John is fanning the fire with, trying to smother it, but only making it worse. And there are huge chunks of burnt blanket wafting through the air. I dial 9-1-1, and as soon as the dispatcher answers, I shout "FIRE!" at her as well. I don't even remember the rest of that convo. I know she asked if everyone was out, and I told her I was working on it. I grab Zach and run outside to meet Evan and wait for emergency people to arrive. The local police are first, and just as I am teling them that my husband may be mildly retarded and started a grease fire by frying tater tots, John emerges from the house, arms full of charred baby blankets and breathing rather heavily, to tell us the fire is out. (Incidentally, this is the point where I think, "Shit! I haven't treated smoke inhalation in a long time---do I remember how?????)
Wthin the blink of an eye, the police officer is on the phone to let the fire people know it is out, yet within three minutes, there are 3 enormous fire engines lined up on the street in front of my house, sirens wailing. Zach is looking in awe at the lights, and I look over and saw Evan put on shorts and a huge parka--that's it! No shoes, no shirt, no long pants. Thankfully a neighbor brought over a blanket for him.
The fire people get a great laugh over the fact that my father-in-law is the Fire Chief in his town and John was a volunteer firefighter for years, yet we didn't have anything to put out a fire in my house.
So anyway, with the fire out and the family safe, we were still not permitted to re-enter the house because of the smoke. When the fire people opened my living room blinds and opened the window, I gasped. The smoke in the house was so thick you couldn't even see anything other than opaque white. With the fire department's industrial fans and my opened windows, it cleared relatively quickly, and we thanked the people who helped us and started to head inside. And then it happened.
By it, I mean the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard come from my husband in almost 10 years of marriage.
"Andrea, do you want some 'tots? I saved them for you!"