Over the past 183 years we've been together, there has been no shortage of drama that runs the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. There are, in fact, a small number of Smithophiles who are both fascinated and terrified by what have become collectively known as our "stories." I think some people only hang around with us because they know that it won't be too long until another story comes along to make them say, in the words of our good friend Wes, "Whenever I listen to you guys, I'm less discouraged about my own life."
Last Friday, another story was born.
I have had what I assume to be tuberculosis for about a week. My voice is only slightly more disturbing than Linda Blair in the Exorcist. The security officers at the hospital are dropping by the unit for no other reason than to see if I still "talk funny"; and then to mimic my own voice back at me. I've been coughing up small masses, as shared last week; my nose is a faucet and I can't sleep enough. So on Friday, I was worn out.
The Mr. now does his own laundry as you may recall from an earlier blog. So he came home Friday evening to throw a load into the dryer (which has been dying a slow death for a few months now). He was about to go get some carry-out for dinner when I smelled something funny. I went wandering to find the source of the smell and frankly, I assumed my beloved dishwasher, installed by the Mr., had burst into flames.
The Mr. was following after me when I noticed that the basement was filled with smoke. So I says to the Mr., I says...
"Dean! There's a fire in the basement!"
He ran down with me in hot (ha!) pursuit and proceeded to stand in the middle of the basement turning in circles. I assume his premise was that a. he would eventually spin hard enough to turn into Wonder Woman and save us all or b. he would create a downdraft to extinguish the fire.
As he spun (right round baby right round); I noticed smoke billowing from the dryer and informed him of such in a calm and collected manner...
"THE FREAKING DRYER IS ON FIRE DUMMY!"
He opened the dryer door (because exposing a fire to oxygen is always the way to go) and reassured me by turning to me and saying, "It's OK, no fire. Just smoke."
As I looked past him to see orange flames shooting out of the dryer into his general direction, I begged to differ and ran back upstairs to call 911 and suggest Mac and Jazz vacate, (Jay was at work.)
Side note, as I'm trying to dial 911 my sister is buzzing in and for just a moment; I considered taking the call to tell her what was happening.
So I told the dispatcher that my dryer was on fire and he suggested to leave the house IMMEDIATELY.
Meanwhile, the Mr. is in the basement in front of our gas/electric dryer fighting valiantly.
Mac went to fetch Jazz who is so far into dog Alzheimer's that she neither smells the smoke nor hears the fire engines nor notices the eight firemen clomping around in turnout gear.
Dean, in a stroke of genius had meanwhile thrown a bucket of water on the electrical fire of a gas appliance as this is always the way to go after exposing it to oxygen and standing in a basement with only one exit. Figuring I'm young and I can marry again; I leave him to it, clear out the kid and the dog and move my truck into the street so that the fireman can get into the yard and that my truck, which I love, will survive the explosion that is sure to happen at any moment. I, in fact, moved it half-way down the block.
The dog was wandering confusedly in the backyard, Mac was safe and the firemen suggested that my husband was not really qualified to handle the situation so they would take it from that point.
The neighbors have of course gathered so I shared the latest as they shook their heads in dismay. This is pretty much the ongoing nature of our relationship with our neighbors.
So the firemen made sure all was extinguished, carried the charred dryer to the backyard (anybody want to start on pool on when that will be disposed of?) and hooked up a giant fan to suck out the smoke.
I left the Mr. to discuss with them just exactly why our basement was on fire. Taking good judgement to epic proportions, he informs them that my dad is a retired fireman in this very city! Fantastic! On his way back to the engine, the Captain stops to tell me he knows my dad and in fact my dad's cell phone number is in his own cell phone and he could call him anytime, even right now.
Good to know.
Ironically, an hour before the Mr. had suggested cancelling one of his life insurance policies and I had over-ridden him. I am in love, I am not a fool.
By a show of hands, who is glad they are not us?
At the time of your appearing you will make them like a fiery Kenmore dryer. In his wrath the LORD will swallow them up, and his fire will consume them.