Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Pumpkin Pies Don't Burn People, People Burn People

If you haven’t read my New England Mamas post from yesterday, you may want to. It’s an important preface to what I am about to tell you, which is that I peeked through the translucent window of my oven last night to find its insides ablaze.

Yes, I used the oven once again, post-pumpkin-incident, without scraping out the remains of the pie. Yes, it finally caught on fire. Yes, I am that stupid.

And you can just imagine what a difficult time someone of my limited mental capacity would have figuring out how to operate the fire extinguisher.

After opening the oven door to gaze upon the horror first-hand, I deduced that this was no wispy candle flame. This fire was hungry, and it would not be satiated by a shapeless mass of pumpkin, sugar and egg. I slammed the door shut.

My next stop was the closet, where I fought with a plastic wall bracket for the rights to the fire extinguisher. I finally dislodged it and took my place in front of the oven. I thought back to the tutorial my husband had given me on the extinguisher's proper usage. I pulled the pin. I pressed a lever. Nothing happened.

My already accelerated heartbeat kicked into high gear. I turned the canister in my hands and stared at the instructions. For someone who can't even figure out, even with the aid of pictures, which way to slide a credit card in the machine at the supermarket, you can imagine how helpful I found the extinguisher's illustrated directive. I ran to get the phone. I dialed The Partner.

I am not going to pretend to remember what he said. I was past memory. I was in the moment. What I will tell you is that The Partner was pissed off and unhelpful. No thanks to him, I figured out the correct way to engage the pressurized contents of that red tube. I let loose on the oven. The fire died. A sigh was expelled from deep in my diaphragm, settling over the kitchen along with a fine, white residue.

The Boss was standing between the dining room and the kitchen as this all went down. When I finally settled my attention on her three foot frame, I saw that she was giving me the hairy eyeball. Her stare was squinty and stern. After a while, she spoke.

"I'm hungry." She rubbed her tummy in a circular motion. She was all accusation. "I want some pumpkin pie."


Chris said...

Sheesh. It's not like I was looking at a fire extinguisher at the time. How would I know what the lever looks like? I was pissed that you were calling me to say that the house was on fire instead of using both hands to operate the extinguisher. Remember how I forced you to look at where the extinguishers are? Not such a silly idea, huh?
Conveniently, I was next door to Lowes at the time so I went over to pick up a new extinguisher on my way home. Apparently laziness costs $16.90. Which I guess is cheaper than the deductible on our home insurance.

Boz said...


Just stop. Seriously. Take a deep breath and accept that the fire was your fault. While it might have been caused by pumpkin pie, your inability to solve the problem during a time of crisis replaces at least some of the responsibility from the wife, and puts it on you. You were 911 without an ambulance. Robin failing to save Batman. Cheech without Chong.

Yup, that's our station in life. Know your place. Take the bullet to protect the President. Have a drink.

So hey, wife, entertaining entry. This was the first time I really laughed out loud at the office, garnering a couple questioning remarks from my fellow cubicle denizens. I am sorry that it had to happen, but it did make for entertaining prose.

Do not let some minor problems like the wrong container or fires discourage you, though. Getting better at anything takes time, and I am sure you will improve. Keep in good spirits!

Happy Holidays!


Whirlwind said...

So, um, did you clean to oven?

Ruth Dynamite said...

This is hilarious.

But it also evokes delicious pumpkin pie smells, even if they're burnt.

slouching mom said...

Oh my God, Binky, I'm sure it was frightening, but it's also DAMN FUNNY.

Y'know, after the fact.

Lauren said...

If only I could be a fly on your wall.

Just want to also let you know that the word I have to type in to post this comment is: fwyjnhpm... longest word ever.

Anonymous said...

Boy, the Boss is one tough customer. I guess store-bought pumpkin pie isn't sounding so bad about now, huh?

At least now you know how to use the extinguisher. That should increase some of the cooking confidence you were discussing yesterday at NE Mamas.


Wendy said...

At that point, I would have told her to go to the store and get it herself. Mommy would be in need of a stiff drink and some time to rock in the corner.

Life As I Know It said...

Oh my gosh. How scary. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure I know how to work our fire extinguisher...better figure it out before I need it!

lildb said...

god, toddlers. leave it to 'em to inject the proper attitude into any given moment.

(also, I'm super-glad you're okay.)

Ophelia Rising said...

I LOVE what your child said after the fact. They always know when to interject that line that just puts the situation over the top. You can either laugh or cry. I tend to opt for both, at the same time.

I had my own incident with bacon-wrapped scallops, placed innocently in the oven on a baking tray. A flat baking tray, mind you. With no sides. Faced with some pretty good flames, I found that dumping flour on a fire is NOT the way to go, and that baking soda works pretty well.

I still need to learn how to use that damn extinguisher.