Keb just asked me why the fire place is locked.  I told him I didn’t do it, his dad did.  I explained that it had been there since he was a baby.  While part of it is keeping Keb out, a large part is keeping me out as well.  While I don’t mean to, I have this nasty little habit of starting fires.  Sure, I haven’t started one since we’ve lived here (I think)…  But I have started them in the past.  Most, of course, are accidental.


  1. I don’t own an awl.  Therefore I use a wire coat hanger to punch holes in leather.  You just straighten the bendy around the dowl part, place it in a fire, and let it get RED HOT.  Sure enough it burns right through.  Unless you use a hanger from the dry cleaners with paper on it, have an electric stove top, have to weigh it all down, and leave in the middle.  Then you have a fire.  Not a big one though.
  2. Candles can be very romantic.  Except on windy nights when they’re right under a lamp shade.  Then they’re hazards.  Fire hazards.  Scorch marks aren’t as romantic as you’d think.  It’s more like Rorschach lamp shades.
  3. Baked potato in the microwave.  Spectacular and easily smothered.  I have NO IDEA how that happened.  It’s not even like it was covered in aluminum foil.
  4. When I was Oscar the Grouch (pretending when I was 4), my brother showed me matches.  YES HE DID!  I didn’t know what they were and asked him.  He said they started fires.  I accused him of lying (he did that A LOT).  So then I made him PROVE it.  I put paper grocery bags behind the chair (my garbage can), and told him to toss it on.  Low and behold.  Fire.  What happened next is a testament to mother’s love because we’re both still alive.  Had Mom killed us, we would have deserved it.
    Needless to say, she was on the phone.  I went in and whispered very quietly that I needed water (I have no idea what Michael was doing.  Apparently working on his story about how it was all my fault.  Bastard.), went in, threw it on the fire, and repeated it until Mom got good and fed up, asked what I was up to, and saw her chair up in flames — smoke and everything.  We were sent to Pat Starcevic’s, Mom called the fire department (who passed our street TWICE.  Thankfully they were close.  No clue where Elizabeth Ave. was but close), dragged the chair out of the house (SUPER MOM) and saved the house from burning down.  Insert tragic irony here.  It would STILL happen.

    Michael got to go to afternoon kindergarten.  I got a lecture on how it’s bad to play with matches.  Hell, I didn’t even know how to use them.  SIGH.  To this day, it’s been my fault.  However, as I see it, he was older and smarter, he should have known better.  Just because I TOLD him to do it, didn’t mean he had to.  Sheep.

  5. It’s not my fire, but my dad did start a house fire in August before I started 3rd grade.  We were out camping; otherwise, I imagine Mom would have dragged the burning chair, Dad and all, out in the front yard.  It’s kind of amazing that she didn’t drink, don’t you think?  BTW, the house didn’t burn down.  It did sustain enough damage that we lived in a hotel for what seemed like forever.  Had it actually burned down, maybe Mom would have gotten a bigger and better house.  After all this, I think she deserved it.

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