Thursday, January 24, 2013


"hey, I'm going to take a little nap before we head out"
I said to the husband as I headed for the bedroom.

Adjusting the television in the bedroom to the grilling of Hillary Clinton by the senate, I tried to sleep. Occasionally the bedroom door would ease open, the husband would enter to get something from his desk one time, and one time into the master bath closet. He thought he was being quiet and I kept my eyes closed and let him think that I was sleeping so as not to initiate conversation; after all I was in here to take a nap.

Drifting in and out of sleep, and on one of the occasions of being on the cusp of going back to sleep I noticed an odor. Was that the smell of barbecue? He can't be barbecuing. We're supposed to leave within the hour. What IS that smell?

Swinging my feet off the bed and to the floor, I stood and headed for the bedroom door. Not only did the smell of barbecue get stronger but the hall and living room had a cloud hanging about 3 feet from the ceiling. I moved on down the hall to the kitchen where I found more clouds floating over the breakfast bar and the dining room table. The barbecue smoke smell was stronger here.

Checking out the stove and seeing nothing amiss, I went looking for the husband. When asked why the house was full of silver clouds and what about the smell of barbecue, he explained about the hot dog he had cooked.
"surely you didn't eat it did you? Wasn't it a little burnt, I asked.
His answer was  "No, I like mine like that.

"Blackened?" I said.

"yeah, just like that " he says.

During this time the smoke alarm never issued a warning?
The husband was off to the store to pick up a new alarm. While he was gone, I opened all the doors to the house and let the odor fly away out the window.

You see, just a few weeks ago I left the heat on under a pan on the stove. The smoke alarm did not sound and I was in bed. I woke the next morning to a pan that had melted on the stove and it took over two weeks to get the smell of burnt metal out of this house.

Of course I got "The Lecture" from the husband about burning the house down, carelessness..and on and on. In answer to that I asked "And who pulled the battery out of the smoke alarm?"  Total silence.

The smoke alarm is attached to the ceiling just a few steps down the hall from the kitchen and it's very sensitive. So sensitive, in fact, that the husband removed the battery so he wouldn't have to deal with it when he was in the kitchen frying something at a high temperature. I blame the burnt pan on him since it only stands to reason had the battery been in the smoke alarm, I would have woke up and prevented it's melting and the house smelling like a smelting plant. That's my story anyway.

Later that same day I bought a new battery and installed it. It squealed when I placed the battery in it but as the days passed and occasions arose where it should have sounded, it remained silent. I was worried and mentioned it to the husband and he smiled and nodded and ignored. I'm beginning to  suspect that he doesn't listen to all of what I say.

This episode spurred him to take himself to the store to get a new smoke alarm. While he was gone I searched the garbage cans looking for that scorched hot dog. I just knew there was no way he could have ate that hotdog if it was what caused this house to be filled with that much smoke. I couldn't find it.
He returned from Walmart to find all the doors and windows open and a fresh breeze flowing  through the house. He had the new smoke alarm and while he installed it I questioned him again about his hotdog story. He was being too evasive and by now I needed to hear a better explanation much the same way he questioned me about the burnt pot a few weeks earlier.

And now, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.

Apparently it wasn't even a hotdog. It was a brat and we all know that brats are more like a sausage with lots of grease in them. He had cranked up the electric burner and wanting grill marks on it, he laid it directly ON the red hot element.

I can now understand why the house was filled with greasy smoke and how the "hotdog" was edible. It was the grease from that brat on that hot element that caused the smoke while putting those pretty grill marks on the brat. He likes the grill marks. 

The new smoke alarm is in place and just as sensitive as the previous one. This one performs two actions. A parrot like voice screams "Fire! Fire!" while a shrill alarm shrieks in the background. Carrie's breakfast of pancakes set it off this morning and they were cooked using a skillet, unburnt and tasty not in need of grill marks. 
We might have to move that alarm farther away from the kitchen.

Carrie is spending the day with me. Congested, a runny nose and a tissue strewn sofa, she sits in front of one of the laptops watching You Tube videos. The husband is 80 miles away at his spud meeting. (A spud meeting is where all the participants involved in drilling a well gather together to discuss their part in the operation. The word "spud" comes from the start of the drilling when the drill bit bites into the surface of the ground....the spudding of the hole.)

He should be back this afternoon and Carrie should be collected by her mother around the same time.

Meanwhile I'll be looking for a new place to hang the smoke alarm.                                           

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