After reading this post on Sam’s blog, that she says she wrote after this post on my blog got her thinking, I got to thinking about the time that I set my friend Roxanne’s kitchen on fire. But really it should have been this post on Jamie’s blog that got me thinking because I set Roxanne’s kitchen on fire when I was helping her move.

I came over to her house one morning to help Roxanne pack her china and crystal, which she really should never have trusted me with in the first place because I am not an experienced packer by any stretch of the imagination. I have no idea what possessed me to tell Roxanne that I could help her pack anything, much less her most valuable housewares, except that I really just wanted to be helpful, and, come now, how hard could packing crystal and china be anyway? And it wouldn’t have been hard at all if I had not picked the stovetop to lay down the newspapers in which I was wrapping Roxanne’s crystal. I may have passed the California bar examination on my very first try, but laying several sheets of newspaper across a stovetop is an act that could only be perpetrated by a dumbass. Hello, my name is Cheri, and having admitted to my condition, I believe I am now entitled to call myself a recovering dumbass.

Somehow or other I inadvertently bumped the knob and turned on the stove. The burner then set the newspaper on fire, the very newspaper that I’d just finished wrapping around the crystal vase that Roxanne had just finished telling me was her favorite. My first plan was to drop the blazing thing on the tile floor and stomp on the newspaper, but, of course, that would have broken the vase. So I went with plan two. Start giggling. After I began to giggle, plan number three was put into action. I said a curse word. Plan number four was up next, no doubt provoked by the giggling that had rapidly become hysterical laughter. I suddenly had to pee real bad, the kind of pee that happens to a kid who’s just found the perfect place to conceal herself during Hide-and-Seek. Roxanne started laughing too, making my urge to pee grow worse. Plan five, which I might add turned out to be the most effective overall for the problem at hand, was that I carried the vase-shaped torch over to the sink. I set the flaming, paper-wrapped package down in the basin and turned on the water. Just then the smoke alarms in the kitchen went off because, um, yeah, there was still newspaper burning on the stove. I moved that burning pile of paper over to the sink too. Roxanne and I opened windows and turned on her ceiling fans. Then we cleaned up the sooty, ashy mess. I asked Roxanne to promise not to tell anyone, but, of course, I really didn’t mind if she did because it meant that anyone who heard the story would never ask me to help her move.

So, Jamie, are you really all packed or do you need any help?

9 comments on “She Didn’t Start the Fire”

  1. I’m glad it all worked out and all…but…did you make it to the toilet?
    And what a way to insure that no one will ask you to help move the breakables…good job, Cheri!! 😀

  2. i am proud to say that while i’ve had a flying watermelon hit my car, and numerous other “how do you manage these things” sort of occurences. i’ve not yet set my kitchen ablaze.

  3. Nope Cheri. I’m ALL SET! Really. Um-hmm.

    However, you could BABYSIT while I unpack. You wouldn’t set them on fire, would ya?

    (Wrapping hot toasters in towels…newspaper on the stove…) Genetic mysteries. 🙂

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