Wow, is it Wednesday already? You know what they say.."Time flies like the wind...fruit flies like bananas!" At least when it's Wednesday I remember I'm supposed to actually sit down and write something here. Lately I think most of my blood is going to my poor, overworked quads instead of my brain!
At least, that's my excuse du jour. The sad truth of the matter is, despite my smarter-then-the-average-bear IQ (around 140, just smart enough to know that I'm too dumb for Mensa) and nerdly little glasses, I am...an airhead. I open my mouth and 90% of the time, I sound intelligent and highly-educated, The other 10%...like, omigod, I totally can't believe I said that! ::vapid giggle::
I could blame it on genetics. My mother earned her bachelor's, master's and PhD, all while working at least one full-time job and raising three kids. However, when asked, "what color was George Washington's white horse?", she'd get stuck and have to think about it.
I could blame it on being follicularly-challenged. I was as blonde as my daughter until my third birthday. Maybe the lack of melanin in my hair allowed the sun to bake my brain.
Or I could take it as a blessing. After all, I've never had the burning ambition to be a sooper genius. Really smart people know how screwed the Earth is and it makes them miserable. Look at what it did to poor Stephen Hawking. You can't tell me it's just the ALS talking...uh, or not talking. He's simply so blindingly intelligent that he's figured out the human race is going to die out unless we manage to find and travel to another planet with clean air, water and Internet access. It's driven him round the bend, I tell you. (Still don't believe me? Check out how much Al Gore has aged, in comparison to Bill Clinton.)
No, my only ambition in life has been to be a writer, and there's nothing I like to write about more than the crazy, true stuff that happens to me. I honestly don't care how ridiculous I end up looking, as long as someone's getting a laugh out of it. Well, royalties would be nice, too, eventually.
So this week's story is about fire. I'd bet the 96 cents I have left in my iTunes account (hint, hint!) that none of you reading this has ever set a Bunsen burner on fire before. No, I don't mean lit the burner itself, I mean to set the entire thing aflame. Junior year chemistry class, where the otherwise very nice teacher made it clear that anyone accidentally setting a fire would receive a "zero" for that week's lab. The hose from my burner was kinked a bit tight, and the flame hit the cloth-like covering over the hose and ignited the whole thing within seconds. Imagine, if you will, a skinny, beetle-browed version of myself, hopping anxiously about like Beaker from the Muppet Show, trying to extinguish the flames before the teacher reached my side of the room. No, I didn't go for the readily-accessible fire extinguisher, because I would have given myself away, gotten an F for the day, and my mother would have hit the roof.
Not that she had room to talk. Back when I was in junior high, we bought our first house, which had been built in the 1960s. It came with the original stove, which had the broiler pan on top instead of inside the oven. She made steaks one night and set the broiler on fire. I mean it, THE ACTUAL BROILER WAS ON FIRE. And no, we did not have a fire extinguisher. In her defense, the mental midgets who designed the stove had lined the inside of the broiler cover with thick paper. Don't look at me, even I'm not that stupid! I have no idea how we put the fire out...undoubtedly, it was my ultra cool-headed father.
Come to think of it, he put out another dinnertime fire, while out at a restaurant with my mother's parents. They went somewhere fancy, with candles on the table and a napkin-lined bread basket. My grandmother passed the basket to my father before the main course was served, and basically made camp-style toast on the spot. Hmm, is that genetic argument gaining some weight?
My best fire story, though, happened a few years ago, in this very house. We were hosting a dinner party, and I had candles lit everywhere. Among them were two gel candles that I'd gotten as a 30th birthday present and only burned once before. I set them next to each other on the bathroom sink. As we sat down to eat, the smoke alarm went off. No self-respecting Wop every burns dinner, so I was confused until one of the guests calmly remarked, "there seems to be smoke coming down your hallway". The gel candles themselves had ignited, and there were two-foot flames licking their way up the mirror. I didn't panic, because it wasn't like there was anything else in there to burn...I stood there like a moron, slowly thinking to myself, "I wonder if my little stockpot is deep enough to smother the flames". Right about then is when Dave showed up with our fire extinguisher. What do I call this story, do you ask? Why, "the Bonfire of the Vanity", of course!
Do I have anyone "fired up" to tell a story of their own? Leave it in the comments, and, um...no flames, please! Have a great week!