Friday, September 9, 2011

Disco Inferno

They (you know, "they," the people you quote when you don't know who said the random piece of wisdom you're about to dispense or who you quote when you want to say something that likely isn't true but you want to avoid saying it so you can't get called on it) say that comedy is tragedy plus time. Unfortunately, 'Time' seems to be a variable that is inconsistent from person to person. One person's "too soon" is another person's "Abe Lincoln wouldn't have been shot if he'd taken off his hat during Our American Cousin so Booth could see." (Too soon?)

So at the risk of straddling that line, I'm going to write about a fire that took place roughly 50 feet from my apartment building roughly seven hours from when I sat down to write this. (Two firefighters were injured by falling embers. They've been treated and released from the hospital.)

It was a normal Friday. I'd solved the country's energy crisis as I usually do, only to destroy the file as is my traditional Friday activity. (Sometimes I solve AIDS, world hunger, or more recently, getting serious about finally finding out who let the dogs out as well as what the undefined "this" is that MC Hammer continues to insist I can't touch.) The Little Guy was down for his nap and I was watching a documentary about the World Air Guitar Championships.

Cool for a Two-Year Old, not so cool
for the residents of the compelx
I hear a fire truck outside my door, but figure it's one of the nearby homes on the surrounding streets. Then I hear another one. And another one. And I think to myself, "What a wonderful world." Wait, no, that's not right at all. I think "wow, those sound really close, I should probably go see what's going on (not Marvin Gaye or even the oft mistaken 4 Non-Blondes song, which is actually What's Up, but either way it's stuck in your head now.) I step outside and see three fire trucks pulling up next to my apartment, which spurs the obvious question, what the hell is going on? Had I taken a second, I would have smelled the smoke that would soon permeate my clothes.

Because I'm in the digital age, I get my camera before walking outside to see to the extent of what's happening (hey hey hey). I see firefighters rushing (they never meander, they're always rushing, probably a good thing) to extinguish the fire. It takes a little while and soon smoke is billowing (the only way smoke travels) out from the attic space throughout the building. It's not a good sight. Fortunately, no one was hurt, all the dogs and cats were rescued, so the "only" loss is the possessions consumed by the fire. (Yes, I say only in the sense that no loss of life happened.)

After a lot of the smoke subsided, I went back inside to get the Little Guy and show him all the fire trucks and ambulance and police cars that were in the complex. He might not understand why they were there, but he liked seeing them. As one of the trucks was getting ready to leave, they stopped to give him a plastic firefighter's hat, which everyone else thought was cool but he, in one of his idiosyncratic traits, refuses to wear. Well, he refuses to wear any hat.

A news report said a faulty air conditioning unit caused the fire and the staff at the complex were trying to relocate those affected to empty units elsewhere in the campus. If one of them gets into the secret Bones and Skull units, I'm going to be upset.

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