My mom has the best of intentions. All she wanted was to make me a nice welcome-home meal when I came home for Thanksgiving break. And stuffed pork chops are just about one of my favorite meals on the planet. I. Love. Stuffing. I can’t get enough of it. So I was pretty stoked for this dinner. Plus, I was getting a home-cooked meal from my mom, which made it even more exciting.
I couldn’t help but grin as I pulled into the driveway, because it felt so good to be home. My mom opened the door after a few knocks, and I dropped my bags by the door as my dogs greeted me. Mom texted me on my way home to tell me that my little sister had fallen asleep, but we could wake her up if I wanted, because it was still early. When I walked in her room, she had already woken up and had a huge smile across her face. It was the best feeling in the world to see her little smile, again.
We snuggled up to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as my mom prepared dinner. A few minutes later the fire alarms started roaring. And without further ado, I present you with:
What not to do in case of a fire:
1) Do not assume that there is not a fire just because at your apartment the fire alarm goes off every time you boil a pot of water or use the toaster.
2) Do not panic at the sight of flames as high as your microwave in a pan on the stove.
3) Do not scream and scare your four-year-old sister into peeing her pants.
4) Do not yell for your mom, because you cannot remember how to react to a grease fire–even though you are in your second year of college with your own apartment.
5) Do not go into full on freak-out mode as the flames seem like they are getting worse.
6) Do not just stand there in fear instead of going to comfort your terrified little sister.
So my little sister was bawling, asking if our house is going to burn down. My mom was playing superwoman putting out the fire. And I was trying to pull it together enough to make my sister stop crying. But it doesn’t end there. Every fire detector in our house was going crazy, and even after the flames were out they wouldn’t shut up. We opened the doors and windows trying to get the smoke out, but the alarms kept ringing.
I took a broom and kept poking the one near the kitchen, but it didn’t seem to do anything. Finally, the noise subsided, and we examined all the damage. It only left behind a burnt microwave handle, and a disfigured bottle of Dawn dish soap.
Turns out, my mom had left oil burning on the stove, and she must have forgotten about it for a few minutes. Afterwards, she tried to propose that “we” would clean it up, and to the tune of Billy Joel’s 1989 hit, I reminded her, “We didn’t start the fire.”
No we didn’t light it. But we tried to fight it. We didn’t start the fire.
P.S. Do not keep singing this song throughout the night to tease your mom. Sorry about that, Mom.