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Smoke City, USA

We have this running joke that I'm going to burn the house down one day. The number of times I've set off the smoke alarm is too many to count.

The first time I set off the smoke alarm was in my husband's tiny studio apartment in Hollywood. I wanted to make some Pillsbury orange rolls in the oven. I preheated the oven, and I carefully put the tray of rolls inside. My husband was going downstairs to check the mail. Jokingly, he said, "Don't burn the place down while I'm gone."

"Ha ha," I said back.

In the few minutes it took for him to go downstairs and retrieve the post, my orange rolls had burned badly in the oven, smoking the apartment up, and setting off the smoke detector. My husband came back to the BEEP BEEP BEEP of imminent danger and was like, "Wait, seriously? I was gone for like, 2 minutes."

A few nights ago, my cat was sitting in front of the cold fireplace, staring longingly at it. I said, "I'm going to burn some papers so Chloe can enjoy the fire." My husband said, "I'm going to take a shower, be careful. Make sure the flue is open. Please. Please be careful. Don't let her get too close to the fire either."

"Yea, yea, got it, mister."

I fiddled with the flue knob, put some papers down and set them afire.

Chloe got real close and watched intently.

The papers burned.

The fire was so hot.

It blazed.

And then ...


It was smoke city. Oh frick.

I went to work at fanning the smoke detector. My husband came out of the bathroom.

“It’s fine! Everything’s under control! Don’t worry!” I screamed at him.

Chloe darted between us, ears folded back, high alert mode.

I ran to the kitchen to fill a cup with water to extinguish the fire. It wasn’t enough. I ran back to fill another cup.


Maybe I was panicking a little.

”Babe, here, fan the smoke detector, I’ll take care of the fire,” he said and calmly filled a large bowl of water to kill the fire.

Finally, the smoke cleared, and through the open window, I noticed a fire truck parked outside down the street.

”Oh my god, they’re coming for me.”

I done messed up real good this time.

We watched from the window. The fire truck slowly drove away.

Phewwww. We’re up of the woods.

“Chloe didn’t start the fire, it was mommy, mommy, and we almost died.”

Turns out the flue wasn’t even open. I had forgotten the new lever that had been installed, so we never stood a chance against the smoke.

No more fire stuff for me. I am literally a fire hazard. My existence is a fire hazard.


thank you, love you, xoxo ✨

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