Monday, May 4, 2009

To discuss a Real Life Play-by-Play: I'm gassed.

It is 1 a.m. right now. I've just passed gas, and all my neighbors know about it. Let me backtrack.

I left my place Friday night to spend the weekend at Capricorn's house, Bailey and all. One marathon session of The Wire Season 3, one viewing of "John Tucker Must Die (and so must that movie", one road trip to an outlet mall and several chocolate desserts later, it was time for me to head back on Sunday night.

I got back around 11:10 p.m... these are the events that transpired...

11:12 It's raining, as it has been all day. I've got some bags and Bailey's cage to bring in, so I leave Bailey in the car as I take a trip inside. I open the door, flick on the lights... and immediately smell gas. Considering I write for a newspaper, I've read/written way too many stories that start out, "An 89-year-old woman was killed today in a fiery explosion after a gas leak," I was a little freaked out.

I realize that one of the stove knobs must have been bumped. The gas stove in this apartment has knobs that can be easily moved to an "on" position without much effort- just slightly push in and turn; I've already done it a couple times accidentally, but immediately realized it.

11:13 and 5 seconds: I decide to brave it. I run to the kitchen like a 6-year-old girl outrunning a boy with cooties, and see one knob slightly turned. I flick it back to off, and tore open the shutters and windows like it was the Night Before Christmas up in this mother.

11:14 I call Capricorn, who was expecting me to call when I got home. "Hey, Capricorn. So, I'm back, and, uh, the gas has been left on since Friday and I'm hoping the house won't blow up. What's new with you?"

11:15 Capricorn and I agree to get away from the house, and I tell her I'll call the fire department. Capricorn immediately reminds me she had been worried this was going to happen, as those knobs are about as childproof as a loaded shotgun.

11:17 I call 911. My initial request is, "Hey, the gas has been left on for a few days, I turned it off and opened the windows, is there anything else I can do?" The goal was to avoid the whole spectactle of emergency crews arriving. I didn't need Hazmat and FEMA showing up (in hindsight, if I didn't want FEMA to show up, I could have just reported a broken levee). The 911 lady said she'd send someone over just to be safe.

11:19 A fireman arrives in his own pickup, and an ambulance follows. I figure, no biggie, this sounds about right. He'll make sure everything's fine, and the ambulance crew will make sure I'm not dying. Then the fireman says, "Yeah, it'll just be a minute or so until the trucks arrive." The trucks-- it's just a gas leak? I wonder.

11:21 Strip clubs don't have this many flashing red lights. There were now five fire trucks, three fire pickup trucks and the ambulance all around my complex parking lot. We were a billow of smoke away from the Marine Corps arriving.

11:22 I'm (nicely) told to wait in a pickup truck to stay out of the rain. Some of the firemen are checking inside to make sure the pilot lights are OK, and to help ventilate the place. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Denis Leary or John Travolta. Neither appear.

11:25 Neighbors are now filtering out and staring at my apartment, much the same way you look at a car wreck on the highway. It's amazing how you feel guilty at this moment, as if you've done something scandalous because there are emergency officials at your house. It's like when you get pulled over by a cop and passing drivers leer at you. I talk myself out of throwing a match at my apartment and giving my nosy neighbors a show.

11:26 It'd be a legendary show, Andy.

11:27 No, Andy, your flat screen would blow up.

11:30 The firemen tell me I did the right thing to turn off the stove and ventilate the place. I couldn't help but overhear one guy say, however, how he was bummed the place wasn't on fire. I can understand that, though. A gas leak for a firemen must be the blue balls of emergency response.

11:40 The fire trucks leave, and I'm allowed to reenter my home, which I was assured is safe even though I keep feeling I'm one spark away from hosting a Chinese New Year's party.

11:41 Capricorn and I talk on the phone again, and we agree I need to talk to the landlord about doing something about those knobs. I also take the opportunity to run out and snap a few photos of the spectacle. I've got blog readers to think about in these tragic times.

11:42 Remember Bailey? Yeah, he's been in my car this whole time. I finally let him out. He's so excited about all the fire trucks, he poops in the grass as soon as possible.

11:50 A gas company official arrives. He's got to do his own tests. He tells me he recently got called to a place where a Great Dane bumped the stove knob and caused gas to leak. This is what happens when you have a horse for an indoor pet.

11:51 I wonder if my neighbors are going to hate me now for all of this.

11:52 I wonder if my neighbors have gas leaks all the time, too.

11:53 I wonder if this one neighbor in particular ever wears real pants, as I've only seen him in weird boxer shorts walking his dog.

12:10 a.m. I'm supposed to be at work at 8 a.m., and yet there is no way I'm going to bed anytime soon. A) I still have to vent the whole place and there's a cold draft B) I just had five fire trucks outside my f'in door C) I wanted to write this and post it first, just in case I die.

12:30 Well, yeah, a gas leak is not going to spark that easily-- not unless we're on the set of "Deep Blue Sea." But you'd think, at this point, we'd have the knowledge to design stove knobs that don't accidentally cause gas leaks.

1:00 Capricorn and I agree to get the childproof rings for the knobs, and I'm going to request our landlord put similar rings on everybody else's stoves. I don't want to die because of a Great Dane. I want to die because I got attacked by a Great White shark. That would be legendary.


Debbie said...

What a saga! Amazing. I am glad everything worked out OK and that you wrote it all down:)

Herding Cats said...

That's scary, but you did the right thing. I'm always worried I'll do crap like that....usually because I do :/

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

I'm disappointed. I understand the "great dane" "great white" play on words, but if you really wanted to stick to the Deep Blue Sea theme, you should have referenced the Mako shark. Come on, Andy, get with the program. Yes, I'm a shark nerd...oh yeah, and I guess I'm happy you're not dead :)

PS, I had the most bizarre dream about you, me, and Trevor last night getting trapped in a museum? Obviously this makes sense

stealthnerd said...

I'm glad you didn't blow up.

FunnyGal KAT said...

Is it a volunteer fire department? I'm asking because that's what we have in my town and those dudes will come out in the middle of the night for ANYTHING. Cat in a tree? You're guaranteed three engines. Smoke detector sounding because you burned toast? Throw in an ambulance. Smoke from any source spotted anywhere on your property? People who aren't even part of the department throw blue flashing lights on their dashboards and come for the show.

Glad it turned out OK. Love your lead paragraph!

p.huong said...

My roommates would do stuff like that. I walked into the kitchen once to see the red light on our stove still lit.

Just curious... were there any hot fire fighters? And of course, glad to know you're okay.

haircuttinchica said...

omg Andy! Well hopefully your landlord does the knobs correctly, cuz at my old apartment we had stove knob issues where the knob to the oven came completely off, so we has our landlord fix it..and how does he fix it?? He glues it on without looking at which direction the degrees are going! So needless to say we had to cook based on where we "thought" the right number was! Uggh. But I'm happy you and Bailey are okay!!

~Sheila~ said...

Those are some dangerous knobs!
That is a scary feeling, coming home to the smell of gas.
Thanks for thinking of us in these most tragic times!

You're a nut.

Amy xxoo said...


Also, why does your apartment not have an electric stove? Its much safer...

Geiger Girl said...

"A gas leak for a firemen must be the blue balls of emergency response"

OMG. That is hilarious! Glad it all turned out well, and that you didn't die ... of embarrassment. :)

gracie-mel said...

FunnyGirl Kat: you are so right!!! Andy and I grew up in a small town (read: hickville) and the volunteer firefighters would show up for anything. A store had an electrical fire, and 11 companies showed up!!
And it does seem to be a contest (informal, of course) to see who can put the most blinking, flashing and annoying lights on their own vehicle, just in case they have to show up "off duty" hehehe

bardi: Barbie doll is "all growed up" and hanging around the bars now

PorkStar said...

Fabulous post, glad to hear you didn't die. That must have sucked, you would have lost a very important part of your life.. haha... jk

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but have I missed something? Is Capricorn's house not also your house? Or did you scare her off already?

I'm sorry if that's true, in which case my comment wouldn't be funny. Oh. And I'm glad you're not dead. Like, really super glad.

Jenners said...

I was riveted by this account ... and thank you for taking the time to think about your blog readers as you expeienced this near death experience.

And I thought you and Capricorn were living together now???? Did I miss something somewhere!?

Andy said...

A clarification: No, Capricorn isn't living with me yet- soon, but not yet.

spleeness said...

This is my new favorite post of yours. ha! Don't tell me you went to work the next day? I wouldn't be able to wind down until dawn after an event like this!

Astharis said...

Glad to hear that nothing bad happened in regards to blowing up your house... Not your average blog fodder that.

This was a fantastic read though... :D

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