Tag Archives: fire

Hyppo and Critter: Religious Freedom

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Registering Alarm

smokealarmWe recently renewed the contract for another year on the house we rent. We politely inquired directly with the owner about cutting the property management company out of the deal because they’re stark raving assholes and don’t do jack shit, but she said no. I figured it would have been a good deal for her since she wouldn’t have to pay them for doing nothing.

They only handled one issue from us all year and that was a broken 35-year-old hot water heater. In our defense we do need hot water several times a year.

The owner felt she “didn’t have time” to manage the property herself. Eh? Wazzup?

Then the other night came a very alarming sequence of events.
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Fireworks Cleanup Post #photography

We consider ourselves fairly typical Americans. It was a few nights before the Fourth of July, decidedly my least favorite night of the year. We were in our living room, sitting on our asses and watching TV. Like I said, typical.

Suddenly there was a boom. I looked out the front window and billowing smoke rose from our front yard garden. It had begun.

“Those fireworks are close,” I said. “Damn close.” The shit was literally raining down right on top of us.

On July 4th itself I went outside to see what the hell was going on. I saw one of those colorful bursts like you’d see in any major fireworks display except it was directly over my house. It went off about 20-30 feet over our roof. Two things were immediately obvious: Why don’t they do this shit above their own houses? They’re too good for that! And, wow, they are really good shots. We were being targeted.
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Firewater Fireworks

Fireworks-Idiot

In general, the lower the IQ the greater the thrill from fireworks and twinkly noisy thingies.

Word from the western front arrived early. It was going to be a “heat advisory” kind of a day. We hunkered in our bunkers and prepared for the worst. I put on a pair of clean tighty whities. Because:

To brine thine own self be true.

–Tom B. Taker

I was already looking forward to the salt water sores in my private areas. You know what they say. “Fight ’em over there or in your underwear.” Like always I choose the latter.

Day 1

Sunday night the neighbor set up a table saw in his front yard. He ran that sucker until 11:36 pm. On a work night. I kid you not. I believe this is the exact storyline of the movie Saw.

Day 2

Even more table saw. It was all squee … squee … squee … when the hours were wee.

What every happened to politeness? Basic manners? Please and thank you? All as dead as my peace of mind and peace and quiet.

Two nights of noise in a row. The urge to fling poo was becoming unbearable. Somehow, though, I was able to hold on.

But, little did I know it at the time, those two nights were merely flanking feints. The best was still yet to come.

Boom Shack-A-Lak!
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Dear Guru: Burning Down The House

dearguru

Q.
Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

Signed,
–Peeping Pyromaniac

elvis-velvetA.
You’re sick, you know that? Seriously. Get some help. I mean, I like a tasty thought experiment as much as the next guy, but come on! My home is on fire? Tell me how you really feel.

OK. I’ll do my best. I’m a professional and I still have a job to do. I have taken the Advice Columnist’s Oath and that means, basically, I have to take it. Each and every time. Very well. Out of respect for the craft I will give this question a serious response.

What do I grab?

First Item: “Screen.”

I grab the screen. Get it? Screen grab? Woo hoo! I crack myself up. I’m a real hoot. My house is on fire and I’m cracking some of my best improv material ever. It’s a win win.

Professionalism be damned.

Uh, what was the question again?

Seriously, though. I’m not kidding. The 42″ flat screen LCD TV is obviously the first thing. I’m not insane. An American is nothing without his TV. And I can carry that puppy under my arm, all by myself. I’m sure it won’t be too heavy because I’ll be all hopped up on adrenaline from the flames.
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Blowin’ Smoke

The Taker family tree.

The Taker family tree.

I don’t have a family tree. The family systematically broke it down into small pieces. And smoked it. Now it’s all gone. So much for my roots.

Rich, smooth flavor. A tad barky and leafy, perhaps. But lungs has gots to be choked to the max. Our family motto is apparently “smoke whatever you can improvise.”

My entire family smokes its guts out and yet, perversely, I’m the black sheep. Oh, the irony. That’s rich. I’m also pretty much the only non-smoker around.
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Fires in the Works

luke-skywalker

It’s all (allegedly) fun and games until something like this this happens. Must satisfy impulses now. Regret can come later.

I am proud to be an American.

BOOM!

Whoa! What the fuck was that? And, more importantly, who’s going to help me change my diaper?

So let me get this straight. You love America, too. And to prove it you’re going to make something go boom boom. Do you mind if I get some background information? Are you the same guy from elementary school who got paper towels wet and threw them into ceiling lights until they blew up? Are you the one who was so fascinated with fire that he set his junior high school locker ablaze? Do you think shooting a gun up in the air is good clean fun? No, no, don’t tell me. Let me guess. All the same guy, right?

Just in case you doubt my cred to discuss this topic, please know that one time I visited the game store where my son the gerbil liked to hang out. Staff regaled with me with stories of my son’s exploits in the back parking lot shooting bottle rockets using his ass as the launch platform. So I think I’m qualified!

In 2012, 60-percent of the year’s fireworks injuries occurred between June 22nd and July 22nd, sending an average of 200 people per day to the hospital. … All six fireworks-related deaths that happened last year involved illegal or homemade fireworks.
–Source: All the Amazing Facts About Your Fireworks Injury (Gizmodo)

Fireworks are a product. I know for a fact that those who make them have a profit motive. What I secretly suspect, however, is that they also hate America and are out to conquer us one body part at a time. Yes, it’s a theory, but it fits the available facts, dammit!

There’s no such thing as a zero error rate in the manufacture of products. Stay with me here. I’m building a logical proof piece by piece (if you’ll pardon the expression). That means some percentage of fireworks legally sold in this country are inherently flawed. Use of those products is, therefore, a calculated risk. Fuck that. I’ll stick with the craps table. I deem that to be an acceptable level of risk, but hey, that’s how I roll. Your mileage may vary.

Some, like me, might argue further that just the existence of the product is an intentional design flaw, but I won’t go there.

I’ll just say, like I am often wont to do, “What could possibly go wrong?” Life is dangerous enough. Why do we deliberately go out of our way to do nonsensical things that have no logical purpose that increase the odds against us? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

At ease, people. Blow ’em up if you got ’em.

BTW, the fireworks we give to youngsters make a lot more sense. Sparklers. So pretty. And what are they? Pieces of metal burning at temperatures up to 2,000 degrees or about as hot as a blow torch.

What could possibly go wrong? (Oops. There I go again.) I can’t understand how sparklers are responsible for 12 percent of reported fireworks-related injuries.