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Vacation Reruns: So, I was on fire

Before the Mrs. and I got married, we did the honorable thing and lived in sin for a while. I highly recommend it. But this isn’t a post about that, this is a post about this:

Men aren’t big on decorating. I never was. My old condo had white walls in every room, Berber carpet, and black furniture. Oh, the dining room was oak. One thing noticeably absent (I know this because people came in and said I notice that absent is . . .) from my condo was wall art (no pictures or paintings) and knickknacks (you know, little things that sit on your end tables). All that was on my furniture was lamps, coasters, and the occasional glass. My condo was, to use the phrase of a friend, very Spartan.

Then the soon-to-be Mrs. moves in. Suddenly, my natural habitat was disturbed. I now had on my furniture many knickknacks, such as various framed pictures of people I didn’t know, a basket for remote controls (I stored them in seat cushions), and various ceramic/glass/porcelain things strewn about the house in a seemingly random (though entirely purposeful) fashion. Also, I had wall art: pictures of flowers, more pictures of people I didn’t know, and a painting of this solemn looking boy staring out into the sea. And candles. Lots of candles. Single men don’t have candles, they like to use Mag-Lites and other gizmos when the power goes out. The candles were scented too.

Then the painting started. We spent an entire month painting every room in the condo but one, which we left white. It was my toy room/office. The wife said the white walls made it look like a hotel room. At the time, I was working in public accounting and traveled a lot. So, I found the hotel room look familiar and comfortable.

After the placement of various knickknacks around what was formerly my bachelor pad, me and the soon-to-be Mrs. were watching television. It was winter. I was laying on my black leather couch and the Mrs. was on the matching love seat. I started getting hot. So, I shifted my blanket a bit. Then I was still getting hot, particularly my feet were really warm. I shifted my feet again.

That did the trick, I was comfortable. A minute or two passes and my feet feel as though they are on fire. I re-situated my feet again and all of a sudden from under the blanket erupts a giant fireball. I, understandably shocked that a fireball had just come from my blanket and having watched one too many Discovery Channel specials on spontaneous human combustion, was a bit alarmed. I leapt to my feet (bad move, my socks were on fire), grabbed the blanket and threw it on the floor. Then I jumped up and down like a mad man on the blanket in an effort to extinguish the fire on the blanket and my feet. I then grabbed the blanket, used it to extinguish my feet, and rolled it up with the fire in the middle. The fire was out. By the way, I doubt stop, drop and roll works on feet.

You would think that the love of your life would notice that her soon-to-be husband was on fire. No, she intently watched Friends while I was trying to put myself out. Then I started cussing. She, concerned now, asks What’s wrong?.

I was shocked. She missed the fireball, missed me extinguishing myself, and missed the smell that burning blankets make because she was watching some tired, old repeated joke on Friends.

I instruct her (and by instruct mean yell loudly) that I was on fire. I show her my socks (which are burnt black), I show her the blanket (which was burnt black), and I showed her the armrest of the leather couch which was singed in such a way that the mark looked remarkably like a Christmas tree. Then, she starts laughing hysterically.

You’re probably wondering how my feet caught fire. Actually, you’re also probably wondering why my feet exploded into a fireball. It puzzled me too so I put on my arson investigator’s hat and determined that:

I was laying under a blanket that had little, frilly threads on the end. One of the newly acquired candles mentioned above (an item only recently introduced into the SayUncle habitat) was on the end table by my feet. I had apparently re-arranged my feet and, while shifting, the candle ignited the frilly threads. Then when I noticed my feet were a bit warm, I rearranged in such a fashion to place the end of the blanket under my feet where it smoldered for a bit, burnt my couch, and ignited my socks. When the heat was unbearable, I arranged my feet again at which point the oxygen hit the smoldering cloth and ignited a fireball.

The moral of this story: your future wife may or may not notice that you’re presently on fire. And if she does notice, she may find it funny.

10 Responses to “Vacation Reruns: So, I was on fire”

  1. Robert Says:

    And then she has a straight line she can use for years. “You’re really smokin’ tonight!”

  2. guy Says:

    I understand that you are well past this phase, but I thought would mention it anyway – 1) cobwebs are not ‘decoration’ unless it’s the run-up to halloween, and 2) That Marlboro calendar from 1997 you got in the mail and nailed to your livingroom wall(in 1997) isn’t ‘wall art’- and you need to do something about that right f-ing now after not noticing it for close to 20 years.

  3. Joe Huffman Says:

    My ex used to laugh when people got hurt. Not just some physical “humor” from a comedy routine on TV. Example: A friend of ours closed our car door on his thumb. The door latched the laughter of my ex was counterproductive as struggled to open the door. She continued to have difficult constraining her laughter as we took him to the emergency room.

    I reassured our friend that it was nothing personal. She also laughed when I smashed my finger in a car door years earlier.

    I could make her laugh at almost any time by retelling stories of her laughing at someone else’s pain.

    Yeah, her brain is wired a little bit weird.

  4. Jeffersonian Says:

    High school aged. Working on my first car with my twin brother. I was on my back underneath the engine compartment and asked my bro to hand me a 9/16th wrench. “Sure”, says he as he grabs the wrench from the front seat just before he slammed the door on my thumb.”Open he door.” I says. “What?” he asked. “Please open the door.” I says… “What?” He replies.

    “OPEN THE F’ING DOOR!” I politely responded.

    I got payback 2 weeks later when it was time to remove the offending thumbnail and insisted he grab it with pliers and pull the second time.

  5. LCB Says:

    What do you mean us guys don’t like to decorate? I have a huge struggle at my house to keep my one, uno, 1, eine, room decorated to my taste. Something about paintings of historical events just seems to make my wife a little unhinged!!! 🙂

  6. JTC Says:

    Huh. At first blush you’d think there’s a correlation between dcor and decorum, but considering the lack of taste so often exhibited by so many, maybe it is not surprising that they sprout from different latin roots entirely; decorare (embellish), and decorus (seemly)…almost antonymic. And as I said, that makes sense as the latter is so often missing from the former.

  7. nk Says:

    I smoke cigarettes. I use a lighter that you have to close manually to put out the flame (an IMCO Super 6700 for the cognoscenti). I lit a cigarette in the car and a little later, while driving, noticed that I was feeling warmer. A little later than that I noticed the flames coming out of my shirt pocket. By the time I pulled to the curb, the left front side of my shirt was tinder. Thankfully, I was wearing a cotton undershirt. No burns.

  8. Laughingdog Says:

    My ex-wife tried to set the house on fire with some candles on the bed tables…which set the nearby pillows on fire. As a result, I learned that the powder in fire extinguishers is REALLY hard to clean up with a canister vacuum. it just plugs the things up.

  9. Mr Evilwrench Says:

    Yeah, that powder is an asshole. It’s probably designed that way to make you more careful not to set things on fire.

    I managed to lock two of my fingers in my car one time, on the side my car keys go on. The keys were already in my pocket. My wife at the time (may she rest in pieces) had already got halfway to the door of the restaurant, and realized I wasn’t with her yet. She came back with fire in her eyes to see what shenanigans I was up to (everything being my fault and all), and finally figured out how to get me loose. Sympathy for the bruising and swelling somewhat took the edge off her irritation.

  10. mikee Says:

    My wife worked several years as a Pediatric ER doctor. It takes arterial blood spurting or lack of breathing to get her excited about injuries. Otherwise, she takes her time to calmly assess, diagnose and treat the issue.

    She diagnosed our kids’ childhood traumas from across the living room without getting out of her comfy chair, telling me to bandage it, kiss it, or ER it, because she was done for the day.

    She did however save the life of a neighborhood kid who turned blue and stopped breathing, who was delivered to our front door by the terrified mom. And I got some of my wife’s credentials via osmosis, getting asked all sorts of medical things by neighbors who were too polite to ask the real doctor.