I set the kitchen on fire.
Okay, I set a metal pot on fire. But we have electric burners, and metal is not the world’s most combustible material. So how on earth did this happen?
It happened because I cook my dog and husband dinner every night.
I’ve never set anything on fire until this, and I promise I’m going to explain how it happened, but first I need to say…
I love dogs.
I love my current dog. She’s a trouble-making little food-thief, a sneaky blanket hog. She makes sounds like a Tauntaun. She’s the snuggliest puppy in the world and my absolute baby.
And I loved the beautiful, sweet, albeit dim-witted pure bred labrador my brother, Fred and I had growing up. (She is commemorated in this old style comic) and even though she only ever had store-brand dry kibble, she lived almost 18 years.
Fans have asked why Bridget doesn’t have a pet.
The reason is; I don’t think Debbie is capable of looking after her daughter, herself and an animal.
Well then why couldn’t Bridget take care of the pet?
Because I believe children may be tasked with the care of their pets, but ultimately the responsibility fall on the adult, kids need supervision to be sure they actually do the chores.
Telling your kid, “you wanted a dog, you take care of it” is NOT about saving you from the work, it’s about teaching the child to understand why things need to be done.
This is why, “because I said so” has never been an acceptable answer.
There are always reasons.
Kid: Why do I have to go to bed?
Mom: Because I’m tired.
Kid: Then why don’t YOU go to bed.
Mom: Fine. I’ll go to bed, and you can stay up to do the dishes.
Kid: I guess I’ll go to bed.
Kid: Why do I have to do homework?
Dad: Well, kids don’t have to do homework in Finland. Why don’t you start a lemonade stand, make enough money to move our family to Finland, and then you won’t have to do homework anymore.
Kid: How much money do we need?
Dad: About $100,000 or so.
Kid: I guess I’ll do my homework.
So, you cook actual food-food for your dog?
I do. I buy those giant, absurd 5lb rolls of ground beef, and I boil, then mix it with pureed green beans, coconut oil, bits of fruit, and sometimes cheese.
Once upon a time I had a pot large enough to boil 5 lbs of beef at once.
But my brother stabbed a knife through the bottom of it. Afterwards he insisted the huge hole was proof of the pot’s inferior quality, and that he had in no way overreacted by attacking it with a gargantuan knife because, “the potatoes were taking too long to cook”
So, now I cook 5lbs of beef in three separate batches.
Boiling and then pouring it through a colander to drain off the excess fat. And when I set the kitchen on fire I must have poured the fat-water down the side of the pot instead of into the sink.
Did you know beef fat is very, very flammable?
So even though we have an electric stove, the whole thing burst into flames. The burner started smoking, and then came the fire. Scorching ever higher up the sides of the pot. Where moments earlier I had been cooking, I had now given life to the bright center of a new galaxy.
A calm person would have gotten a fire extinguisher.
A clever person would have lampooned Oasis and sung, “A flaming supernova on the stove”
An enterprising person would have fashioned an impromptu rotisserie and spun a chicken on it to get that authentic roasted flavor.
Or at least skewered a marshmallow and told a ghost story.
But I did none of those things.
I scrambled backwards out of the kitchen in that way where half of the molecules in your body move faster than the other half and all laws of physics are temporarily suspended.
And I yelled, “FIre. Fire! FIRE!” until DH stepped in fixed it.
He got up from the couch. If I was being polite I would say he was calm, but I think he was something closer to bored.
He approached the flames, took a giant breath and Fwooooph, out it went like a kid’s birthday cake.
It should be pointed out that he used to be a fireman, so flames do not frighten him. Then he turned to me and said, “why didn’t you just blow it out?”
A small quiz.
A: Violet Charles is a phenomenal buffoon in the face of adversity.
B: Her husband has superhuman lung power.
C: Her husband should not expect her to put her face near open flame and knows her lungs are the size of cranberries.
D: All of the above.