The fiery death of a tiny pink teapot

Last night was the night I almost set the house on fire.


Ok, maybe I’m being dramatic here, but there were flames and flames are scary when they aren’t coming from candles. I put a pot of water on to boil, but turned on the wrong burner.  A tiny pink teapot was on the other burner and just when I realized that my pot of water wasn’t getting hot and the tiny pink teapot looked white hot instead of pink, the plastic handle burst into flames.


I sputtered a few “Ohs!” and “Oh dears” as I tried to figure out how best to deal with it. E came in to help. I picked the tiny flaming teapot up with a long metal spoon and put it in a bigger pot and put it under the faucet. E turned the water on and successfully doused the flame. There would have been better ways to handle this but I didn’t think of them. A fire extinguisher would have worked well for one. I think I will get one right away.


We stood there saying “shit” and “holy shit”. Just as I recovered my sarcasm and said “Nice smoke detectors” one started screeching. So I brought the ladder in from the garage, climbed up and disconnected the battery after much fumbling and screeching. I looked at the little ashes floating in the air and wondered how toxic the smoke from a burning tiny teapot handle could be.


I climbed down off the ladder and opened the windows wider and said “holy shit” a few more times, at which time another smoke alarm started screeching and then another. E plugged her ears. I picked the ladder up and realized I had set it down in the litter box on cat shit. Now I had cat shit, toxic smoke, scorch marks and ashes to deal with. And I still hadn’t made dinner.


I disconnected the other smoke detectors and wondered if the neighbors heard them. The cat kept on staring at me from the dining room table so I said “I fucked up. What can I say? I fucked up.” She narrowed her eyes and looked away, embarrassed by my lack of grace.


We cleaned up. I ignored the molten plastic that had dripped on the stove. I made an unexciting dinner of beans and rice and biscuits which for some reason tasted quite good. I was content that the house smelled like beans and rice instead of toxic burning plastic. I wondered if there was something wrong with me because I often turned the wrong burner on. I reminded myself that my Dad frequently did the same thing yet he learned to fly an airplane.  I knew I would never learn to fly an airplane because flying makes me sick.


I cleaned up some more. The molten plastic scraped off easily, like dried wax. There are a lot of little cinder specks remaining that settled in the cobwebs and on every flat surface. So we have dust…black dust. 


Later I watched “America’s Next Top Model” and made fun of Tyra Banks.



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