Today, we started the New Year off with a bang. Well, almost a bang anyway. I was sitting on the couch with my three boys, snuggling and watching TV, when suddenly, my oldest, Mineological, starts complaining about something smelling bad.
“Did someone have Poo-poo Gas [our word for farting, passing wind, cutting the cheese]?” I looked around accusingly.
“No, it’s not that, Mommy,” M. interjected, with a sour look on his face. “I think, I think it’s your breath!”
I took the comment in stride, putting it down as another Mommy-Self-Image-Detonator, right along with my “spiky legs, cracked face, and big bum-bum.” But right after the sting wore off a few minutes later, my nostrils began to sting too. Just then, my husband started yelling from the basement:
“Ashleeyyyy! I need you to smell something downnn heeeere!”
Normally, that last sentence would be a classic line to follow up with a “that’s what she said,” but ignoring my perverted tendencies, I ran downstairs and was greeted with a blast of Mother Nature’s Poo-poo Gas, otherwise known as natural gas. Panicked, we called the fire department, who promptly told us to get the hell outta dodge. I rounded up the kids, grabbed some bags of pretzels and Cheez-Its (lest my kids starve while we wait for our house to blow up), and ran outside to have a wintery picnic on the sidewalk.
Within minutes, we heard the sirens. No less than four fire trucks pulled down on our street, one of them stretching a hose from a fire hydrant on the far side of our block even though there is a hydrant directly across the street from our house. At that point, I started to lose my shit, thinking I really should have grabbed my purse, or a bunch of albums, or my jewelry box, or my kid’s stuffed animals, or my new US Magazine, or all that Costco meat we’d so thoughtlessly chucked in the freezer! The firemen emerged from the trucks and went inside in full helmets and gear, throwing more fuel on my anxiety and prompting our sons to continuously ask us if our house were going to blow up, pretty much making me think that any minute, I was going to. Neighbors started to gather round, most of them approaching us so that we had to re-tell the whole story, some of them offering their random theories and urban legends of people’s houses blowing up in just this same scenario. All very comforting and helpful.
Twenty minutes later, the firemen came back out of our house, and one of them was carrying the new propane tank we just hooked up to the gas grill we keep on the patio. It happens to back to a window that leads, guess where? The basement. Good news is, our house did NOT blow up. Bad news is, it was kind of embarrassing that every fire engine in the county was called to our house for our grill’s leaky propane tank. Equally good news is, I’d forgotten to defrost any of that frozen Costco meat, because I would have totally tried to grill it for dinner, just like I do every single night of the year – winter, spring, summer, or fall. Talk about a Happy New Year – our house didn’t blow up, I didn’t blow up, nobody had Poo-poo Gas, and best of all, my breath doesn’t stink. Truly blessed!