Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Grandma's On Fire!"

... and other things you don't want to hear on Thanksgiving.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was wonderful; truly we all have much to be thankful for.

Like grandma.

Sometime about an hour before dinner I was in the dining room playing Ocarina duets with Dave when suddenly I heard one of my nieces shriek, "Grandma's on fire!!!" I remember looking at Dave for what probably amounted to only a split second, but what seemed like several minutes. Our eyes meet in confusion as both our minds tried to process three words that one normally doesn't hear strung together; synapses trying feverishly to decode the unfamiliar. Suddenly it was my wife's voice and three more shouted words from the kitchen that seemed to be the linguistic key that unlocked the confusing meaning for me: "Water, water, WATERRRRR!!!!"

Somewhere in my brain, that final synapse fired and I realized, "Grandma on.... fire."


I ran into the kitchen to find no less than six or seven grand kids with mouths gaping open in stunned silence, and grandma in a state very unlike being on fire. Instead, it appeared as if my wife was trying to drown her mother in the kitchen sink. If you've ever seen a cop grab someone by the shoulder and smash their head into the hood of a police cruiser... that's what my wife was doing to grandma, except in the sink. Grandma's hands were braced on the edges of the sink and I could see her trying to push herself up out of the sink... but my wife would have none of it. Like a bad episode of cops, there went grandma's head... back down into the sink.

"I'm... fine...." I could hear grandma weakly gurgling from the sink that was quickly filling with water.

"Splash" went her head as my wife slammed her into the sink again.

Again the confusion set in. Half the synapses in my brain were saying, "Holy crap! Pull her off grandma; she's going to DROWN her!" and the other half were saying, "Where's the fire?" and another half were saying, "Do we need a fire extinguisher? Where do they keep it in this house?" and yet the final half of the synapses in my brain were saying, "I hope this won't delay my turkey dinner any." **

Finally, my wife let grandma up from her Chinese torture; or should I say grandma fought her way up out of the sink. Not a burn on her. Apparently the sleeve of her sweater got too close to her gas stove, and her fuzzy sweater went up like a sparkler. It was kind of neat because the real loose fuzzy stuff burnt very rapidly and completely, resulting in what all the grand kids described as a pretty spectacular flaming grandma, but apparently the fuzz burnt so quickly that the sweater never got hot enough for the main weave of the fabric to ignite. Pretty cool.

So... grandma needs a new sweater for Christmas, and in addition to everything else we had to be thankful for, we're glad grandma is OK.

** Oh, by the way. Yes, I DO have four halves to my brain. I'm so smart that two halves weren't enough.


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