Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How I Almost Flashed The Fire Department



                                                                           


I originally wrote this story almost five years ago when one son was still in college and the other was in law school. Though they've grown into confident young men, I'm still as insecure as I've always been which brings us to Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to visit this talented group of welcoming writers.

    How I Almost Flashed The Fire Department

As I eagerly awaited my boys arrival for summer break, I did a quick sweep of their bedrooms, and went to check on the condition of their bathroom. It desperately needed a mini makeover. A couple of fresh coats of paint, and a power wash for the tile, and the bathroom would be ready just in time for them to turn it into a frat house. 

The next day the painter arrived on time, and everything was going smoothly. The walls required sand blasting, because they needed to smooth down the stenciled cowboy designs I had painted in 1994. Hey, I didn't want their delicate noses to inhale dangerous paint fumes, and I also didn't want them to develop a taste for beer, before they were even double digits. Now was the perfect time for a change; while still keeping  their allergies at bay. All was calm, until the smoke alarm sounded off.  

After I turned the alarm off, I called the alarm company to tell them that the sand blasting must have tripped it. They told me that the firefighters were already on their way. Before I hung up, two fire trucks were in front of my house. I nervously apologized, and they were very gracious and understanding.

Two days later, our handyman was scheduled to clean, re-grout, and seal their  bathroom tile. He came a half hour early, before I had taken my shower.  While he was working in one bathroom, I was showering in the other.  As I was drying off, I heard faint beeping sounds. I quickly put on a faded pink towel robe that was fastened by an unreliable Velcro panel, and opened up my bedroom door. Now the noise was growing louder, and I ran into the hallway to turn off the alarm. Then I frantically flew down the stairs to get the phone number of the alarm company. I was so relieved to have reached them in time. Now I needed to head back upstairs to get dressed.  

After I put one sock on, the siren sounded off again. I quickly fled down the stairs, to look up the access code. Then I remembered that the handyman's assistant was working nearby in the first floor bathroom. He pretended not to see me, but I know he also caught  a glimpse of my towel robe, gently brushing up against my single tube sock. Meanwhile, the head handyman was trying to clean all of the dust out of the smoke detector, as I was coming up the stairs. Once it was put back together, my Groundhog Morning started up again. 

Before the fire department graced our doorstep again, I held on tightly to my repulsive robe, and pleaded with one of the handymen to  go outside and apologize for wasting their valuable time. Then I finally convinced the alarm service to temporarily disarm the system. They told me that this whole incident could have been prevented, if the painter had covered the smoke detector with a plastic bag. I'm sure this ordeal made both handymen welcome their wives with a passionate embrace.

That evening my oldest son came home from school, and actually noticed that his bathroom had been painted. He liked the bold color of the accent wall that will serve as a constant reminder. It's just a shade deeper; a spicier version of fire truck red.

55 comments:

  1. Fun story. Good thing you finally figured out why your smoke detector was going off. Glad you didn't have to run outside without any clothes on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sure that gave everyone a morning they will never forget...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Those pesky alarms! My township has a ordinance that from the fourth false alarm on the owner pays a fee, on a escalating scale. One property owner leases part of his property, and didn't feel responsible. I broke out which lessee caused which alarm, including himself. It was an eyeopener--his property was half the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  4. By the third time, the fire dept. were flipping coins as to who got to make the run to your house. Funny story and always good that there was NO fire.

    ReplyDelete
  5. hahahaha. It's these kind of stories that makes life worthwhile. Right?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh no! Haha! Now that' something you'll never forget. I'm glad there was no fire...fires scare me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOL LOL. The title alone is funny and the story even better. You're the last person who should feel insecure about your writing, Julie.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well, that was quite a day! What a perfectly funny and wonderful story to tell. Loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great story! Ha! That was a day to be remembered! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I bet the handyman was hoping you would call him back for more work.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So when it comes time for the Firemen's annual fund drive - you'll be generous this year - right? Then again, you could already say, 'I gave at the offense." LOL

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your my idol, Julie. I'm already working on a plan to emulate this entire scenario. I have the terrycloth robe that doesn't completely cover me, the smoke alarm that's ultra-sensitive, and a phone. I think I'm set. I'm getting hot already thinking about cute handyman and firefighters. I only need a few, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oy, I hate that I wrote "your." I meant "you're." =) You knew that.

      I hope you're well. =)

      Delete
  13. GEM JULIE ~
    Truthfully, I have always suspected that behind that nice, polite, civilized exterior of yours, there was a SMOKIN' HOT woman trying to break out... of her bathrobe!

    I'd be willing to bet that at the local Fire Department the firemen have already drawn straws to determine who gets to respond to your next fire alarm.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT:
    Great minds, an' all that... On my blog, I recently posted a blog bit about me being in a Reno casino bar when a fire alarm went off. Of course, I wasn't in a bathrobe at the time... but I was in 3.4 sheets to the wind.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A catchy title to accompany a well-told story. This story shows me you have nothing to be insecure about in your writing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Natalie - I'm sure my neighbors were glad too! Thanks Natalie!

    Alex - Fortunately, the neighborhood was pretty quiet at the time, and as far as I know there are no YouTube videos in circulation! Thanks for hosting another great IWSG, Alex!

    Joanne - Our alarm company probably would have too, but they were very nice under the circumstances which was a lucky break. Hope you don't get stuck with more charges, Joanne.

    Debra - I'm not sure if I ever had it, or would even know what to do with it!

    Joanne - They probably thought I escaped from an asylum, but thanks for trying to make me feel better!

    T. Powell - I love your positive outlook! Thank you!

    Chrys - I think I'd be a puff of smoke before I could even figure out how to use the fire extinguisher! I definitely would not be good in a fire.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  16. Julie - That's quite a compliment coming from you! Thanks Julie!

    Lee - It wasn't fun at the time, but I got over it in time to write a blog! Thanks Lee!

    Connie - I'm really glad it wasn't captured in film! Thanks Connie!

    Arleen - I think he changed his phone number after that!

    Dixie - Yes, I'm sure they found my gift quite offensive! Ha-ha!

    Juneta - I agree that Dixie is very funny!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  17. Robyn - You're very close, but you left out one very important item - a single tube sock! Please videotape it for me. You know how I live vicariously through you, and I know you have no tolerance for typos - so no worries! Ha-ha! Thanks Robyn!

    Cynthia - Will you please tell that to my editor? Thanks so much, Cynthia!

    Stephen - I'm sure they all transferred to a different fire station after that incident, and I like how you incorporated "smokin'"in your comment! Your talents are always appreciated! Looking forward to reading about your blazin' adventure! Thanks Stephen!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  18. LOL - Well at least your son noticed the new paint color. Is that true about the bag over the smoke detector. Just make sure you take it off, so it works should you ever need it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rhonda - That's what I was told at the time. It's true that you should never cover a smoke detector under normal circumstances. Thanks Rhonda!

      Julie

      Delete
  19. Hi Julie - I bet they get loads of calls like that ... and liek the tv doesn't work - have you plugged it in? Mind the fire brigade is a level or two above that!!

    What a fun story .. but at least your son noticed his new red painted bathroom ... I've taken my smoke detector down ... it irritates the hell out of me! Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great story! It definitely gave me quite a few chuckles. I love real life stories like this! Enjoy your month! ~Lori~

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a story! Laughing a lot here! Bathrobe, glad we have them!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hilary - Sorry that the smoke detector irritates you, but we'll all sleep better if you put it back up. Yes, both boys did appreciate the paint job, and I'm glad they weren't there to witness my performance! Thanks Hilary!

    Ravyne - Hopefully, my real life experience won't have a sequel! Thanks, and I hope you also have a fabulous February!

    Susan - No one should ever have to see my dreadful bathrobes. By the time I finally find one I like, the company goes out of business, and I have to wear it until it's hanging by a thread. A most frightful sight indeed! Thanks Susan!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great story, Julie. You may not have been laughing at the time, but you sure gave all of us a good laugh now.

    I think if someone were to invent a "smart" smoke alarm, he'd make a lot of money. Ours goes off darned near every time I broil a steak. Wouldn't it be GREAT if there were an alarm that I could shut up just by yelling, "I'm cooking!" instead of having to run into the hallway to wave a dish towel at it???

    Take care. I hope you're still enjoying your job. :) (I'll bet all your readers are enjoying YOU)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Susan - The same thing happened to me years ago everytime I used the broiler. When the gas oven died, I replaced it with an electric one and haven't had any problems since. Sorry you still have to wave a towel under the detector, but I would've kept doing it too, if the oven hadn't completely conked out.

    The reporting has been keeping me very busy. Sometimes I wish that I could write about some of the behind the scenes antics, as well. Thanks so much, Susan!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great story. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Frankly, this is why I don't have most of my smoke alarms connected. They always go off for no reason, like when I cook something on really high heat or a single crumb falls into the bottom of the oven and burns. I'm... pretty sure I'll never have a fire here anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  27. If you HAD flashed the firemen, they might have have needed to bring out their hoses.
    Sorry, that was probably an obvious joke.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ha! I had a handyman come by and my hubby had to be pushed out of the shower. Not fun.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my oh my. Nothing sexier than an old robe and a tube sock. I'm sure your handymen still tell this story, too. The mind whirls with the descriptions when THEY recount it.

    Did they surprise you with the red accent or did you pre-order that?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lux - Thank you!

    Nas - Thanks for reading!

    Bryan & Brandon - You should still connect your alarms to be on the safe side anyway. If not for you and your wife, then do it for your fans who need you!

    Al - Sometimes the most obvious jokes are still funny!

    Libby - Hope he got out safely. Imagine if they had to climb in the tub with him.

    Robin - I chose the color myself. I thought it would be fun to try something bold on a small wall. Little did I know it would serve as an ironic twist! I don't think this handyman has been back since, and I can't imagine why! It's great to see you Robin!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  31. That is quite a story! So the handyman pretended not to see you? Is that a fact (wink wink). Groundhog Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blue - I'm just glad we never made eye contact that day. Thanks Blue (wink wink)!

      Julie

      Delete
    2. Have a great weekend, Julie!

      Blue

      Delete
    3. Thanks and the same to you, Blue!

      Delete
    4. Don't you just love weekends? :)

      Delete
  32. That is such a funny story. Thankfully there was no real need for the fire trucks to come to you!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Bouncin Barb - Hopefully, there's a whole new crew in case I do need to call them!
    Thanks Barb!

    Olivia - Thank you so much!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  34. Great story. I'd love to hear the firemen's version, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm laughing! I had a similar story, The Dangers of Logging in the NW, as my neighbor was high in the bowels of a Maple tree that he was going to cut down for the neighbors across from me. Since my bathroom window is high, I usually don't worry that it does not have blinds on it. But this particular day as I walked out of the shower, there was my neighbor high in the tree. I had to hit the floor fast before my neighbor turned around to see me naked. So I can totally relate to your embarrassment!! ;-) Fun story!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Feather - Nice to meet you! I just hope the fireman wasn't scarred for life. Thanks Feather!

    Gwynn - What a great story, though I'm sure you didn't appreciate it at the time! Thank you, Gwynn!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello, Julie. Lovely and FUNNY story. I enjoyed it this morning while sitting in library :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! (I hope you realize cake and ice cream are entirely calorie-free on your day, so enjoy!)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Ha! Groundhog Morning indeed. And a painted red reminder to boot. Memories for life.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings during the #AtoZChallenge at Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

    ReplyDelete
  40. Keith - Welcome back and thank you!

    Susan - If you said it, then it must be true! Thanks dear Susan!

    Stephen - What a great theme! I can't wait to read what interesting dreams you've had lately! Thanks Stephen!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  41. Good times. I have like zero fire department stories to tell. Guess I lead a boring life sometimes.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings during the #AtoZChallenge at Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

    ReplyDelete
  42. Julie, thank you for the chuckles!
    Repulsive robe? LOL
    At least your son appreciated the paint job. That's a plus.
    Hope you're well!
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
  43. Awesome story! My only emergency line related story is those weeks in the early 2000s when our dial up internet kept calling 911. Fun times. Glad your son liked the paint job :-)

    ReplyDelete