Last week I was sitting at my desk in the kitchen when all of a sudden, my desk lamp started buzzing and flickering. And then I heard the sound no one in Texas wants to hear in July — “vwooomph!” It was the final mournful gasp of our of A/C unit.
The outlet on the wall behind my desk kept buzzing and sparking and popping, so I unplugged everything and then AD and I looked around the house to see what was amiss. I smelled a faint electrical smell from an outlet in Sean’s room and two of the breakers in the fuse box had popped off and wouldn’t go back on. But beyond that we didn’t see anything obvious, like flames licking out of the attic.
Since three other houses in our neighborhood have caught fire since we’ve lived here, we called the fire department and asked if they might come by and look around and just ensure us that we were in no imminent danger, but would it be possible for them just to mosey over without all the trucks and sirens and all that, to just take a look see? No. It turns out that’s not how they do it. If they can’t run the sirens they won’t come. It’s in the fireman’s handbook.
About 30 seconds later three hunky firemen (hereafter referred to as HFM) show up at my door and I let them in. Of course I let them him. Because they are Firemen. Hunky firemen. Hunky big-red-truck-drivin’ firemen, so see, I had to let them in. Plus I had called them.
I took them into the kitchen to show them my now not buzzing, not flickering, not doin’ nuthin’ unremarkable electric outlet. The head HFM points some sort of heat seeking magic gun at it and declares it “not hot”. So I said, “Hey big boy why don’t you point that thang at me?” No I didn’t really say that. I don’t think I could say that without laughing. Or being laughed at.
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When I turned around to show him some other unremarkable outlets here at the House of Antique, I noticed that the other two firemen were gone. I looked over into the den only to see the feet of one of the HFM sticking out of the tent colossus that Sean had constructed out of sheets, an 8-ft ladder and most of my dining room chairs. It was indeed a tent fit for an emir and apparently too enticing even for professional HFM to resist.
The HFM with the magic gun coaxed the other two HFM out of the tent and they checked everything out thoroughly as I followed closely behind, you know, just to answer questions or to offer to mop their brow. At the end of their inspection, the chief HFM reported that we were in no danger. I said, “Are you sure? Because I think I could use some CPR.” Yeah, no I didn’t say that either.
When they were done, they had Sean put his hand on the wall and then they showed him how the magic gun could “see” the handprint left behind by the warmth of his hand. He thought that was terribly groovy. As they left, they took Sean out to the big red truck and let him sit in the driver’s seat and ring the bell and that pretty much made his whole summer.
All in all a fun afternoon for everyone. The HFM got to play in Sean’s tent, Sean got to sit in a fire truck and ring the bell, I got a visit from three HFM and AD got to buy a new compressor for our A/C for $1400.