Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's gonna be a hot night, in the old town, tonight!

I've hired Adorable as my official photographer. Mostly because she takes pictures and I can't seem to find the time. Her first assignment was to walk up to Chuck's house yesterday and take pictures of the latest to-do in the neighborhood.

One day last week Ben walked in the door from work with his tie askew, shirt rumpled and dirty, and panting for breath. He asked, "Have you seen the neighborhood?" I had been getting dinner ready and hadn't heard anything out of the ordinary, and neither had Pete. He doesn't fail to alert us to every wayward moth or squirrel outside the window.

So I ran and looked, and, lo and behold, fire engines were parked two houses up. Here's the scoop:

Chuck has a 1981 Corvette. Red, T-tops, in mint condition. At least as far as looks go. He works on it now and then, but mostly it sits, covered, in the driveway. Why he picked the 20 degree day to work on it last week, no one knows, but that's what happened.

But first, back up a year or so. He was working on it one day and Ben was there, telling him, "Chuck, you've got a fuel leak. I can smell it." Chuck replied, "Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah," and promptly forgot about it.

Now fast forward to last week. Chuck tries to start the car which now has a bajillion dead leaves under it. Car backfires. Leaves are soaked with fuel. Leaves ignite. Smoke and fire are billowing out from under Chuck's baby. So instead of calling the fire department, Chuck grabs the dog's water bowl and is filling it at the outside spigot and throwing it under the car. The dog is a dachsund, with appropriately sized water bowl. This is when Ben drives up. He sees the smoke and jumps out. The hose is frozen, so he runs for the kitchen, up a full flight of deck stairs, while shouting, "Chuck! Call the fire department!" He fills up a pitcher and a coffee pot, while Chuck continues with the dog bowl. Neighbor Jeff comes over with what he now realizes is another frozen hose. He runs back home for another one. Ben is still shouting, "Chuck! Call the fire department!" Back up the stairs. Repeat this many times. Jeff is back trying to work ice out of the third hose he finds. They are all sucking great, deep gulps of 20 degree air mixed with smoke. Neighbor #3 comes with a small household fire extinguisher. It is no match for the flaming Vette. Neighbor #4 comes running with a rake to get the leaves out from under the car. Too late. Flames are shooting out from under the hood. Fire department finally shows up and RIPS the hood off the car, dousing it with fire retardant.

We have five men suffering various degrees of smoke inhalation, not to mention they are in no kind of shape for fighting fires. Much heaving and gasping for breath is happening.

Chuck is sad. Very sad. Here's the end result:

Not the best picture (I'll have to speak to my assistant about that), but you get the idea. The back is quite burned, too, and the hood is completely destroyed. Lots of burnt stuff inside the car. And because he didn't drive it much? No comprehensive coverage.

Everybody feel sorry for Chuck.

The moral of the story? There are several:

1. Always rake your leaves.

2. Listen to your friends when they tell you about fuel leaks.

3. Don't leave hoses outside in winter.

4. Get a bigger dog. Or at least a bigger water dish.

Be thankful ~


1 comment:

Lisa said...

That's very sad. But what is this about frozen water in hoses? That's just barbaric!

Yes, I'm from central Texas; why do you ask? *innocent grin*