I've come to the conclusion that either I have a particularly entertaining life, or funny stuff happens to other people but they're smart enough not to publicize it the way I do. I've got stories galore, most of them quite embarrassing to myself. Am I the only idiot around here, or am I just the only idiot big enough to tell everyone that I'm an idiot? And do I use the word idiot too much?
Anyway, I like to laugh, and I figure I might as well laugh at myself. Hence this blog: I plan to take over the world one snarf at a time. Erk. Probably shouldn't have said that, because now you're on top of my nefarious snarf-related plot (NSRP).
But back to the topic at hand. I was recently retelling one of my Embarrassing Carrie Stories, and I thought, hey, why not put this on The Wonder That Is My Blog? Because I really haven't gotten the maximum level of humiliation out of it just yet.
And lo, here I am. Woot woot.
See, I like to cook, when I'm not chopping off the tip of my index finger (long story) or being forced to make mountains of pate (another long story). And when I was a grad student, I lived in an efficiency apartment nicknamed The Hovel with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. I didn't cook when I lived there; I reheated a lot. Then I moved to an apartment which I nicknamed The Palace, and I felt proud of myself until I learned about the drug dealer downstairs with a propensity for headbutting stained glass. Again, long story.
After I moved into The Palace, I decided to cook something to celebrate. (No, it wasn't a mountain of pate. Will you quit bringing that up!?!) So I got myself a steak and makings for baked potatoes with everything, and I thought I was hot shoot.
Well, not hot shoot, but I'm trying not to cuss so much.
I was preheating the oven and seasoning my steak when I noticed the smell. Apparently, the former residents hadn't bothered to clean out said oven before they left, and billows of dark grey smoke were pouring out. So I opened all of the windows and doors and turned off the oven. Remember how I said I'm calm and cool under pressure? Yeah, I rock.
Except for one problem. I had not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR freaking smoke detectors in that one bedroom apartment. And the first went off. Imagine a beeping ice pick being shoved into your temple and you probably have it. Then the next. Finally, all four are beeping at me, and smoke is pouring out the windows and doors, and the shut off buttons don't work, and I can't get the covers off to take out the batteries, and I'm beating at one with a broom and cussing (hot shoot!) incessantly, but the smoke detectors beep on, impervious to my potty mouth.
So finally, I rip one of the damned detectors (so much for not cussing) off the ceiling, throw open the door to my balcony, stalk outside, and wing it frisbee-style onto my lawn, where it sits and beeps. And beeps. And beeps.
This is when I notice my audience. About twenty people on the sidewalk outside, all staring up at my apartment, waiting for me to throw myself to safety, because with all the streaming smoke and smoke detector chorus, they have jumped to the obvious conclusion: there's a fire. At this point, though, I'm not in the mood to explain. I yell, "Don't worry! I'm just cooking!" run back inside the apartment, and slam the door behind me to deal with the other three.
I ate McDonalds that night. The smoke detector stayed on the lawn for two weeks, just in case of an incipient lawn fire. And people in the neighborhood ran for cover whenever I brought in the groceries. The saddest part of all of this? My stepmother was a bona fide French chef, and she taught me to (make a mountain of pate) cook. I'm pretty good at it, although pate makes me want to yark.