Up In Smoke

Today there was a little mishap with someones lunch and the work microwave and pillars of smoke encompassed our small little office space. It was a terrible tragedy as the lunch didn’t survive

very well done
very well done

The smell in the office was pretty bad though, one of our office mates sneezes around smoke as if someone doused her in sneezing powder, I felt sorry for her. The rest of us just ended up with our clothes, hair and skin smelling like burnt plastic. It was lovely. This wasn’t my first time smelling like burnt something or another…

Back in 1985 (lets jump in the Way Back Machine Sherman!) I was living with Grandma in Whitehall. Every morning was the same routine with her, she’d wake me up and write in her journal and start singing some song or other and eventually get around to making herself breakfast. I wasn’t much of a breakfast person so I didn’t usually partake on school days, which this was.

I just happened to be in the kitchen when something on the stove caught fire and there were high flames and billowing black smoke and Grandma yelling…

“Don’t panic, don’t panic! I know what to do” and she grabbed an oven mitt and the lid to the pot and smothered it.

Then she went on to explain that pouring water on it would have been a disaster and you should always know how to handle kitchen fires. At this point i would stop and wonder if she purposefully had the fire happen to teach me a lesson about putting them out, she was crafty like that. Nah, she wouldn’t… would she?

Well the fire was out so I just left for school, never bothering to think that I might smell a little off… hell I was a smoker, didn’t I always smell like smoke?

Well someone at the school thought it must be something else and before the end of first period I was called to the Principals office and asked if I’d been smoking pot. No really, apparently grease fires smell a lot like pot to people who don’t have a clue what pot smells like.

At first I was outraged, HOW DARE THEY THINK I MIGHT BE SMOKING POT, I mean sure I might be… but how dare they… I always waited at least until lunch time – actually, I rarely had pot at school, why ruin a good high by being at school? (now if I had know about LSD back then, well … then that would have been a much better story).

Anyway, I assured him that I hadn’t and explained about the grease fire, it actually took me a minute to remember that that’s what had happened that morning. It seemed insignificant in the grand scope of how to be a miserable teenager.

So today I was taken for a little trip back to Whitehall WI and Grandma… and memories of stealing doorknobs to sell on the black-market… yeah, those were the good old days. And work, well I’m sure we’ll all be fine but I bet that smell lingers for a day or two.


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