For one reason or another since I moved to the Palace the end of November last year, I haven’t cooked anything other than oatmeal in the microwave. I’ve dreaded setting off the smoke alarms. You can’t imagine what that’s like.
Usually, the new residents are initiated to the rest of the group when the alarms go off and it’s announced loud and clear that the FIRE ALARM HAS BEEN ACTIVATED IN APARTMENT 402….or whatever. It goes on forever and you can’t miss its intensity and offensiveness.
Once the announcement is made, everyone runs to get their list of residents and see who lived in the apartment that set off the alarm. Burned the toast again. Grin.
I was forewarned by friends that cooking could be an embarrassing event and under all situations, keep the hood fan going during the cooking process. I knew my day was coming.
Last night I was determined to take the plunge and fry a couple of pork chops. It was like anticipating impending doom. I opened my window in the living room, propped open my door, turned the oven fan on high and waited until I thought there was sufficient air circulating that it might be safe before I popped the chops into a hot skillet. Then I hovered over the stove and waited until the chops were barely done. They looked so good. I pulled the skillet off the burner but kept it under the fan so the fumes wouldn’t escape in to the room and creep toward the smoke detector, which is only inches away from my stove.
Finally, I thought I was home free and sat down to eat my chops. Then the fire alarm went off….
HOLY CRAP. NOW I’VE DONE IT. How embarrassing.
THE FIRE ALARM HAS BEEN ACTIVATED IN APARTMENT 40HUMMMM….REPEAT….THE FIRE ALAM IN APARTMENT 40HUMMM HAS BEEN ACTIVATED….
I waited for the response team….it didn’t come…They have to run up four flights of stairs carrying fire extinguishers as the elevators are inactivated. They are exhausted by the time they reach the 4th floor…but to get to the 6th floor is far worse. They come from health care and some of the workers are a little chubby. They don’t have the strength to activate the fire extinguishers once they reach the top floor.
Then I heard the announcement again….THE FIRE ALARM IN APARMENT 404 HAS BEEN ACTIVATED. What?? Not me?? My neighbor Miki who lives at the end of the hall from me must have been cooking. I didn’t do it!!! There are only a few of us on this floor who actually “cook”…the others graze off left overs from the noon meal.
I made it through my first attempt and will try again. Sometime. But I have green chili that Ally made planned for my dinner. When I run out of things in my freezer, I’ll have to start some serious cooking.
I know that no matter how careful I am, it will be my turn one of these days when all the health care workers from the 1st floor arrive at my door, in their hazmat gear and carrying their fire equipment. I hope they are careful with their fire axes and remember I do good deeds now and then……
Thanks for tuning in…