Sunday, March 21, 2010

How Not To Set A House On Fire (hint: use your arms)

A couple days ago I indulged in a shiatsu session with my favourite therapist Ron - only to discover his name is actually RONG. I've called him Ron for 4 years so I'm hoping he thinks I've just given him a nick name. Although now I understand why his wife, who answers the phone, always asks "Who?" I repeat myself "Ron, Ron, Ron" and think, "duh...he's your husband!" Her name is Julie, so I believe I've remedied the situation by calling her "Missy J". And I'm sure, like any good Eastern Medicine Practitioner, they've created a sense of balance by nicknaming me "The Tall Pale Asshole"...

But I digress...

This session REALLY hurt. So I asked Ron what the hell is that?! What could possibly make it hurt that much? With a straight face he pointed at my belly and said "uh. that." Oh right...

I don't forget I'm pregnant but like most Irish descendants I prefer to credit my pain to something I feel guilty about - like not working out enough. It couldn't possibly be the 25 pounds I'm dragging around on the front of my body. Sometimes it takes something drastic for me to see the light: Like almost burning my house down.

I was at home doing my taxes cross-legged on the floor when the smoke alarm went off in the kitchen. I suddenly realized that I had left the kettle on the stove for 45 minutes. I reacted quickly only to discover that both my legs were completely asleep. The weight of my 9 month pregnant belly had cut off all circulation to my legs. No big deal right? Just give them a little shake? Not so much. I started to beat my limbs with my hands and nothing was happening. It was like my legs were in a coma. I pinched myself. Stabbed myself with the calculator. Nothing. I yelled at my legs. No response. I wasn't even getting those painful pins and needles - they were just like two heavy logs. I have never given my legs enough credit until this point. It's like they were sending me a message: "Appreciate us more! We have to carry you and your big self around". But then, by some miracle, my arms stepped it up a notch. They jumped into action and I found myself dragging my body to the kitchen like an injured army vet. Of course this was all escalated by the fact that my phone kept ringing - clearly my 91 year old next door neighbour. When I reached the kitchen my kettle was literally melting and I couldn't reach it from my current position on the floor.

I was immediately reminded of a few years prior when I thought it was a brilliant idea to BBQ a whole chicken. The entire thing caught on fire - something to do with a combination of too much juice and fire. So I acted swiftly, like they do on TV, and dumped a bowl of water on the burning poultry (the poultry that was still on the BBQ). It exploded. Have you ever been witness to an exploding chicken? It's disgusting. I quickly stabbed what was left of the flaming chicken with a set of prongs and held it up over my head like the Olympic torch. I was in a bit of a pickle. I had two options: bring the chicken into the house without setting anything on fire or whip it over the balcony into the parking lot. In a moment of panic I looked at the sea of cars trying to decide how I would aim the chicken to make it safely onto the ground and not onto the hood of someone's car. At this point, I wasn't fully trusting my instincts so I propped the (still flaming) chicken on to the grill of the BBQ (which was still on. sigh) and filled a bucket of water in which to submerge the burnt carcass. Success! But what happened next still makes me think that I should never ever (ever) consider being a chef: I tried to save the blackened half exploded chicken by peeling off the burnt pieces. Torched, water logged and to me...still edible? I learned a lot from that experience. Almost comparable to the time I put my Granny's electric kettle on her gas stove (you can guess what happened) only to discover that my dear old paternal grandmother from the quaint Irish village of Moville swears like a gang member. But back to me, on the floor, coma legs, present day:

In what I thought was a stroke of genius I was able to locate a large wooden spoon from out of the dishwasher and use it to push the kettle off the range. The kettle had melted a ring of black yuck around the edges which I still find baffling. I then used the wooden spoon to beat my legs. With danger fully behind me my limbs started to regain consciousness and I was able to phone next door and lie to my 91 year old neighbour that the smoke detector was simply on the "fritz". This didn't seem to suffice which I find curious since she chain smokes in her bed at night.

So all in all? I learned a very important lesson from this experience: Do not do your taxes 7 days before you're due to give birth. Phone Ron. Or, sorry, Rong....and ask his wife "Missy J" to fit you in for a daily shiatsu appointment. Appointments that I can write off....on my year.


  1. Man, although your scuttling along the floor like some paralytic crab to save your house from burning down made me laugh my ass off, I'm glad you and the bump are ok!!
    So is Andrew, judging by the way he just SCREAMED at me, waving a foot massager fairly threateningly. Either that or he really just likes the Sun Financial commercial.

  2. I boiled my kettle dry and nearly set it on fire while I was reading this post (then killing myself laughing, then rereading to my husband). I'm not kidding. Could you please be a little less funny?

  3. ok, I'm rolling on the floor with laughter at the image of you dragging yourself like an injured vet. That's exactly what Alex used to do when he first learned to crawl. We called it his parapalegic crawl and always regret not taping him. I guess I'm saying it's a shame no one taped you during ordeal either.

    I also relate to the sitting cross legged position. It's quite a silent danger. I always sit crossed legged but usually on the floor supported. But one weekend during some play workshop I sat cross-legged on a chair 8 hours straight for 2 days in a row. I couldn't walk the next day. We should found some cross legged anonymous group!

  4. I insisted on a kettle with a whistle for many years, hoping that would keep me from melting the kettle on the stove, but it didn't work. I now have an electric kettle that shuts itself off (when you remember to close the lid all the way), and that has made me feel much more confident about not burning the house down. Strangely, I have also lugged myself around by my arms, but that's because I tore a ligament in my left ankle and then wore out my right leg from trying to be a hero and walking on it too much. Do you know how hard it is to make a sandwich on crutches? Seriously.
    Since this post was made a while ago I am assuming (hoping) you are no longer pregnant but have a lovely baby. I hope you don't forget the baby on the stove next time you do your taxes. Also, get an electric kettle with automatic shut-off, while it does lessen the times you have amusing incidents like this, it also lessens the chances of setting the kitchen on fire.