Life Lessons

Life Lessons

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Life Lesson Number 324 Fire in the Hole! I just wanted to humiliate myself (one more time) by telling you a funny story about what happened to me this weekend. It was one of those situations where you think things can't get any worse, but they do. Let me set the background picture so you understand how and where this happened. We have had VBS play practice at the church building every evening and every day for the last three weeks. Sunday afternoon was no different. We finished at about 4:00 PM, which gave us just enough time to rush home to my favorite toilet (you know, the one that you're comfortable with) and take care of business, before returning to church. There's no place like home; there's no place like home. So on arrival I rush into our little bathroom at home, take care of business and sigh that sigh that we all sigh when that sense of great relief comes over us. Now, being the good husband that I am, and under strict instructions from my wife as to toilet etiquette, I reach down for a small decorative glass candle and a book of matches to light the qincense fire. I balance the small candle on my bare knee, strike the match, light the wick inside the glass and, reaching down, try to place the candle and matchbook on the floor. At this point, the candle slips, flipping on its side. Not a problem; I reach down and flip it back up, trying not to disturb the lovely decorative rope and flower ornaments around the candle. I return to my relaxation, and begin to read. Problem! When I had gently set the candle back in the upright position, a small piece of string had accidentally ended up dangling about an inch and half over the candle flame. High enough to not ignite immediately but long enough to lull me into a sense of relaxation. The offending string then proceeds to ignite into a lovely blue flame about three inches high. At this point I now have two open flames in the bathroom (candlewick and string). Problem! I scream for help, but no one hears me as the toilet door, bathroom door, and bedroom door are all shut. It is like being in Maxwell Smart's cone of silence. Since I knew that the combination of two open flames in a closed chamber filled with gas is not a good thing, panic begins to set in. Reaching down, I grab the candle jar and bring it close to my face blowing as hard as I can to put out the string fire. Problem! Important safety tip. Never, I repeat, never blow on a burning object with your pants down around your ankles. Why? Because small particles of burning debris tend to waft off and float downwards, sending hot coals into your underwear and onto the (what I perceive to be highly flammable) toilet carpet. (So, let me give you a visual recap of the situation at this point. I now have fire in the candle, fire on the string, hot coals in my underwear and burning embers on the carpet around the toilet [where I am still sitting]. Things could not get worse.) Problem! After much huffing and blowing at the open flame, the burning string finally goes out. At this point a temporary sense of relief overcomes me as a crisis appears to have been averted. Wrong! There is still much smoke coming from the burning string and hot embers are still wafting away to do whatever damage they can. In hindsight, my next move was really questionable. With the burning ember being so large (and my hands full at that time), the thought crossed my mind that I should lick my fingers and snuff out the burning string. qBut, q I thought to myself, qyou will burn your thumb and finger if you do that.q I then made a fateful choice. I said to myself, qJust wad up a huge bundle of toilet paper and grab the wick! The pressure will snuff out the ember since it will be in the middle of the paper and it won't flame up.q (Don't go there. I know, I know...) So I grab the toilet roll, give it one mighty pull, and about six feet of paper hits the floor. I quickly do the lasso movement with my arm, wrapping the paper around my hand. I then crushSo it was that I found myself the proud owner of my first riding lawn mower. As any ... Sure, the user manual tells me that I should mow the lawn in third gear, be careful to apply the brakes during turns, never drive under overhead objects, and never, ... I looked like one of those old army jeeps jumping sand hills in a€œRat Patrol.

Title:Life Lessons
Author: Ian James Shepherd
Publisher:iUniverse - 2003-05-01

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