‘THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!!!’

I love sleeping. Period.

LOVE it!

In fact, as I write this, it’s 15:05 on a Sunday and I have just gotten out of bed.

I have it on good authority that when I sleep, I look like this:

When The Canadian One and I started dating, he asked me what my favorite hobby was and I replied with ‘napping’. Now that we live together, while he’s away at weekends with his band, I spend the majority of my Saturday (and Sunday) in my pajamas alternating between writing, making coffee, watching the coffee machine to ensure it’s not breaking in front of my eyes, napping and watching TV.

When I was growing up, the idea of sleeping all day did not sit well with my very active mother. She came up with a plethora of unusual ways to wake my brother and I up: vacuuming outside our rooms, vacuuming inside our rooms, stealing all of the bedcovers, playing really loud music (a favorite of hers), bringing us breakfast…

One time, while I was visiting home during the summer, I was soundly sleeping in the afternoon when my mother burst into my room screaming:

‘THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!! GET UP!!!’

Accustomed to my mother’s dramatic ways of waking her children up, I naturally rolled over, pulling the cover over my head and replied with, ‘OK.’

She yanked the covers off me with ‘No, SERIOUSLY!! The house is ON FIRE!! GET UP!! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!’

I relented and got up, werily, and walked out of my bedroom to find the hallway full of smoke. It was at this point that I realised perhaps my mother was not lying to me…and if she was, this was a really elaborate hoax, even for her.

After, between us, concluding the smoke was coming from the small attic area on the same level as us, that opening the door to that attic area was not what any of my elementary school fire-safety courses had taught me and that calling the firefighters was a better option, my mother ordered me into the front garden for safety.

An order I obeyed.

Completely.

For all of two minutes.

With the fire not seeming to spread and the smoke contained to the 2nd floor of the house, I returned inside to the downstairs bathroom to put in my contact lenses…and brush my hair. What? Don’t judge me. Firefighters were on their way to my house. Real life, bonefide firefighters.

‘GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!’ my mother screamed from the hallway where she was weilding a cell-phone and trying to survey the door leading to the fire.

Now able to see properly and with defluffied hair, I returned to the grassy area of the garden only to once again, moments later, find myself venturing back inside. I quickly located the cat and my laptop in the living room and returned to the grassy area for the last time. Although I’m assuming had the firefighters not turned up at that very moment and ordered both my mother and I to vacate the house, I would have thought of more items to rescue.

I watched for twenty minutes while firefighters went in and out of the house from my spot on the grass. With a firetruck, firefighters and us living in a small suburb, neighbors had started to peer out of their windows and appear in their driveways in a bid to assess what was happening on their street. (Read: Get gossip for the people in the pub later)

The firefighters exited the house and told us it was safe to reenter. Apparentaly our dryer had overheated, setting fire to some fluff in it and causing all of the smoke. Luckily, the dryer has also put OUT the fire just prior to the firefighters arrival and as such, they really didn’t have much to do. Nothing was burnt. There was no evidence of a fire being present and if not for all the smoke and the fact that the house was sporting a distinct ‘I’ve just been on fire’ aroma, no one would ever have thought the fire even existed.

Myself, my mother and my laptop all returned to the safety of our smoky abode which reeked of burnt rubber for days. The cat had long since run off clearly adhering to my mother’s ‘get away from the house’ warnings better than I did.

The dryer spent the rest of the summer in the garden proving it wasn’t a danger to the house and after three months of no fire incidents it was returned to it’s spot in the attic where it still remains to this day.

‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire’

No, no there is not.

Sometimes there is just smoke.

…and also if your mother runs into your room screaming ‘The house is on fire!’ she may not be just trying to stop you from lying around in bed all day. The house may actually be on fire.

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