Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Life Flashed Before My Eyes

 Just a little background knowledge that will be helpful to this story.  I pretty much think that my grandfather was the best grandfather on the planet.  He was funny, he was generous, and he was a hard worker.  Well, I might like him a little more than he deserves because of my OTHER grandpa.  You see, I have another grandpa.  Oh yes, I do.  I try not to talk about him (or his wife) because, well, they aren't good people, and they are weird.  It's embarrassing.  What you need to know is that my OTHER grandpa is a tinkerer.   He's a handy man, but not that great at it.  He's had many, many scrapes and we've always joked that he has more than nine lives.  I mean, the man ran himself over with a tractor trying to start it from the front of the tractor, and ripped his face off.  Yes.   He's that good.

He also, when I was a child, was redoing an RV.  He was working on the engine, I think, and the gas line, but he couldn't see.  My stupid grandpa who I do not claim then lit a match in order to see better, and blew up the entire RV.  He burned all of his hair, and his face dripped, dripped I tell you, for weeks.

So, he spawns my dad. And my dad was also a tinkerer.  My dad was very handy and inventive.  We never had to call a plumber my entire life.  My dad built things, my dad liked to get down and dirty, and he was always trying to find ways to fix things.  He didn't like to slow down.  We called it "Mad Scientist Mode" because he just kept going and going trying to build something, or fix something.

A few years ago, my parents surprised me by bringing up a gas grill.  What had happened was that my sister's grill blew over in a windstorm, and so my sister and her husband decided they didn't want it anymore.  They wanted a bigger one.  As a surprise, my father decided to clean up the fallen grill, and give it to me.   Of course I was more than happy to take their grill.  Who wouldn't want a grill?  When he brought up the grill, it looked perfect.  Like new.  He said that the ignition switch was having some problems, so he handed me a box of long matches and said that I should just turn on the gas slowly, and light it using the match. He showed me how to do it safely.  I practiced.  It was fine.  An alarm should have been going off in my head that the man showing me this shares his DNA with the face ripping, RV blowing up old man. But it's my dad, he wouldn't put me in harms way!

That night I was talking to my sister on the phone, and she told me that my BIL is appalled that I was lighting the grill with a match, because he didn't think it's safe.  I scoffed.  Whatever - I'd done it lots of times and had no problem. It was just fiiiiiine.

I got my lazy butt off the couch, and went to start up, or fire up I should say, the grill.  I turn on the gas like I had many times.  I went to strike the match, and in my head I heard the conversation I just had with my sister.  So I leaned back, waited for a car to drive by in case it really did blow up so they wouldn't see (all signs were pointing to "DO NOT LIGHT THE GRILL, NON-MOMMY!") and put the match in.


A ball of flame erupted from the grill.  As that happens, time slowed down and I saw hair, in the air, glowing orange. I am not kidding.

Did you know that in the millisecond it takes for a grill to poof up, you have many, many thoughts? These include:

-Holy crap. The grill just blew up.
-Is that my hair?!?!
-GREAT. I've turned into my grandfather.  I wonder if I burned my skin?
-I'm going to kill Dad.
-What is that smell?   It's my hair.
-How is my hair falling to the earth in a ball of fire, because it was pulled up?
-I was leaning back!
-Am I ok?
-I wonder if I look like Michael Jackson?

So, I came into the house, to check myself out.   I could really smell my hair, so I was worried that IF my hair was on fire, if I went more quickly, it would speed up the burning process.   But if I went too slowly, I'd end up looking like this:

Thankfully, I was OK.  My skin was not burned, and my hair was just singed around the edges.  The hair around my face was kind of crunchy, and there was some weirdness with my eyebrows, but they were still there.  I know it's so crazy to be worried about your hair, but my hair and I have quite a history.

About a year ago, after my father passed away, I attempted to use the grill again.  The new ignition switch did not work and I had to light it with a match again.  So I had to light it with a match and it AGAIN blew up!!!  This could have been me:

No guy wants a blonde whose hair is all burned off just so she can eat some grilled chicken!  I mean, come on, what else could I do besides sell the stupid grill?  Let some other sucker catch on fire.  And just for the record, I was careful to not let the gas build up before I lit it, and the propane was BARELY turned on.  But, the chicken was good.

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