Smoke Alarm Needs Batteries

And my hair still smells like nasty burnt chicken carcasses.

Boss says I’m in a mood.

Not surprising.  3ish (maybe 4ish, maybe 2ish) hours of sleep will do that to a person.

Of course there’s a story.  There’s always a story when you start out like that.

Hubby is entering the chili cook-off at church next week and decided to start on his chili last night.  He and the kiddo filled up a stock pot with chicken and turkey bones to reduce to a stock.  They sliced all the tomatoes and other stuff and started them stewing in another pot.  Kiddo took a mallet to the meat to be added later. I was lazy and stayed out of the way.  Everything smelled amazing.

A friend stopped by for drinks and dinner.  So we enjoyed our steaks and beverages until far too late for a Sunday night when we’ve got to be at work in the morning.  We wished the friend well with promises of a text or phone call letting us know she arrived safely at her house.  Then we locked up the house and headed for bed.

The stock was still reducing (BIG stock pot, started late in the evening) so we turned the heat all the way down before falling into bed.  It had taken a while to reduce just a little.  Figured it would take that long again to get it where we wanted it.  Didn’t know another thing until a quarter til four this morning when I woke up smelling smoke.

Oh yeah.

So I shook hubby to something resembling consciousness, threw on my bath robe and headed out into the hall.  It should have struck me as odd that I couldn’t see the living room.  It’s not a big house.  And for home defense purposes, I never let it get completely dark.  I was most certainly aware of the fact that I could no longer breathe.  No, I did not remember the elementary lesson of crawling under the smoke.  Instead I flailed my arms wildly hoping to shew the smoke away as if it would behave like a fly.  3AM logic here.  Bear with me.

By the time I got to the kitchen, arms now fanning more than flailing, I discovered that the stove was the source of the smelly cloud.  So I turned it off.  Ding!  Ding!  Right answer.

Oh hai bladder!  So glad you decided to wake up for my smokey morning stumble.  Just what the DIY firefighter needs, a potty break.  Dash to the bathroom.  Also smokey.  Ah…

Suddenly I realize that the hazy adventures of Jen have been solo.  Hmm.  Wasn’t there a shaken hubby at the start of this?  Oh right!  So I headed to the bedroom nearly knocking over my dazed but now robed sweetheart.  You know, because even though the problem has been solved, my 3AM mind thinks he should follow in the same flailing, coughing stumble.  Poor guy has been fighting the crud of indeterminate end and hasn’t really had a sense of smell in days so it took a visual confirmation for him.  He too stumbled to the kitchen to investigate and found the burner now in the off position. And so he does what anyone with no sense of smell in a smokey house would do, sticks his head over the offending pot and opens the lid.  His head was immediately enveloped in nasty, burnt poultry carcass smoke. He could smell that.

Hack!  Cough!  Spit!

I opened the front door and the window on the screen door and plopped down on the floor where I could breathe.  Just like they teach in elementary school, get under the smoke.  Hubby blinked his eyes clear and got a drink of water.  Then he looked down at his wife sitting on the floor with her faced pressed against the screen and said, “I’m going back to bed.  You coming?”

“Mm Hmm.”

I locked the door and followed him back to bed.  As we fell into bed, I had a flash of brilliance and asked the real pressing question, “Is it salvageable?”

Yeah, that haze of burnt bird carcass didn’t clue me in to the fact that the stock had been reduced to carbon and stink and would not, in fact, be edible.

I opened a window and turned on the fan and proceeded to cough, snort, and sputter my way through the rest of the night.  Turns out, I can’t breathe smoke.  Also of note, it takes the exact amount of time for the air to become breathable (and thus sleepable*) as there was left until the alarm went off.

Needless to say, after much snoozing, there was no time to wash my hair before leaving for work.  Didn’t seem like a big deal until I realized that my hair smells like burnt poultry.  Lovely.

Yep.  Batteries.  Dead smoke detectors don’t go BEEP!  BEEP!  BEEP! when you fill the house with smoke.

*shut-up.  It’s a word dammit.  At least, it is today.

5 thoughts on “Smoke Alarm Needs Batteries”

  1. “So, was it salvageable???”

    Heh, heh. No. No, definitely not. Unless you know of a way to reconstitute stock from carbon, which I don’t. The stock pot was fun to clean too.

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