Last weekend Niall decided to make meatloaf. The concept had previously not appealed to him, which makes sense given its name. Meat... loaf. However, he realized that he likes all the ingredients that typically go into a meatloaf, so he thought he’d give it a go. I found him the Pioneer Woman’s recipe online and he modified it in an apparent effort to include as many animals as possible (ground beef, ground lamb, bacon strips over the top).
The baconey drippings from the meatloaf got a bit scorched in the oven while it was baking, which meant that our fire alarm went off and we subsequently learned that our fire alarm is the least alarmed sounding alarm in the world. It makes a pitiful little meep noise and also says the words “Fire. Fire.” I don’t feel like our fire alarm takes its job very seriously. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a fire alarm. It’s more of a fire calmly announce.
By contrast, my old building’s fire alarm system was absolutely MILITANT about its job. Whenever I cooked pretty much anything it would start shrieking at me and I’d have to open the window and fan the alarm unit with a towel until it shut the hell up. If there was fire detected or an alarm pulled in any of the common areas of the building, there was a speaker inside every apartment that would make siren noises and ALSO shout at you:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE.
AN ALARM HAS BEEN ACTIVATED.
WE ARE INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE.
PLEASE REMAIN CALM AND STANDBY NEAR THE SPEAKER FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTION.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE…. Etc.
This would repeat on a loop over and over until whatever happened was figured out, at which point we would usually get an announcement like “Thank you for your attention, this has been a false alarm” or whatever. The longest it ever went on while I lived there was probably only about 15 minutes, but that FEELS LIKE ETERNITY when, say, you’re woken up from a sound sleep in the middle of the night.
Last night I made brownies and I went to bed right after I took them out of the oven. I woke up this morning feeling unusually warm. The whole apartment felt unusually warm. And then I found out that I had accidentally LEFT THE OVEN ON ALL NIGHT.
I think I may have mentioned this previously, my cousin once used her blow dryer and then put it away under the sink in her bathroom and then left for work. When she came home that afternoon she found that HER HOUSE HAD BURNED DOWN. (She’s fine, her family is all fine, but house = gone.)
Burning the house down is one of my nightmares. And I left the oven on! All night! What if something had caught fire? What if the house had burned down? If I left the oven on, what if this means I might leave OTHER things on and forget about them also? OHMYGOD I’m going to burn our house down, or not put the emergency brake on my car when I park it on a hill and have it roll down and hit someone, or turn on the garbage disposal when somebody is fishing out a spoon, or leave a vulnerable person or animal in a hot car, or SOMETHING TERRIBLE IS OBVIOUSLY GOING TO HAPPEN AND IT WILL BE ALL MY FAULLLLLLLLLT.