Monday, July 1, 2013

Making Our Own Fireworks

I was planning a low-key Canada Day. We took Hayden to the parade this morning and were having a friend over for a very small BBQ in the evening. All was going well. The weather was lovely, the parade was a success. In the afternoon I stopped at the grocery store and picked up cupcakes with maple leaf shaped sprinkles, chips and dip, fixings for burgers and beer. What could go wrong?

We spent the early evening eating too many of the chips and as dinner time was drawing near I found I wasn't really hungry anymore, but we fired up the BBQ with the intention of doing what pretty much every Canadian does on Canada day: cook things with fire.

My husband was outside grilling away. I was inside with my friend and my son chatting. My friend happened to glance outside.

"Ummm...is that okay?" she asked, pointing at the BBQ. I looked. And no....NO...NOOO, that didn't look okay. Because what it looked like was flames falling from the bottom of the BBQ directly onto the propane tank. I don't exactly know how flaming grease was dripping onto the propane tank, but it was, and my husband had no idea.

"Ummm...." I said. My husband looked. And NO, it didn't look okay. And he tried to blow the fire out. Which seemed to work, but only for a second, then more grease dripped onto the tank and the fire began again in earnest. I suddenly had visions of the whole tank blowing up and ran to get the fire extinguisher. By the time I came back panic had ensued. The fire was melting the nozzle and pipe line to the propane tank and an explosion was starting to seem like a real possibility. My husband was freaking out. He grabbed the fire extinguisher and tried to figure out how it worked...and apparently the pin that is supposed to keep it from discharging was missing, because he accidentally sprayed it inside, all over me and the floor. The air was thick with yellow dry chemical fire extinguishing agent. The floor was covered in yellow dry chemical fire extinguishing agent, and I assume my lungs have a slight yellow tinge now as well.

And so we learned how to use the fire extinguisher. And then we learned how to call poison control. In case anyone ever finds themselves in a room full of fire extinguisher dust you'll be pleased to know that it's an irritant for your lungs and eyes, but isn't actually toxic to ingest. So I'm not going to die, which is good news. However, it's a bitch to clean up. And I had started cleaning it by using a damp paper towel which is exactly the WRONG thing to do. Getting the powder wet causes it to stick to things and potentially become corrosive. So, oops. We vacuumed the rest of it up and scrubbed the places where I had used water and now everything is basically clean.

We ended up eating the cupcakes I impulse bought that afternoon for dinner.

I won't need to see any more fireworks tonight.

I'm not entirely sure my friend will want to have dinner with us again.

But we're all alive and well.

Happy Canada Day everyone!