A thousand points to anyone who can name that T.V. show!
In my post about our backyard party, I talked about the joy of sharing our home with our friends and family for the first time, the work that went into preparing the house for such a gathering, and I touched on some of the stress that went along with such an undertaking. Like working for 3 solid months to get the yard slightly presentable, by planting grass seed then when the seed didn’t take, having to sod over the seed just to get the dirt covered up. Then on the day of, running to the grocery store to pick up my pre-ordered cupcakes, only to realize I really needed to go to another one a few miles further down the road. But thankfully the sweet ladies at the first grocery store kindly called around until we located the elusive cupcakes. Thank you thank you for such kind and professional people!
Unfortunately, losing the cupcakes was not the only sweat inducing obstacle of the day. Remember in my party post I’d mentioned another stressor that involved law enforcement, the fire department, and a very sleepy April?
Well, it all started at 6 am that warm and sunny morning. You see, Bubba and I decided it would be nice to have some home smoked brisket and pork loin so that there would be some balance between store bought dishes and homemade dishes. So, a week before the party Bubba and I ran to the store to buy nearly 30 pounds of brisket. (No worries, we kept both of them nice and chilled in the fridge that week, so no spoiling.)
The morning of, Bubba woke bright and early at 5am to start the smoking process. Having smoked meat before, and not having any problems in the past, Bubba decided it would be fine to take the doggies on an early morning drive/stroll. While leaving me in bed asleep. By this point, I had only been in bed a couple of hours, staying up late to do some very last minute cleaning. So off Bubba, Annie and Goldie went on their adventure, while I lay peacefully asleep dreaming of a perfectly clean house with a meticulously manicured yard to host my garden party. Until I was rudely awakened.
At 6am, an hour after the meat had been put on the grill to smoke, I heard a ring at my doorbell. Thinking it was just another salesperson or possibly a Jehovah’s Witness, I ignored it and went back to sleep. 5 minutes later the door bell started ringing again, this time the door bell was accompanied by a bang on the door. I got up in a sleepy daze with my eyes barely opened, grabbed a cardigan and shuffled towards the front door. Not wanting to catch the attention of the rude soul who woke me from my slumber, but still wanting to see who it was, I peeked around the corner. Not seeing the rude soul at my door, I stumbled into the kitchen hoping to find my husband (I didn’t know he had run off with the dogs for an outing). Peeking into the backyard, I saw the grill with a few flames coming out the sides. Before I could grab my cell phone to call Bubba, or run out there with the garden hose, I heard a bang on the living room window. I turned around to find a police officer, who was quite perturbed it had taken so long for someone to answer the door.
Again, not really knowing where Bubba and the dogs were, I answered the door fearing the worst. Upon opening the door , I found a police officer on my front porch, with 4 others blocking my street. Quite shaken I honestly can’t remember what the police officer’s exact words were, but it went something like this:
Officer: “Did you know there is smoke coming out of your grill?.”
Officer: “There’s smoke, coming out of your grill in the back.” *In a rather condescending and perturbed tone*
Me: *Rubbing my eyes to focus and actually see who had woken me up.* “There might be, my husband was going to be smoking some brisket. There’s supposed to be smoke when one is smoking meat.”
Officer: “Not that much smoke! I could see it from the highway!”
(Which highway I am unsure of, surely it couldn’t be the highway that is more than a mile from my house.)
Me: “Well, let me put it out with my garden hose. It’s not that bad.”
Officer: “Ma’am you need to get out of the house, I have dispatched the fire department.”
From there it gets blurry again, but being half asleep I still understood that he was being over cautious, which I am grateful for, and slightly over zealous. I told him I would be out in a minute, I just needed to grab my cell phone.
Even half asleep and in immediate “danger” of getting my eyebrows singed off I still considered my cell phone another appendage. However, there was no time to grab the cell phone, the officer grabbed my arm and not so gently guided me out of the house and across the street. Apparently, the two very large very heavy, and slightly expensive briskets had caught on fire. Which would explain the fairly small flames I saw shooting out from our beloved grill.
So off I went, to stand in front of my neighbors house, in my purple polka dot pajamas, no shoes, old NMSU t-shirt, a purple cardi (at least the cardi matched my pjs!), and a grouchy I-only-got-three-hours-sleep look on my face. The officer charged with making sure I didn’t go berzerk and say use a simple garden hose to put the fire out, kept asking me where my husband was, where the dogs were, and why we were cooking so much cow. I remember grumbling something about the party, assuming my husband took the dogs on a walk, and not quite comprehending why I had to stand across the street from my home in my pj’s when not even 10 minutes before I had been blissfully asleep in a nice warm bed.
In between his questions and my rather grumpy answers, I had requested that Bubba be phoned so that he would know our feast had been ruined and his wife was quite irate. However, (yes, there are a lot of “howevers” in this story), the number of the dispatcher appeared to be several zeros instead of an actual number on the Bub’s cell phone. So, Bubba did not pick-up nor did the dispatcher leave a voicemail.
All the while, off in the distance I heard the sirens of the fire truck getting closer and closer. With each wail of the siren and howl of nearby dogs, I prayed that the neighbors didn’t come out to see what all the hub bub was about. (Oh, and also that the house didn’t burn down!) Thankfully, it was so early everyone was still asleep. Besides that, hearing a siren through our neighborhood is not an uncommon occurrence. One point for urban living!
Once the wailing had died down and the fire truck arrived with its FIVE firemen they pulled the huge hose out (that sounded dirty) and put our little fire out. It took all but 5 minutes, and the firemen and their red firetruck were on their merry little way back to the station. I heard one of them mumble something about just using a bucket of water as he climbed back into his seat on the truck. Apparently, my pleas for leaving me alone with a garden hose were not unfounded.
After the firemen left, the original police officer checked the grill, and declared the backyard and my home safe for occupation once again. Thankfully, there were no citations issued only a warning to be more careful next time.
Even though I felt the police officer had over reacted, I am thankful that he did. We could have lost so much more than a couple pieces of burnt bovine and grill brush if this police officer hadn’t been so attentive. I certainly commend those who serve and protect our city, it’s certainly a difficult and under appreciated job. Oh, and our grill was saved to live on and smoke the pork loin we served at the party instead of the brisket.
Here’s a shot of the grill a couple weeks later, I was too shaken to take a picture of the charred brisket and ash after the “rescue” workers left.
(Don’t pay any attention to the crack in the patio, or the innocent Annie-dog in the background.)