I know I have been away for awhile. I have been training a co-worker who just joined my department, carefully monitoring my recovering cat, and, to top it all off, we got slammed with an insurance audit about 4 weeks earlier than anticipated. September was off to a great start!
The last few days have been a comedy of errors and I feel that they warrant a little story telling. So gather round children, tonight I bring the first tale.
Yesterday, my parents had planned to grill out for dinner. However, my dad wasn't feeling well. As soon as I got home he fired up the grill and went to bed. First, I must tell you how we got the grill started: my dad cranked the propane tank up until it was full open. He then stood there trying to strike a match for a good 2-3 minutes. As soon as he stuck the match into the grate a blaze whooshed up and nearly singed his eyebrows and some low hanging tree branches. Then he closed the lid and went to bed.
I go inside and my mom comes home. I set to pattying out the hamburgers and my mom decides to throw the chicken on the grill. She steps outside and proceeds to yell, "Oh my gosh! The grill is on fire!" I look out the door and there are flames coming out from under the lid and from under the bottom of the grill. And they are flaming in the direction of the propane tank. I yell, "Get the fire extinguisher!" and mom and I take off running in opposite directions.
I head for the garage because I just happened to notice we had a fire extinguisher out there when I was getting trash bags from the cabinet last weekend. My mom has placed a large box in front but I use my Herculean, adrenaline-fueled strength to shove it out of the way. In the meantime my mom has run to the basement and is yelling, "Where is it?!?!" because she can't find the extinguisher down there. She does manage to find it and comes barreling up the steps as I'm tearing back through the den, ripping the extinguisher from the box. We're both pulling the pins and throwing them on the nearest surface and arrive at the grill about 10 seconds apart.
At this point I'm trying to aim and spray my extinguisher but there is a mounting bracket attached to the back that is making it impossible for me to spray the darn thing. My mom does not have this hindrance and manages to spray the flames and put out the fire before anything explodes or the deck catches fire.
We then proceed to stand there panting and going, "Is it out?" "I need to turn off the propane. Is it safe to go over there?" "Why is the grill still smoking? Is it still on fire?!?" After 5 minutes of debating my mom goes inside, gets an oven mitt, comes out and shuts off the propane. She then yells, "The food!" and has to rush back inside to make sure the dog isn't eating raw meat off the counter. After another few minutes (in which I was standing on the back deck still very concerned that something was about to blow up) my mom comes outside and opens the lid of the grill. A whiff of smoke slithers out but the fire was really and truly vanquished.
Mom and go back inside to cook dinner (on the stove and the George Foreman grill) and my dad eventually pokes his head out of the bedroom (remember, he was in bed this *whole time*). My mom tells him, "Oh, in case you're wondering, we just put out a fire on the grill. It was coming out the sides and the bottom." My dad kind of shrugs and says, "Yeah, that's happened before. I think there's something wrong with the connecting line. You just have to turn the propane off and then turn it on real low." Then dude eats a hot dog and goes back to bed.
Mom and I stand there a little stunned...does a "bad connection line" sound like a good thing when we're talking about propane and fire?!?! Does this mean the grill could have exploded in a fiery blaze before?!?! Why do we still have this death trap still near our home?!?!
Needless to say our little fire extinguisher episode was the final nail in the coffin for the grill. Looks like we'll be grill shopping soon...