Friday, July 1, 2011

Five Alarm Color Critique

Recently, I was standing in the kitchen making dinner when all of a sudden this huge ear piercing alarm went off. I was completely confused because it was going off in the dining room and we don't have a smoke alarm in that direction. Cats were running terrified everywhere, doing that low-to-the-floor run as if they thought that a barrage of bullets might fly through at any second.

Clutching my ears, I ran into the dining room and realized that it was our carbon monoxide alarm. It came with the house and we'd never heard it before. And let me say that I have never heard anything that loud and ear splitting in my life! So, I stumbled over to look at it and it's flashing in big red letters "GAS" over and over with a heaping load of urgency.

So, I immediately realized that we had a carbon monoxide leak which I knew could kill us really fast. The Mister runs in and we're both like, "What do we do?!?!" I mean, we knew that we should get out of the house but the thing was, all of the cats had run off to hide and were completely missing. I jumped on the internet and learned that a carbon monoxide leak can kill you within just a few minutes and soon, we would pass out and not wake back up. The internet information said to open windows and to not turn any lights or electrical appliances off or on. Oh, and to get out of the house!

We opened as many windows as would open (which in an old house means that we opened three) and meanwhile I'm screaming, "Oh god..I AM dizzy!" as the Mister called 9-1-1. The operator told him that we needed to get out of the house immediately and to not look back (how many times do we have to be told anyway?).

But, of course, we were too worried about the kitties to leave. Would they be dead soon? What do we do? And of course, we didn't see a single one of them. Then we realized that even if we DO see them, we don't have enough cat carriers for all of them. My eyes darted around the room as I surveyed each and every item, wondering if it might carry a cat in an emergency: Bread box? Pillowcase? That ottoman with the lid?

We finally decided that we had better get outside and as we were talking to the 9-1-1 operator, this big ole fire truck comes roaring up with the siren and the lights on, illuminating the entire neighborhood into an ear piercing disco. "Hello, neighbors! yes..it's us! The Kitsch Family! The ones with the paint samples all over our trim and the pink toilet in the driveway, tackying up the neighborhood! Nice to meet y'all!" Three big ole burly firemen leaped out of the truck and said, "Where is it?". We pointed to the back door and they skedaddled. Suddenly, they're all in our house, walking around with these fancy meters beeping. The Mister and I were outside gasping, "OH MY GOSH! THE KITTIES! THE COMPUTER SAID JUST MINUTES IS ALL IT TAKES!!" as we watched the firemen doing recon through the windows.

Sooner or later, the fire chief came out and told us that they didn't detect anything. Nothing at all. They said that it could be a faulty detector. I must have just been caught up in the moment and thought that I felt dizzy. Or maybe it was an adrenaline rush. I mean, the good news is that we didn't die - but hello - SO freaking scary... and kind of embarrassing!

After he told us that we weren't in any danger, two of the other firemen came out and were absolutely dying laughing. One of them said to us "which one of y'all were born in the fifties?" and we both said, "Neither". He then kind of rolled his eyes and pointed in our dining room window and said, "Are y'all seeing what I'M seeing?"

I answered, "Oh! Well we were born in the 70's but it wasn't our favorite time so we're trying to..uh...capture... something?" It was obvious that while we were outside freaking out because we thought that our cats were dying or that our house was going to explode in a giant fireball, they'd been inside making fun of our house colors. The other fireman then said "What color are you going to paint the outside? BRIGHT PURPLE? NEON GREEN?" and they all erupted into laughter. The Mister and I both chirped, "Aqua!" and they looked at each other and shook their heads as if they'd just seen a two headed calf walk up the sidewalk.

Needless to say, we learned a lot that night: Carbon monoxide detectors can save lives. We need three cat carriers. Oh, and that one minute, you can be making yourself a sandwich in your kitchen and the next, you're being made to feel like a freak show by the local fire department!

Until next time (make those emergency plans, folks)
x's and o's,
Eartha

19 comments:

Lisa said...

I usually like firemen! One helped me get my 60's tv out of an upstairs level estate sale! But OH. MY. GOODNESS. Do people just blank on basic good manners and professionalism sometimes? I don't care if you had a sideshow THEME to your house (which, honestly, could be kind of cool), you didn't invite them there on a social visit! :( And that was obviously a conversation they could have had in the truck on the way home if it was medically necessary for them to be such rude-i-tudes. Sorry you had to go through all the frazzled nerves with the kitties AND get your feelings stepped on.

AT least it makes a good story!!

HazelandMare said...

My goodness, that is quite the ordeal! I'm glad it was just a "drill" and nothing serious. This really makes me want to get a carbon monoxide detector!

I guess it's good the fireman can still be lighthearted even though they have very serious jobs. They obviously have no interior design skills though. :)

Glad y'all are okay! Go hug those kitties!

Shrinky Inky said...

okay first, glad you are all fine. second....can't type, laughing too much......

Catherine Slye said...

Good thing the firemen are not also designers.

Jen said...

Goodness, Eartha, I'm glad this wasn't the real thing! How scary!

But those firemen...eh. They're not exactly known for their decorating wisdom.

Also, yes, three kitty carriers. And if it makes you feel better, when we had a nasty storm here two weeks ago and the tornado sirens went off, I was scurrying around the house, my hair half-up in pincurls (it was early in the morning), grabbing pets and shoving them down into the basement. In a near-panic. "THE KITTIES! BEN!" LOL

Barbara said...

Glad, so glad it was a false alarm. The firemen are insane.

Secondly, you can find the carriers ALL THE TIME at thrift stores. I see them everywhere!!

I can't imagine my life without Eartha. Be safe honey!

PS: My code word was Sester. That's close to Sister, which you are my long distance one.

Betty2Tone (Laura) said...

Glad you and the kitties survived!

Betty Crafter said...

I agree with Catherine. These firemen don't know a thing about good design. Clearly they also didn't know they were in the presence of Eartha Kitsch!

Sara In AZ said...

Those mean, mean fireman. I can't believe they would even makes comments like that when they were there for a serious situation. I am so glad it all worked out and that everyone is fine now. I can't imagine how scared you must have been. XO

Anonymous said...

Don't give those uncouth firemen another thought. They certainly should have waited to make comments to each other, not to you guys. You have a ton of friends out here who LOVE your home. We have had this happen before and it was the batteries in the monoxide detector. It IS loud to say the least. But getting enough cat carriers is certainly in order. Don't let this make you hesitate to call the idiots again, though. It's better to be safe. Candis/mojavegirl

Megan said...

I'm glad everything is okay, rude firemen aside! They clearly lack wonderfully kitsch mid-century design sensibilities... Some people :)

Beta Mike said...

So glad that you took action when the alarm went off...Carbon Monoxide is scary! Also, really really glad that you all and the kitties are okay!

Their reaction to your house is what I am always kind of worried about when people come to mine (the ones who have no idea I too live mid-mod). It's like a secret society that I feel like I have to explain. "My goodness, are you house-sitting for your grandma? Did she leave you everything?!" Eeeesh!

At least we know that your awesome style gets reactions from everyone...not just us!

JohnnyBerry said...

Too bad you didn't have some Paula Deen pasta salad to feed them...

We wonder what the folks on our street (or the mis-directed folks that try to use our street as a rush hour shortcut) think when they see our exterior colors. We already know what the general contractor thought about all of our choices...

Back in college, my two best friends has an off-campus apartment. They were theater majors, and had made some pretty elaborate decorative touches to their apartments.

I spent one summer living in their apartment while they were off doing summer stock, and the bug man stopped by to spray the place while I was there.

He said it was the first time he had ever seen anyone in the apartment, and it was so nice that I was taking care of my dead grandmother's apartment...

Poodle S. said...

Tweaked feelings aside, I think I'd prefer that the local FD be focused soley on saving lives and not sitting around the firehouse studying interior design books. On a lighter note, at least you were able to provide them with a little entertainment. I'm sure those guys see some pretty horrific stuff.

Sherrie said...

Yeah, I'm sure those firemen have GREAT decorator sense. Make sure that talking fish plaque is straight! (no offense to any of you out there who have taking fish plaques on your living room walls...well, okay, just a little bit of offense. Glad the whole Kitsch family is alive and well! And yes, you must have emergency plans for your kids too!

Amber Von Felts said...

Oh my that was hilarious! I can laugh because no one was harmed right? The firemen! Always at the epicenter of refined taste and style! I forget sometimes that my house is as eclectic as it is, and then the plumber or someone will come over and they are aptly surprised. Usually I get, "its like a museum in here" --Yeah, I STUFF museum! LOLS. I'm glad your situation was just a false alarm!

Ruth said...

Yeah, a cat carrier for each cat is a must! :) And I totally know how you feel. We had a tornado scare a few weeks ago, and Tom couldn't get me down into the basement until I was sure every cat was down there! There were a few hair-raising seconds there, I can tell you!

Yeah, we get a lot of comments on our house too from repair men/contractors/salesmen who wander into our place. If it makes you feel any better, probably half of those firemen have a bunch of frilly pillows on their beds picked out by their wives and the rest have no idea how to decorate a house. :)

Becky said...

Um, how rude! Somebody needs to teach those guys a class or four on customer care!

Glad you are all okay. Had a scare here the other day when the HVAC died in a stinky plastic melting debacle. Woke me up but at least the firemen waited to leave before they started with the "OMG _Did you get a look at that woman!?' "Yeah, skeeeeery!"

Amy said...

Oh Lawd. What a story.
When I was just a sprout I remember watching a news story on the dangers of lead paint, it was the first big wave of the small kids eating paint chips scare. I used to have this image in my head of kids eating big lead paint chips out of something like a potato chip bag, but let's face it, I wasn't the smartest I was going to be at five or six. Anyway, I used to chew on the leg of this painted toy horse I had, and some of the base of its leg was starting to show through, and I thought, maybe it's made of lead, and I'm going to die. I'm going to die of lead paint poisoning. And the whole room started to spin, and go sideways, and that sealed it. I was dying. So of course your suddenly suggested carbon monoxide poisoned world went a-twirl.

Re:critique. I sit in this studio for hours to days to years sewing up this artwork that is supposed to be the reason I'm on this planet and fills it with significance and meaning, and then some friend's boyfriend comes in and says it all looks like hairballs. Such is the consequences of following your own path. You are a maverick, dear Eartha, and a joyous example for us all.