Saturday, February 20, 2010

Awesome Memory - The First battle in the War

It is time for the first battle in the Blog War and the topic is "Awesome Memory". After reading my post, head over to my enemy's blog and read his post for this battle. Since my entire life is really awesome, thus my memories are all awesome, it was hard to pick one but after scrolling through my mental Rolodex I stumbled across this gem. I will note that I have mixed feelings about this memory but good or bad, it is still Awesome.

The year was 1989. I was sitting at home watching Full House, which I guess means this was a Friday because it was part of the TGIF lineup on ABC along with Family Matters and Perfect Strangers (Oh Balki). My mother and sister were gone to the grocery store, which left me and my father at home. As I laid on the floor, naked except for a pair of blue jeans, the phone rang.

I was entranced by Candace Cameron and so I was oblivious to the fact my father had answered. It was my uncle calling to ask if my father could come help him with something. Suddenly my father was in the room asking me, "Newt, can you stay by yourself for a few minutes and stay out of trouble until your mom gets back from the store?" I was around 7 at the time and felt the buzz most kids do when they get left home alone for the first time. The trust. The honor. The temptation.

"Of course" I exclaimed, I was just going to be watching TV anyway. I imagine there was some hesitation but whatever my uncle needed must have been enough of an incentive that Dad thought he could get away with it. He told me not to get into trouble and left. This turned out to be a larger mistake than he could ever have anticipated.

The rest of this memory probably takes place over a 15 minute span of time. In my mind it felt like hours. Minutes after my father left I stirred during a commercial break and...what's that? Do I smell smoke? Hmmmm. I walked around the house trying to locate the smell but couldn't. How odd! I went into my bedroom and stared at the couch that was being used as a makeshift bed for me for a few days. Instantly my mind entered a flashback sequence worthy of Lost.

"Mom. Dad. I want a real bed. I am tired of this huge water bed. I want a bed like everyone else, with Ninja Turtle sheets."
"OK. We can get you a real bed."

Through a rush of the day or two that this transpired we drained my water bed (Water beds! Got to love the 80s), dismantled the frame, and moved a couch in for me to sleep on until we could go shopping for a frame and mattress. After the couch was installed in my room I laid on the sheet and realized how cold it was. I had gotten use to the water bed heater that usually kept the bubble I slept on warm.

Well, if it could heat a water bed, surely it could heat a couch. 100 degrees seemed like the right setting for a couch and I tucked the sheet back around it, leaving the heating pad in direct contact with the polyester cushion and went about the rest of my Friday.

Shaking my head out of the thought I was having I walked over to the couch and felt its warmth. The smoke smell was getting stronger and I remember thinking, "Why does the couch smell like smoke?" Using 7 year old logic I knew the best way to figure it out would be to rip the sheet off of the couch, thus exposing the culprit of the odor. In a way I was right. I later learned that directly adding Oxygen to a volatile situation will cause a small suffering flame to rage. Who knew?

Like a magic trick, where once a sheet sat, now a flaming couch appeared. Instantly I knew, the house was on fire. My room was toast and I was scared so I ran to the phone to call for help and...who do I call? I know, I will call the smartest person I know, my Granny. She can help. I dialed her number and explained this situation as best I could. I think it went something like this...

"WHAT? Where are your parents?"
"I'll be right there, call 911 and then get out of the house."
"OK. CALL 911. GOT IT."

My Granny lived three blocks away so I knew things would be OK. Then it hit me. The animals. Our dogs were going to die if I didn't save them. And of course I had to get Peaches. Peaches was our cockatiel and lived in my room. Heroically, I rushed back into the smoking pit and rushed to her cage. Orange and red flashed in the room as I grabbed her and rushed out the front door to freedom. Next I ran back into the house to find our Boston Terrier, Willie. He made it out on his own which left only our black lab Daisy to save.

Daisy stayed outside and would have been fine but the mind of a 7 year old doesn't function at 100% capacity at the best of times so I ran out into the back yard, released Daisy from her dog run, and escorted her to the front yard where she instantly ran away down the street. My father found her later after some time driving the neighborhood after the fire trucks had left.

The reassuring shell of my Granny's white Buick(I think) appeared in the front yard.

"Did you call the fire department?"
"OK. I am going to run in and call them."

She disappeared into the smoky door frame as I was slowly being joined by neighbors in the front yard. Someone had grabbed our water hose and was aiming it at the window to my bedroom. I stood dumbfounded. Minutes passed and Granny didn't come out. Where was she? Is she OK? I started to panic and was considering running back in to save her when I heard it.

"Trinity! Trinity!"

It was her, but where was it coming from? I soon discovered. She couldn't make it through the front door after calling 911 so she had gone out the back and was at the side gate. We kept it padlocked and I clearly didn't have the key but with the help of my neighbor, or more accurately my neighbors flashlight, we beat the lock until it busted off and she joined me out front.

The rest of the night seemed to happen at double speed. My mother and sister appeared, apparently having to fight past the firemen who had tried to stop them from going near the house. My father came back home and to this day I never have thought to ask him where he had gone or how he knew to come home. Firemen did show up and get the fire out and we were left to go through the wreckage or our life.

The damage to the house was bad but the worst was my room. There was a charcoal bike frame, tons of debris, and all of my possessions melted or gone completely. The only things to survive were the belongings in my toy chest that the firemen had pulled out into the yard. My Ninja Turtles collection came through unscathed because of that toy chest and I breathed a sigh of relief.

That is all,


15 Ripples in the pond:

Soda and Candy said...

Thank God the Ninja Turtles were safe!!!!

That is certainly a very dramatic memory, it will be hard to top!

Sangeeta said...

Ninja Turtles....?!

I like it!

ramsey1 said...


Great story. I have read both blogs and award you my vote for round 1.
I have hopes that round 2 will be more competitive. I have to admit I found Crazy Newts prior blogs were more interesting than the one he provided under competitive pressure. I encourage him to relax and have fun with it.

CrazyNewt said...

ramsey - next post will be better! I was under the deadline - I was in Vancouver for Saturday, so I needed to put something up before I headed out. So, yeah, round two is definitely going to be more competitive... I plan on bringing out the big guns.

Oh, and enemy? I should've known the likes of YOU would watch Full House. ;)

Soda and Candy said...

Oh and I vote for you Trinity... my attention span wasn't up to Crazy Newt's demands.

Jen and Mike said...

I like your blog. My vote is for Trinity.

The Reynolds said...

Hey Trinity!!
I am giving you my vote for favorite memory!! Good job, buddy!

Erin said...

Ok, having read both as well as all comments on both, a couple of comments of my own:

- crazynewt was a little long for my liking. And I'm a verbose person. But I think I just don't know enough about guitars to appreciate the technical intricacies...
- I can vouch for the truth of Trinity's tale. Only because I've heard it before.
- your grammatical errors, Mr. Vaughn, will always annoy me, but perhaps I'm a bit harsh on you.

Round 1 vote goes to Trinity!

Trinity said...

Wow. Thanks for all the votes guys.

Erin, I know they bother you and I tried really hard on this one and even caught a few things but I just don't think I will ever achieve the level of grammar you are looking for.

Addy's Daddy said...

As Trin's best friend since fourth grade, I can attest to the truthiness of his post. Of course, it gets my vote as well.

Simon said...

Both are good. CrazyNewt’s is better in terms of grammar and structure… but is rather too long, especially as I am someone who has no knowledge of music or guitars. No problem regarding content with Trinity: a story like that is universally humorous. While not quite up to the same standard of literacy, it’s both perfectly readable and very entertaining.

Trinity wins my vote on this round.

Trinity said...

In other news I feel I may be in the market for a proof editor for my blog. Erin, you may be regretting all of those comments because you are going to now have to be responsible for this.

Erin said...

I could never regret comments intended to bring a greater appreciation to grammar and structure. Bring on the editing!!

Hmmm...what have I gotten myself into...

Lola Lakely said...

Okay so I missed round one, does my vote still count. I don't want to be biased but I am going to have to vote for Trinity on this one! Although CrazyNewt gets points for using the word combo "roadie hobo", his post lends itself more to an essay about the joy and possibities that music can bring instead of a post about an awesome memory. Trinity's was a bit more entertaining and it really did a good job of describing one particular memory. That being said, I think CrazyNewt's flowed a bit better, concerning grammar and structure. Still, my vote is with Trinity.

Trinity said...

Just a tally as of today, after totalling up both sets of votes, the score is as follws.

Newt the Wonder Frog - 10 votes
CrazyNewt - 2