March Madness on the Ranch
With the lack of moisture and high winds, there are frequent warnings about fire danger. So frequent are those warnings that one must be an idiot to light a fire in these conditions.
So when I put trash in the burn barrel, I was aware that idiots should not do what I was about to do. As a special person who is not a member of the general public to which the frequent warnings were directed, I wisely checked the wind and determined that there was not much of it. Therefore, I took matters into my own hands and lit the tissue paper from the waste basket from the bathroom. As expected, the tissue paper ignited immediately.
Having successfully started the fire within the safe confines of the burn barrel, I took the waste basket back into the house. There I went to the other bathroom and picked up another waste basket. Then I heard the loud pop.
I looked out the window and saw that the grass next to the burn barrel was burning. An aerosol can had exploded and landed on the ground. It was a hairspray can which my wife had foolishly placed in the bathroom waste basket without warning me that I should not put it in the burn barrel. What was she thinking?
Anyhoo, as a result of my wife’s utter carelessness, the grass fire spread quickly, beyond the reach of the hose I had heroically stretched to spray water as far as I could. So, with great embarrassment, I reluctantly called 911.
“What is the nature of your emergency?” I was asked.
“A grass fire,” I explained, deciding not to tell the dispatcher that it was all my wife’s fault. The investigators would see the hairspray bottle and determine that it was clearly not mine. Ergo, it could not be my fault. Fortunately for my wife, she was not home. I determined that I would simply tell those investigators that she was a fugitive and they would never be able to catch her. I would keep them busy while Miss Texas made her getaway. It is my job to protect her. She could count on me.
In the meantime, before the firefighters arrived, and before the criminal investigators arrived, I bravely filled buckets with water and kept trying to stop the progress of the fire. While I was so engaged in that task, a nice man stopped by and pitched in.
Eventually, the professionals arrived and got the fire under control. The nice deputy sheriff did not give me a citation because he recognized that it was “clearly an accident.” He did not even ask about the whereabouts of my wife. I imagined how grateful she would or should be for my success in clearing her name.
While on this streak of righteousness, I decided to text my wife at work to inform her in advance that I had found a clever way to clear that old dry grass out of our yard and beyond. I decided that she would likely notice the 3 acres of black grass when she returned, so, like George Washington before me, I took responsibility for burning down the cherry tree.
Actually, the fire stopped at the banks of the irrigation ditch and did not reach the trees on the other side. God protected us because the wind (the slight wind, I mean) blew the fire away from the house. The firemen protected us. And I protected Miss Texas. I am no snitch.
I just hope that she learned her lesson. It could have really been bad.