13 septembre 2005

How to save half the world, and not even get a lousy tee-shirt for it

Something pretty horrible nearly happened the other day, which reminded me of something pretty horrible that could have happened a couple years back - which remembering also showed me that I have a propensity for mixing people, places and events up when remembering, but I'll endeavour to make all that clear and structured, so you can judge for yourselves the level of ungratefulness the world has sunk to.
Also, we can all agree right from the start that really that kind of convoluted first sentence serves absolutely no purpose and that I should really try and write properly, but alas, we do know that's wishful thinking, don't we.
So let's proceed.
I was having lunch with a friend last week, and I'd just bought a gas cartridge to refill one of my lighters (please feel free to give me the proper technical vocab) - and a beautiful lighter it is, too, car-shaped, with a hood that slides up and a "rigid" flame. Love it. Anyway. At some point, I proceeded to refill my lighter. Which I did. But that's when the man in him took charge.
"Oh, come on, that's not filled half enough. Let me do it."
And off he goes, pumping gas into the lighter. Which is already full. So one pump of the thing and gas starts spraying all around.
"Oh. Oh it seems it was full after all." Yes. I do know how to refill a lighter, thank you.
"OK, let me light it, see if it works." No. No, I don't think you want to do that.
"Huh? Why?" Why? Because gas is all around you, and if the flame goes off, so might you.
"Oh shit. Oh shit. I hadn't thought of that. Oh shit." Yes. Let me do the thinking for you.
The guy is going to England for a year. I'm not sure he'll make it - all that driving on the wrong side and all...
So that's one guy saved. Which swiftly brings me on to the entire restaurant saving I did.
Three years ago, I think it was, a work dinner was organised, a team-building thing, and everything went well, the restaurant was nice, the food was lovely, candles on the table, and now you see where this is going.
Paper napkins, candles, and a draft from the door.
We were about to leave, when suddenly (I love this. Everything was going smoothly, when suddenly... They were about to kiss, when suddenly... She was bursting to go to the loo, when suddenly...)
So we were about to leave, and this was a team dinner, remember, so there were quite a few of us, and the door was opening and closing while everybody was Indian-filing through it, and the flame was getting closer to the serviette, and you know how it is, what woman wants, god wants, so the flame got the serviette...
And the whole place would surely have gone up in flames! Were it not for my god-like reflexes. In half a second (or ten), I had found a phone-box, changed into my blue stockings and red cape and extinguished the blazing inferno. With little shrieks interspersed here and there, because all super-woman that I am, I am first and foremost a girl.
"Anne, what are you doing, setting fire to the table?"