Monday, June 8, 2009

Potty Party (Our Baffroom Adventure Part 18)

This past weekend we threw our first major cookout bash here at Chez Juice, inviting friends and coworkers to pop by for a Potty Party. Yes, we threw a party in honor of our newly and finally finished potty.

Okay, so the potty still wasn't precisely finished when we scheduled the party, but one miter-box, saw and some pre-painted white wood trim strips later, not to mention an evening's work, and we finally had the trim set into place. (Note that I didn't say I nailed all of them into place, as the nails I bought don't seem to get along with our walls very well, so I gave up toward the end and just strategically placed the cut trim so as to look like it was affixed to the wall. I'll figure it out later.)

We've not had a party here before and had no idea how many people would show, so we wound up making a tremendous amount of food for it. We had loads of hamburger patties and hotdogs ready to grill, plus chips, hot dog chili and baked beans, but the wife also made potato salad, slaw, a massive fruit platter, bean & corn salad, and a huge banana pudding. In addition, she also cut up chunks of chicken, beef, shrimp, and veggies for kebabs, and even attached little jewels to the skewers so everyone would know whose was whose. Meanwhile, I laid in a stockpile of soft drinks, wine and beer.

Saturday evening people began to arrive and soon we had a whole house full of folks for Sadie to bark at. She was our major concern, because Sadie's something of a wild card when it comes to strangers in her house. She used to be a very friendly dog as a puppy and is still friendly with the people she met at that age, but anyone not on that list gets barked at. For instance, it took her an entire weekend to make friends with my sister during her visit in February. So Sadie barked ferociously at first, but after only a few minutes calmed down a bit and began making friends. Soon everyone was giving her dog taxes from their plates and a couple of guests even played Frisbee with her. (Her version of Frisbee is, "you throw it, I'll go get it and never give it back.")

All in all, we were having a great evening until one of our Tiki torches decided to blow up. The wife had bought new innards, wicks and safety caps for all the torches, but something went amiss with one of them and by the time my attention was called to it flames were spilling down the side of it onto the wicker body of the torch itself. One attendee attempted to put out the flames by pouring beer on it, which we all shouted at him to stop doing. I poured half a bottle of water on it, to no avail. Not wanting to see what would happen when the flames finished burning through the wicker and melted into the nearly full plastic fuel canister, I opted to yank the entire torch up and move it away from the wooden deck and our guests. How to put it out was not as apparent to me, though.

"SWEE, I NEED A TOWEL!" I screamed toward the house, hoping I could smother the flames with one. It then occurred to me that I had just the thing for putting out fires in the garage, whcih was a large bucket filled with rain water. The foolishness of carrying a burning object into my house to put it out didn't strike me at first, so I began running across the lawn toward the rear garage door. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the wife arrive carrying a couple of hand towels and our laundry room runner carpet.

"Here," she said, offering the carpet. Trouble is, I really like the runner carpet and didn't want to see it damaged when I had a perfectly good bucket of water a few feet away.

"No, I got it," I said, still moving for the garage door. As I ducked through the door, I could see the amount of light my torch fire was casting and realized it had grown much larger than when I first started running with it. Probably all the air from running had accelerated the flames. What I didn't know was that it had at last burned through both the wicker and the plastic fuel canister and was likely going to begin raining hot burning oil down on me moments later, had I not shoved the flaming end of the torch into the water. Unfortunately, the act tipping the torch over to do this caused the top of the torch to come loose and the still-burning wick went flying onto the garage floor and rolled to a halt against the wall by one of our big gray plastic shelves.

The wife was outside, calling for me to bring the fire back out.

"I can't!" I called back, while trying to move the wick away from the shelf with the tip of my plastic flip-flop.

"Just bring it back out!" she said again.

"I CAN'T!" I screamed, still toeing at the fire. I did manage to move it away from the plastic and the wall, but it was still burning. Finally, I poured half the bucket of water on it and that put it out.

Only after thinking about my actions later on did I realize the full amount of foolishness contained within them. That could have gone REALLY poorly.

The rest of the evening went very nicely and both we and Sadie had a blast. She was sad to see everyone leave.

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