Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Time I Broke a DS in Half and Set the Backyard on Fire Also Known as Just Another Saturday at the Koons Zoo

No Food Friday this week because, well, I had chocolate frosting for dinner tonight (in my defense, I was making cupcakes and had to taste test the frosting to make sure it was perfect) so I don't exactly feel qualified in offering out recipe advice. 

Oh except for THIS, I did make this earlier in the week and it was EXACTLY like Olive Garden's.  And make sure when you say it you say it with your hands and an Italian accent.  Please and thank you. 

Last weekend GI Joe had drill.  You should know that when I start a sentence like that it’s probably never going to end well.  This meant I was left to my own devices for the weekend.  Nothing good ever comes from me being left to my own devices   

Ryder had a football game on Saturday morning and before I left I told Dakota to do two, oh wait, THREE ( I know, THE NERVE) things:  clean her room, take a shower, and gather eggs.  All very, VERY difficult and labor intensive chores.  NOT.

When we returned home 3 HOURS later, exactly ZERO of those things had been done.  That. Was. Awesome.  I was not happy in the least, especially when I noticed her DS sitting on the couch with a game going on it.  Which led me to believe that she had spent the entire 3 hours playing her DS which led me to LOSING MY MIND.  I picked up the DS off the couch and in a rare exhibit of bad temper, THREW the DS into the laundry basket while telling her she was grounded from said DS because she spent the time she should’ve been doing the 3 MINOR things I asked her to do, playing on her stupid DS therefore she would not be playing her DS for a few days.  Well, that was the plan anyway and yes, I use run on sentences when I’m angry.  Except I’ve never been known for my athletic skills, unless you count my awesome junior high basketball defense which led the coach to call me “Tiger” for the remainder of my short lived basketball career.  So when I meant to throw the DS into the laundry basket that was right at my feet….I missed.  Instead, when I threw it, it bounced OFF of the laundry basket and onto the hardwood floor where it broke in half. 

Uhh oops.  Dakota, Blade and Ryder all looked at me in shock.  I could see the fear in their eyes, the look like “uh oh we’ve finally pushed her too far, she’s lost it.”  It was silent for a moment and then I was all “OMG I didn’t mean to do that, I meant to just throw it in the laundry basket, oh I’m so sorry, maybe we can fix it…” and apologetic.  Then the shock wore off and my drama queen daughter dropped to the floor in a heap of sobs.  Which only served to further annoy me because “IF YOU WOULD’VE DONE YOUR MEASLY 3 CHORES INSTEAD OF PLAYING THIS DUMB THING IT WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED.  YOU ALL 3 SHOULD REMEMBER THIS NEXT TIME I TELL YOU TO DO SOMETHING AND YOU’RE PLAYING YOUR DS AND THINK YOU MIGHT WANT TO KEEP PLAYING IT INSTEAD OF DOING WHAT I ASKED YOU TO DO BECAUSE I AM UNPREDICTABLE AND CRAZY AND I JUST MIGHT DO IT AGAIN.”  Yeah, take that, she says as pays out the $200 for the new DS she has to buy from throwing it in a fit of bad temper.  Mom of the Year, hands down. 

Then I text GI Joe the following:  “I accidentally just broke dakota’s ds because I umm, threw it.”
“I meant to throw it in a laundry basket but umm well u know my aim.” 
His response “Oh boy” 
Me:  “uhh yeah sometimes I have a temper and bad aim”
Me:  “Where’s your torch?”

Which may leave you wondering what the torch has to do with the DS. Was I going to go the extra mile to shock and awe my kids into submission by burning that DS up or what?  No, the two were unrelated, but kinda not and make a perfect segway into what happened next.  And also to give you an idea of what GI Joe deals with on a regular basis...ALL OVER THE BOARD.

He text back and told me where the torch was, which I have to admit I was shocked because it’s fire and well, ‘nuff said.  But he must’ve been distracted by playing with guns and yelling at new recruits, and didn’t think too much about it. 

I, on the other hand was thrilled because I had had a BRILLIANT idea.  You see, we have this walkway in our front yard that is filled with rock and stepping stones and somehow weeds had peered their ugly heads in some places.  I had sprayed them with Round Up a week ago but hadn’t gotten all of them and the ones that I had sprayed were now just ugly, brown, dry eyesores in the walkway.  I wanted them gone, all of them.  And I didn’t want to deal with the 2 day waiting period of Round Up so I thought, BURN THEM, obviously. 

I told the kids to get changed as we were all going outside on a landscaping expedition aka Mission Walkway Weed Removal.  We successfully removed (by either pulling or burning) all the weeds from the walkway.  Who knew weeding could be so much fun?  Why hadn’t I thought of this torch idea before?!?  Why isn’t this a gardening phenomenon?   And that’s when it occurred to me, “Hey there’s the same problem on the cement patio by the pool, let’s take the torch back there!” 

But it was a bigger area with stronger weeds and the little butane torch was just not cutting it like it did on the walkway, so I went on the hunt for some lighter fluid or gas even to amp up the burn factor to contend with the weeds better.  Meanwhile,  Dakota and Blade had deserted me because I "scared" them and Ryder was sticking by but only to tell me repeatedly that it was a bad idea.

As I was searching for a firestarter, GI Joe got home.  I asked him where some lighter fluid or gas was and he quickly told me we didn’t have any and then said, “I’m going inside to change my clothes and to make sure the Hawkeye game is recording.  PLEASE do not make me have to call the fire department.”

What an odd thing to say. 

And that’s when I spotted the little one gallon gas can sitting all alone in the shed.

I went back to the backyard with my assistant aka Fire Marshall Ryder and sprayed down the perimeter of the patio with water so the fire wouldn’t get out of control and had the hose on and nearby just in case.  See?  Safety first.  Then I stepped away from the patio to open the gas can.  It had one of those weird spouts (that I now know is called a Stop Flow Spout) but I couldn’t figure out how to open it so the gas could come out so I just unscrewed and took off the whole dang cap.  And then I went back to the patio, leaned over to pour a little gas on the weeds I wanted to burn and that’s when it happened. 

It’s a wonder I still have hair on my head and a non melted face.
I mean, who knew that just a tiny spark from the weeds I’d burned with the torch earlier would catch the can on fire like that?  Oh what's that?  You learned about flammability and fumes and all that mumbo jumbo in Chemistry class?  Oh you mean the class that I repeatedly skipped in high school and eventually dropped to take "Foods" class instead?  Weird.  P.S.  I use what I learned in "Foods" class ALOT more than i use that Chemistry junk, ok fine, except for maybe this.

Me, being the rational human being I am, screamed and threw the gas can….NOT onto the cement patio, oh NO, but on the grass next to it.  The grass between the concrete patio and the WOODEN swing set. 

You guys, I’m basically Smokey the Bear.  Schedule your school visits now!

I grabbed the hose and started spraying the fire, trying to get it under control and keep it from spreading.  As long as I had the hose directly on the opening of the gas can it was ok, but if I moved even a millimeter the fire raged again.  

Ryder:  “I’m gonna go get Daddy.”
Me:  “NOOOOOO it’s fine I’ve got it under control.”

Then I told him to go get me some baking soda because as my life was flashing before me in the recesses of my brain I remembered that baking soda puts out fires (umm yeah GREASE fires..duh.  There's that Foods class knowledge again!) but then I told him NOT to go do that because then he’d have to explain to GI Joe why he was taking baking soda outside and see:  the part I was trying to not involve GI Joe. 

Then I remembered that if you put the lid on a candle and shut off air supply the fire went out so I thought if I could flip the gas can so the opening was flush against the ground the fire inside the can would go out thereby putting out the fire spewing out of the can.  I know, I know, I should’ve been scientist.  But the tricky part about flipping a gas can that’s on fire is well, FLIPPING A GAS CAN THAT’S ON FIRE.  I tried using a stick with one hand while holding the hose and not moving a millimeter in the other.  I got it to flip over but instead of putting the fire out all I got was a big WHOOSH and a bigger fire.  A bigger fire that my excellent hosing skills was not putting a damper on.  This is when I started to panic.   And when Ryder declared that he was “going to get Daddy.”

I was still adamant that I could handle this, that I’d just keep the water on the fire until eventually the fumes died out.  I mean, it was only one gallon of gas, how long could it burn?

But I think he feared for his life and his swingset so he ignored my wishes and went inside to get his father.  Apparently, he walked in the house, found GI Joe, and while LAUGHING said, “Daddy, I think you need to come outside, Mommy set the backyard on fire.”

Oh huh, what was that thump?  Oh that was just me getting thrown under the bus, thanks Ryder!

So GI Joe comes out and I’m still battling the fire but trying to act all cool and unworried about it.  And as he’s walking across the back yard shaking his head he said, “What did I say to you before I went inside?”

“But we don’t have to call the fire department.  See?  I’ve got it under control!  Just bring me some baking soda and I’ll put it out no problem”

“Baking soda is for grease fires, you have to smother a gas fire out.”

“Oh well, then get me a pillow.”

He grabbed a bucket and putting it over the gas can and then stomping out the fire on the grass around it all while repeating over and over, “Ilovemywife Ilovemywife Ilovemywife Ilovemywife....”

Isn’t that so sweet?  First he rescues me (and our yard) from a burning inferno and then he proclaims his love for me repeatedly?!? 

And then he took the butane torch AND the gas can from me and told me my landscaping with fire days were over. 


I think of all the things, I miss my eyebrows the most. 

But those weeds?  They’re gone for good.

Happy Friday and remember only you (ok fine, and me), can prevent forest yard fires.

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