I have a confession to make. A few months ago I reached a new low. I’ve been avoiding telling you all the sad tale, but sometimes a good story is more important than pride.
So here it goes. I started a tiny kitchen fire while boiling water.
It’s okay to laugh. There was no permanent damage, and I didn’t get in trouble with my artistic director.
The husband had just finished making chicken for dinner, and while I was talking to my mother on the phone before we went to the theatre, I decided I wanted a cup of tea. Since there was no tea kettle in the cast house, I started to boil water in a sauce pan. I cleaned the kitchen a little and then washed my hands. I was using a paper towel to dry my hands and noticed a spot of chicken grease on the stove. Being a person who hates using paper towels since all I can picture is the soul of the poor trees screaming you lazy, earth-hating bum! at me every time I use one when there is a perfectly good hand towel in the room, I decided to assuage my guilt by wiping up the bit of grease on the stove.
It was a normal, coil burner stove, so I just swiped by the eye really quickly to get the grease, pulled my hand away, and the damned paper towel was on fire. In my hand. Just burning away. ‘Cause that’s what wet paper towels do.
I dropped the paper in the metal sink, assuming it would go out on its own.
I told my mom I would have to call her back, the sink was on fire.
And I waited. And waited, having at least the common sense not to try and turn on the water to stop the grease fire.
The paper towel burnt out eventually, and there was no damage done. Except to my pride.
But really, who expects such a tiny amount of grease and a teensy amount of water with a coil burner to be enough to catch on fire? Except for the paper towel. That dead tree’s soul was combusting in my hand, saying, Cut down the forest now, sucker!
And now I should never be allowed to boil water again. ‘Cause that’s too dangerous for me.
And so goes my shame.