Back in the day, when we had one self-sufficient kid, we did a lot more grown-up things. One night The Big Boy was out of town and a couple of my childhood friends came over. We went to eat Mexican. (Interpretation: we went to drink margaritas.) When we came home, there was a pile of old wood at the curb by my driveway.
Background...the man who lived next door to us was a neat freak. And he would rake his yard or trim his bushes and pile all his refuse in front of MY house. Which wouldn't have mattered except that my driveway was halfway up a hill, and if you were coming home from the other direction, you had to pull into the oncoming lane to turn into our driveway. And should someone happen to be coming OVER that hill from the opposite direction? You were head on.
So we come rolling in from an excessive amount of margaritas and...there was this pile. Turns out, Tidy Neighbor had torn down an old treehouse in his backyard and piled it in front of MY house. It was the proverbial straw.
Like I said, alcohol was involved and at the time this was a really good idea. Our designated driver, who is responsible all the time, may have suggested this was not the best move of the night but hey!!! What did she know??? SHE WAS SOBER!
Laughing as only childhood friends can laugh, I went into the house, got two small firestarter sticks and went outside and set the wood on fire.
I repeat...it was a good idea at the time.
WHO KNEW dry old lumber could burn so quickly? WHO KNEW dry old lumber flames could leap so high? WHO KNEW those high flames could leap into the trees so quickly?
We pulled out the hose. Turned on the water. And then, because we were still laughing too hard to breathe, crimped the hose so that only a trickle of water came out and instead of putting out the fire, just prevented it from spreading.
This was really, really funny.
And then the emergency vehicles started arriving.
Which was even funnier.
Fire got put out. I got kudos for my quick thinking. We went inside and drank whatever was left and laughed the rest of the night away.
The next morning I was in the kitchen making coffee when the doorbell rang. My friend from Nashville was asleep on the couch. The married friends were asleep in a bedroom. I answered the door.
There stood the neighbor from Kansas, the neat freak, with a gift bag in his hand. A gift bag. FOR ME. And for real, dead serious, he hugged me and told me he'd brought me a gift, a bottle of wine, to thank me. To thank me.
FOR SAVING THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
I couldn't make this shit up.
I made it throught the gift presentation, gave him time to get down the front steps and then...waked the entire house with my hoots. We snickered and laughed and giggled and HOWLED.
I. Saved. The. Neighborhood.
In hindsight, I did. Although we told everyone we guessed someone had thrown out a cigarette and started the fire, word got out. And for real...the guy relocated his refuse. To ACROSS the street, on someone else's side yard. But I opened a box yesterday and here was this picture...
Damn. We were good ;)