Yesterday The Man and I were making our way through the last disc of "24"'s second season when I smelled it. It smelled like lighter fluid. Strong lighter fluid. I went out back and the smell was so pungent there it made my nostrils burn. I looked in the yards around ours to make sure that no one was barbequing (which would be odd anyway considering it was snowing at the time). I saw nothing.
The Man seemed concerned too so I called my dad (who works HAZMAT) and he said I should call the police or fire department if the smell was that strong. I did call them after walking in and out of the house about five times making sure I wasn't being an alarmist. About 9 firemen and two cops arrived and began canvassing my property. One of the officers confirmed that he too smelled the offending odor.
Just as he acknowledged my olfactory prowess, one of the firefighters called from around the corner to ask me to come confirm the source of the malodor. As I walk around the corner, I see my neighbor standing there in the snow in his robe and slippers at his little one-man grill.
Can we talk about the many levels of deep humiliation? I called the Police and the Fire Department to come out in the snow over a steak. As the guys filed past me with my head hung low, I must have murmured "I'm sorry" 250 times. To the Fire Chief's credit he told me there was nothing to apologize for and understood that it would be strange to assume someone was actually grilling in the inclement weather and that I should indeed call if there is an unexplained strong odor. I think he was just being nice.
As they began to pile back into the Engine I yelled after them, "My dad works for Philly HAZMAT and HE told me to call!!!!"
Sorry dad, but I had to do something...I have to live here...