I moved into a new apartment about two weeks ago. I bought one of those duraflame logs the first weekend I was there. I’ve been really looking forward to relaxing by a fire, but I’ve been super busy and by the time I get home it’s too late to light a fire that will last five hours.
I’ve had a super stressful two weeks dealing with a family emergency, and last week was pretty overwhelming. On Wednesday I had a headache all day. After I got home I decided to go running. I’ve been “training” to run a 5k on 03/14 and really need to kick it up a notch. So off to the gym I went.
Surprisingly, I not only ran the whole 3.1 miles, I did it faster than any other time so far (42 minutes, 48 seconds). It was super exciting!
I figured, this was the perfect time for a relaxing fire place reward. I got home, grabbed some chips and salsa (obviously), turned on Gilmore Girls, read the duraflame directions, used three matches before I finally got one to light and then lit the duraflame bag on fire. Then I went into the kitchen to put a frozen pizza in the oven because I didn’t want to deal with cooking dinner. So, there I was, standing in the kitchen, and it looks like smoke is coming OUT of the fireplace instead of up it. “umm what the heck?” I think to myself.
I open the sliding glass door and then google what makes smoke come out of a fireplace. There were some possibilities that I skimmed past because I didn’t know what they meant and my landlord told me when I moved in that all I had to do was light a piece of wood on fire and I’d have a fire. According to google it could just be that the chimney is cold from not being used in awhile. Makes sense, I think. Easy peasy.
Well, not for long.
Suddenly, the smoke alarm starts going off. I’ve lived there a week and a half so I have to find where the smoke alarm even is, then I wave a kitchen rag at it until it stops. I turn on the bathroom fan thinking maybe that would help.
I go back into the kitchen and start a timer for the pizza. Things seem to have gotten better. They weren’t better. Smoke is everywhere, so it just LOOKS better. The fire is safely in the fireplace with no problems, except this dang smoke! I call my boyfriend. It goes to voicemail.
The smoke alarm starts going off again. So there I am, in the hallway of my apartment with a kitchen rag, waving it around the smoke alarm and trying to google “how to put out a duraflame log.” The smoke alarm stops.
I spent a huge chunk of my childhoood living in Vegas. You aren’t allowed to have wood burning fireplaces in Vegas unless you bought an old house that already had one. I didn’t know what the heck was on fire in my fireplace. I thought it lasted for 5 hours so maybe it’s not normal wood. The smoke alarm starts again. I open the bedroom window. I’m waving the rag. I’m calling my boyfriend. Voicemail, voicemail, voicemail.
I’m looking for numbers of people I know who have fireplaces. I don’t have them. I’m googling “how to put out a duraflame log” again, but the website is just redirecting me to the homepage every time I click the google link. Finally, the alarm stops again. “Cool,” I think, “maybe the chimney is warmed up.”
I go into the living room, and clearly the smoke is not going down. I grab a pitcher of water. The one still out on my counter from the move is from West Elm. It’s wrapped in wood and cannot be washed in the dishwasher. I fill it to the brim, head to the fireplace and start splashing the duraflame. All this does is make EVEN MORE SMOKE.
So much smoke that no amount of dishrag waving quiets the alarm. By this time I’m pleading with it, “Please stop going off! Nothing’s on fire!” Admitting defeat, I open my front door. And here come neighbors, seriously concerned about what’s happening in my apartment.
“I lit a fire in the stupid fireplace like they said I could and the stupid fire won’t go out and nothing I do gets rid of the smoke and putting water on it makes more smoke and my boyfriend’s stupid phone keeps going to stupid voicemail and I don’t know what to do!!!!!!!!!!!!”
…to be continued