And The House Burned Down

Let the Games Begin

It had been a guy day. I don't have them often anymore. Just guys being guys, doing things that guys do, and this one came at a time when I really needed it. We had gathered at a friends garage – of course in the garage - with 3 color televisions hooked up to cable and each tuned to a different sporting event. Some of us were just hanging out, watching sports, cracking jokes, and drinking cold beer. Two of the guys were putting a new transmission in an old mustang, and it doesn't get any more guy than that.

I don't know squat about cars, yet I was transfixed by the car repair. The air smelled of gas and oil and grease and machinery, and when they opened a new part it was clean steel and shiny chrome, catching the sun's rays and sending them off in a million directions. I didn't know what the parts were for, but I knew they were guy things and without them the old mustang was just a fancy piece of junk.

Cut the Grass, Cook the Ribs

When I returned home in the late afternoon, I cut the grass. More oil and gas and machinery and sweat, and the guy things weren't done yet. Not by a long shot. Inside, I started the ribs, and cooking ribs is certainly a guy thing. First came the hunt, and then came the meat, slow cooked over a low fire. Never mind that the hunt was at the supermarket, searching for the finest ribs available amid 20 other packages of ribs, it was still a hunt.

My work completed for the time being, I showered, put on fresh clothes, grabbed a cold drink, and sat in my easy chair. I was feeling smugly satisfied with my day, a most pleasant diversion from my usual all work and no play life, at which point my wife came bursting through the front door exclaiming, “We have to call 911!” “What?” say I, being jerked from my smugness. Perhaps I would be required to do another guy thing: rush to a damsel in distress, I hope I hope, or save a dog hit by a car.

The Alarm

“We have to call 911,” my wife repeated, adding, “The house next door is on fire!” Oh. Did she say “fire?” Nope. No thanks. Fire isn't my bag. I don't do “fire.” My wife grabbed her phone and we went out into the yard to look at the house. The smoke, thick and black, poured out of the side up near the eaves. No fire was visible yet, but the nature of the smoke told me that the interior was a fiery fury. “That house is a goner,” I said. You could just tell. My wife finished up the call as neighbors began to gather across the street. Now it was just a matter of waiting.

And we waited. A couple of guys came screeching up in their trucks and jumped out, hastily putting on their firefighting clothes. In my fifteen years of living in this town, that was the first time I realized we had a volunteer fire department. No offense against them – they do a fine job – but really, this place is well to this side of real fire department size, with guys on duty and a pole they slide down when the alarm goes off. No wonder they still call it a village. Saves them money on a fire department.

Hurry Up and Wait

And still we waited for the truck, along with the guys in their fire gear. The flames were outside of the building now, licking the roof, and the wind was blowing towards my house, naturally. “That's gonna end up setting my house on fire,” I said to the fireman next to me. “They'll be here in a minute,” he said, but there were no sirens, and they were not there in a minute. Or two. Or three.

Now the fire was burning the grass between our houses. “See,” I said to the fireman. “They're coming,” he said, but he had a look of doubt that was unsettling. I bent over at the waist with my arms wrapped around my stomach, staring at the ground for a moment, gathering myself, preparing for the worst.

The flames coming out of the rooftop were tall and angry now, and with each gust of wind they reached for my home, taunting me. And then it happened. The flames seemed to leap across the gap, my espaliered pear trees - which I had spent 6 hours just the day before pruning down into their final shape – went up in flames in the blink of an eye. Almost in unison, several people in the visitors section yelled, “Your house is on fire!” I remained silent, but I wanted to turn around and yell across the street, “Yeah! I can fucking see it's on fire. I'm standing right fucking here!” What did they expect me to do? Run into my house and come back out wearing blue tights and a cape? Super Fire Boy to the rescue!

View across my front porch.
View across my front porch.

What Cat?

The eaves and the soffit on that side of my house was burning now, and the flames were licking my roof. A neighbor came rushing up to me. “You got any animals in there?” “No,” I said. Apparently the cat didn't count. “Just my cat,” I added. “We'd better go in and get him,” he said, and then made ready, like we were going to rush into the house, find the cat, and come back out to applause as instant heroes. “Man,” I said to him, “If I go into that house I sure as hell ain't comin' out with a cat.”

Thankfully, the fire engine arrived just then, and they did their business, unrolling hoses, hooking them up to the truck and the hydrant down the street, and the water of course, first directed on the flames on my house, quenching its thirst quickly, and then to the inferno next door, already a lost cause. The task became controlling the fire more than putting it out, and once it was done, little remained but a hulking mass of blackened bones and ribs in a ravaged skeleton.

The morning after.
The morning after.

All's Well that Burns Well

My house made out all right. The pear trees were history and the side of the house, the eaves and the soffit were burned. Two storm windows had gotten so hot that when the cold water hit them they exploded. The central air conditioning unit was destroyed and the cable line was melted. What it amounted to was no air conditioning, no television, no telephone, and no Internet. I spent the evening reading a novel, something I haven't done for at least a year and I realized how much I missed it. Everything was repaired the next day, except the air conditioner, and two weeks later that too was replaced.

The firemen hung around outside for awhile, maybe to be sure the house was really out, or maybe just catching up. “Hey, Bill, how are things down at the hardware store?” “Fine, Josh. Are there enough backed up sewers to keep you busy?” Later one of them knocked on the door to ask me some questions. I had thought that being a fireman was a guy thing, but at the door was a woman. I hadn't noticed her before. Her face was kind of cute and I stood a little closer to her than I should have when answering her questions, and that was a different kind of guy thing.

I went back to my easy chair, opened my book, sipped from my cold drink, and again felt the familiar smugness. The day had been a smorgasboard of flavors and tastes and I was satiated. I was at peace even. I guess it was a guy thing.

The Espaliered Pear Trees Story

1)Have pruned a little on the right side, but none yet on the left. 2)After pruning. After it had filled in, would have looked great. 3) The day after fire. In shambles and burnt to a crisp.
1)Have pruned a little on the right side, but none yet on the left. 2)After pruning. After it had filled in, would have looked great. 3) The day after fire. In shambles and burnt to a crisp.

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Comments 130 comments

dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

another seriously engaging story...but did I read this right? I took you 2 weeks to tell us about it? Geez. You coulda been dead and we wouldn't have known it! (oops....there was another hub about that, wasn't there? Sorry!)


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 7 years ago from Near the Ocean

Oh my God Chris, only you can make a fire funny.  I've got tears.  Ya not from the smoke. "What did they expect me to do? Run into my house and come back out wearing blue tights and a cape? Super Fire Boy to the rescue!"


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Dineane: Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Um...I don't know what you are referring to. 2 weeks? Makes me think I've made a mistake somewhere. I must investigate! Thanks for the comment!


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

"except the air conditioner, and two weeks later that too was replaced."

maybe I misunderstood?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hello, Randy! Glad you found it funny and have tears, and ya, I told you to cut down on the smoke! (I'm just kidding, everybody). So sweet of you to say. Thank you!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

dineane: Oh, sure. Well, actually it was longer than that. Happened around the time the hubmob challenge started, and I wasn't going to write it then. Nobody would have seen it, you know? Anyway, it's all good! Thanks!


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

oh, there you go, bashing us hubchallengers again! I love ya anyways Chistoph and am very glad you and your house survived the fire! :-)


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Ummm, broiled espaliered pears. Good guy story, well told. Glad no one was hurt.Do your neighbors know what started the fire?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

I was sure this was going to end up you having a pyro moment or something. Sorry to hear about the pear trees. That sucks. I was kind of feeling the agony waiting with you for the truck with some firefighters already there. That had to suck. Be like lying there bleeding or something and there's an ambulance sitting there, parked but empty, and you have to wait for the paramedics to arrive from somewhere else.

Least you made it. And the cat.

What book? lol


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

dineane: Now, i wasn't bashing anybody. It was a fact that everyone was too busy to read other peoples stuff. I know you participated and I certainly wouldn't have insulted you. Truly. Don't even think that. OK? I'm glad you're glad :>)

Thanks so much. It was arson and everybody know who did it but there's no proof. Thanks for your kind words.


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

CR, hubchallenge or not, your *true* fans (me) would read :-)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Shades: Yeah, it wasn't me for once! It was aggravating waiting like that. And just for the record, the cat wasn't in any danger...yet. I would have gotten him if it became necessary. The book was "The English Assassin' by Daniel Silva. Excellent! Complicated but a real page turner. Thanks for the comment. I started to read about that card game today but had to cut it short. I'll go back and finish in a bit.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Rochelle: That undirected comment was for you. It says: Thanks so much. It was arson and everybody know who did it but there's no proof. Thanks for your kind words. And I really mean it this time! Ha!

Dineane: How nice you are to me.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Christoph - you and fires - there's some affinity, wouldn't you say? I'm thinking back on your stories from your 'boy' days :D

As always, you tell a tale so wonderfully well!


Janetta 7 years ago

o my goodness, your poor trees. and no ac! yeesh....but, it could've been much worse


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Christoph, I did the same thing Shades did. As soon as I saw the title I figured it was another one of 'your' fires. I was chuckling and shaking my head, thinking, 'What'd he do this time?' To make matters worse, I figured that you 'forgot' the cat on purpose as some sort of revenge for its attempt on your life. My bad, you were a victim, poor thing.

Glad you stayed safe and still have your home, though it sucks about your pear trees. Hopefully, your neighbours weren't hurt in the blaze, either.

Another artfully told story that engaged me fully, thanks!


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Some story! Glad your house is OK.....would like to see the blue tights and cape thing tho....red cape? :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Shalini: Yeah, the fire was probably looking for me and got the address wrong. Thanks so much for your comment!

Janetta: It could have been much worse, and the weather wasn't very hot yet, plus we have one of those giant attic fans, so the house remained comfortable. We really lucked out. Thanks so much! Great to see you!

Shirley: Nope, no humans or cats were harmed in the creation of this story. Thank you for visiting. Always a pleasure to have you over for a chat! lol.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Tom: Yeah, I think the red. The purple cape clashes, I think. Don't you?


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Lace up black boots too?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Well, sure. And that tight underwear worn outside the tights, just so the ladies can admire my buttocks.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

LOL....You crack me up! Pardon the punn. :)


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

I like Red and Purple - at least in the right shades. Guess I need to post pics of my kitchen one of these days.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Aha, we finally get the story. It's been quite a while. Wonderful photos. I'm terribly sorry about your pear trees. You guys were lucky though, I have to say. Anything could have happened. Glad you got to read a novel. Did you get to finish it? Was it good?


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I guess the boy who played with matches started some kind of fire karma thing, eh? Or maybe you inadvertently brought home too much flammable testosterone from your guy day. Nah -- just one of those freaky things that happens sometimes. But not everyone is able to describe freaky things nearly as colorfully as you, Christoph! Glad your house is ok. Assume the cat is, too:-). MM


nazishnasim 7 years ago

LOL Chris, like Tom said above 'it cracked me up ... but no pun intended' :p. Loved the story ! :D


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Tom: Unless I have one of those big pimples on my butt, then the tights and snug underwear are out.

Dineane: Really? Maybe I've rushed to judgement on my color pairings. I'll have to give that ensemble a second look. Thanks for the fashion advice.

Frieda: I don't recall if I finished the novel that night, but I did finish it and it was very, very good. Nice to see you, Frieda!

MM: I definitely have a fire karma thing. Thank you for the compliment, which from you is a compliment indeed. Yeah, the cat was OK (so I had to set him on fire manually. Lol.)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Naz: Glad I cracked you up! Always pleasant to hear from you, Naz.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

You told this story on very interesting way! I am so glad because of happy end for you, your wife, your house and the cat!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Tatjiana-Mihaela: How nice to see you! Glad you read it and enjoyed. I enjoyed having you here. Thank you!


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Dang -- I was worried for your house reading this -- the tension you built waiting for the fire truck was real -- and when someone said "hey, your house is on fire" I was right there with ya, buddy, shouting "like we weren't fruckkin' watching, a-hole."

Phew. Reading about guy days is exhausting. Glad your house made it relatively unscathed, although the pear tree looks a mite cooked. T.


dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 7 years ago from India

Boy, you kept me hanging on with your tale...and that pix the day after looks quite frightening. Glad you and the family and the cat got off safe.

Have you bought a superhero outfit now, or is that not a guy thing? :p


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Theresa: Thanks for coming by. Yeah, the trees are cooked, though one of them is making a valient attempt to hang on, but just up at the top. Unfortunately, it won't have a chance as I have decided they must be cut down (have to paint and make repairs and such, plus they're ugly.) Thank you for visiting and leaving word!

Diana: Howdy! happy you enjoyed it. They've started to tear the house down and there is practically nothing left. Yep, nobody hurt and a nice check from the insurance company makes for a happy ending...and I look fabulous in my new superhero outfit! Lol.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

That was a scary story, well told, of course. I can't see myself relaxing at the end of that day in the easy chair. I would have been crying all night (or drowning my sorrows) over the pear trees. But then, I'm not a guy.

The closest experience I had to my house burning down was when the wood burning stove's chimney caught fire one early morning in a winter. The volunteer fire department was there in about two minutes, put a cherry picker up level with the top of the chimney, shot some stuff down, put out the fire, apologized for the mess it made, and left, smiling. They must have done that routine a hundred times in my town in a winter season. I think it might have been their version of hanging out at the water cooler.

I'm with Shirley and Shades. Wondering what YOU did.

Another thumb is up.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Sally: Thanks for coming! I thought the same thing about the water cooler and the firemen "catching up" with each other. I had forgotten this part, but a fire engine from the neighboring town arrived much sooner, though that town is tiny, their fire department is a real one due to the factories and nightclubs (plus a lot of tax money those businesses pay) but didn't do anything. Just on stand-by, I guess.

And I am shocked - shocked, I say - that anyone could suspect it was I who started the fire! Whatever gave people this idea about me?

As always, your comment and your thumb held in an upward position is most welcome!


ralwus 7 years ago

I remember this and have been expecting a hub about it. I was on facebook then when you told us about it. Poor trees, ah well I'm just glad it wasn't worse for ya Chris. I hate fires. Are you replacing the pear trees this fall?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

ralwus: Hey, man. No, I'm not replacing them. Just going to cut them down. It's too bad. They would have been nice this year. Thanks for saying hi!


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

And then you wrote a hub on fire. A very guy thing. How were the ribs? Surely you grabbed a pike and cooked up the ribs on your burning pear trees? That would have been the guy thing to do. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Paper Moon: The ribs were very good. I was going to do that - had my pike out and everything - but then realized there was lots of smoke from asbestos and the like, and thought that might get in my ribs and alter their perfection. So instead I speared a rabbit, since I had my pike out and everything, and cooked him too. Never mind that it was in a hutch that belong to some neighborhood kids.


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

They too must learn about guy things. LOL


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Yes. They learned their lesson well. I gave them each a piece, and when they said it tasted like chicken, I told them that in fact it was "Fluffy." There were some tears, but it was for their own good.


fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

Glad everything turned out ok chris, not a good feeling, I know.

dori


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

fortunerep: Yeah, me too. Thanks for dropping in!


Miss Behaving profile image

Miss Behaving 7 years ago from Memphis, TN

phew, glad to hear you are all ok, you guys sure now how to throw a block party!...now if you please, back to the grease and the sweat and the chrome and the guy stuff.....


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Miss Behaving: Are you trying to get rid of me, Ma'am? I would've thought my manly activities would of had you hankerin' to get to know me a little better. Well, fine! Guess I'll go do that lube job.


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Sorry sweetie, I've been sick so I'm behind.. Your poor pear trees (Grieving the loss of fruit!) I'm fantasizing the blue super fire boy outfit!! I understand the smell of grease, shiney engine parts and gas!! I prefer the smell of fresh mowed lawn.. wanna come over and mow my lawn??


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Candie: Only if I can wear my Super Fire Boy outfit! Hey, thanks for coming by. I wondered where you'd got off to.


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

Okay, so what was the novel? I am down to two and therefore in a panic!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Paper Moon: It was the English Assassin by Daniel Silva. I recommend it. Way better than your average spy thriller.


Cailin Gallagher profile image

Cailin Gallagher 7 years ago from New England

I love your cool "guy day" build-up to the story. The smell of the oil in the garage was a nice foreshadow of the house-fire to come. Loved it!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Cailin: Love your new avatar! Did you do that? Thanks for reading and leaving your kind comment. It's very nice to hear from you!


stephanie mclain profile image

stephanie mclain 7 years ago from Texas

haha...this is an excellent hub! :) You remained a lot calmer than I would have! Thanks for sharing.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

stephanie: Thanks so much! Glad you stopped in and thank you for the comment. Welcome to HubPages, by the way. Hope you enjoy it here!


swathin2 profile image

swathin2 7 years ago

Nice one and the way you presented it looks cool!...


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

hi Christoph,

Chiming in with the others, I too, thought oh no, what did he do now?  Glad it turned out ok.

I bought a new stove.  When the guys came to take the old one out, this guy gave the stove an extra yank, and with that, flames shot up through the burners.  I was freaking out!  I couldn't think of a thing to do except turn on the faucet and splash water in the direction of the stove.  Did it occur to me to get the fire extinguisher?  Hell, no lol.  All ended well, but it was quite a frightening experience.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Swathin2: Glad you liked it. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment!

Trish: I can't for the life of me figure out why everyone thought I was somehow responsible for this fire. lol. Actually, so glad it wasn't anything to do with me. That sounds like a scary moment with your stove. When it's inside the house it's easy to panic.

Thanks for stopping in, Trish. Nice to see you!


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Christoph,

The pictures were a marvel to look and follow with the storry. Glad all went well for you and yours and you finally got to enjoy your cold drink. A shame, for the victims of the fire. But the fire proved for an excellent hub.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Great story, Christoph! It could have been worse. I remember seeing someone's house that was next door to a fire. Their house was entirely vinyl. Yeah, vinyl and heat don't exactly mix well. Even though the flames never reached their house, they had to completely replace all of their vinyl siding.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

AIDY: Thanks so much! Glad you liked it and I appreciate your comment. The guy sold it to the neighbor on the other side who is tearing it down, so it'll just be a field now. I guess that's good, but I do feel sorry for the original owner.

KCC: Yeah, I got off very lucky indeed. Plus, with the insurance money I am now able to paint the whole place plus make some improvements I've been meaning to make for a long time. So really, it's been a pretty good thing for me. Too bad it had to come at someone else's expense. Thanks for the visit!


Aya_Hajime profile image

Aya_Hajime 7 years ago

What a story CR! Glad that everybody is safe and that it ended well on your side.

But truly, are blue tights and a cape really a man thing?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Aya: It is if you're Super Fire Boy! Glad you came by and had a little fun. Nice to see you and thanks for the comment!


Aya_Hajime profile image

Aya_Hajime 7 years ago

LOL - I was going to say that it would be great to have an illustration of Super Fire Boy but then it is so much more fun to leave it up to one's imagination :)

Maybe we could have a contest - the winning entry gets an evening of debauchery with Super Fire Boy and Dungeon Master Shades.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Aya: Oh, I'm in! As long as your imagining me, imagine me all muscular and studly, would ya?

Maybe I should create him in Poser?


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Oh Christoph, we all know you are muscular and studly -- and 100% steroid free!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

MM:  Steroid free, perhaps, but I contain all kinds of nasty additives.  lol


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Oh my goodness what an experience and how sad for the house and the people next door. I am certainly happy that there wasn't any serious damage on your home and all came out o.k. Great pics you should have been a photographer too. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Aevans: Hi! Thanks for coming by, AE. Nice to see you. Thanks too for your kind words. I saw in my notifications you just published something, so I'm heading over to your place!


jayb23 profile image

jayb23 7 years ago from India

Brilliant story. Esoteric and engaging. Keep it up. thumbs up


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

jayb23: Thanks for reading Jay. I appreciate it and your comment is most welcome!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Wow had my attention the whole time...am so happy you are ok and no one was hurt,,,Things can be replaced...even guy things...:O) Hugs


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Christoph: I am trying as I weather the storm of health, you know how that is but I am working at reading as many as I can today, nobody should be left behind. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

G-Ma: Thanks for coming by, G-Ma. Great to see you. Hope you had a happy 4th. Love ya!

AEvans: Don't push it, AE. Stay in bed and eat lots of homemade chicken soup. You want me to make you some?


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

Since everything and everybody is OK, can I let go and LOL? A guy thing, huh...I nearly fell on the floor at the thought of "Super Fire Boy to the rescue"!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

k@ri: Thank you for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed it. Now everyone wants to see me in my "Super Fire Boy" outfit. But I don't know...I don't look good in tights, but I like the idea of a cape! Thanks for your comment!


bingskee profile image

bingskee 7 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

wonderful telling. you amaze me with how you artistically tell about the fire and the guy thing.. i think i will be a frequent visitor.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

bingskee: Thanks so much! Glad you read and enjoyed and your comment is most appreciated. Visit anytime!


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

Always enjoy reading anything with pictures of firemen in it..... sorry about the house though


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Brenda: So, who has a fireman fetish? Anybody? lol. I've got lots more. Want me to email them to you?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

The hunt was at the supermarket!?  That's funny! 

This is another fine example of your talent as a writer.  It is witty and engaging.  Thanks for providing enjoyment for so many.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

James: Thands for the visit and the kind words!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

That must have been a horrifying experience. Those poor neighbors, all their precious stuff, when you think about all the treasured memories lost. I would have been having a royal cow watching those flames head toward my own house. But having experienced a fire in our home, understand that it is best to laugh. It's good for the soul.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Delores: Yes, fires are scary things. Thank you for coming by and your comment!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

Congrats on 500 fans. Congrats on 500 fans. Congrats on 500 fans. Congrats on 500 fans.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Hey, Chris. Great HUb, only it came at the expense of your pear trees. By the way, you did of course had home insurance, right? Even so, with the sketchy situation involving your next door neighbors, were you able to get reimbursed by the insurance company or is the case being investigated?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Imadork: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

John: I'll have to check. Thanks for the comment! Glad to see you here!


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

Well -told story. Glad it wasn't worse. Sorry about the pear trees. Great Hub.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thank you, suziecat7! I appreciate your taking the time to read and the comment!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

Well that was an exciting end to a 'guy day' for sure...was in a house that caught fire once - and that was enough! Totalled the second story in a matter of minutes...hadn't thought of it in years til I read this. We didn't lose any trees...but the TV was a melted lump lol.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Enelle: Your fire is bigger than mine! Sounds much worse. Your poor television! Thanks for the visit and the comment!


Davinagirl3 profile image

Davinagirl3 7 years ago

I am without words, this is so good.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Davinagirl3. Thank you so much for the very kind words! Glad you came by for a visit!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Hey Chris

I'm sure glad you didn't lose that cool sense of humor of yours to the fire. Another fine serving of your wit and (I want that!) writing style. Thanks for sharing, Mr Cool! :D


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Cris: Thanks for coming by. Your comments are always welcomed and anticipated. You can have what little wit I have. It doesn't appear to be doing me any good. lol Thanks!


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA

I really have to find that switch that turns back on the email notifications for when people write things...sorry I missed this story :(

Okay...I have some questions though...*whips out the list*

1. Whatever happened to the damn ribs? I was pretty sure reading this that the house next door REALLY wasn't on fire and that it was your cooking that had caused such pandemonium...but noooo...there really was a fire and the ribs seem to have played no really important part in this tale except to assert that you know how to barbecue...even though we never find out how the ribs actually turned out.

2. My cats...all six of them...who were previously great fans of your work have issued a boycott until such time as you see fit to mend your cat saving ways. They were quite miffed that a pear tree seemed more important and I'm forced to type this comment from work so as not to risk their wrath. I'm sure you understand what I mean...

3. Didn't you have a garden hose or something?

4. I loved it...very meaty ;)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

1) The ribs are included because it is a guy thing to grill ribs - grrrrrr, me caveman, me eat ribs. The ribs were cooked in the oven instead as it was very smokey outside. They were, I might add, delicious.

2) In my own defense, the cat was never in any danger. The neighbor was panicked. Had it become neccessary, I would have certainly gone in after the cat. But that is not funny, so it was not told that way. In spite of the cat's and my disagreements, I cannot stand to think of an animal, any animal, suffering such a horrible fate. You know this about me, I think.

3) Water pressure sucks. We tried.

4) Glad you liked it.

And now I have something for you (whips out a short list.) Do you think I am to be trifled with? Just a toy to be kept in your closet and only taken brought out to play once in a blue moon? I demand more play time!

You are still my special bud!


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA

1. I'm glad the ribs were good. I have some closure on that now. Thank you.

2. Yeah...I tried to explain that to Foxy, but she's not buying it. She's been hiding in the bathroom all day grooming and yakking up something really special just for you.

3. I'm just not going to say anything...but it definitely conjures up a really comical image. :)

4. I'm glad that you are glad.

And as for your list...

1. No...although I have to admit it does sound like fun.

2. Of course not...I keep THAT in the top drawer of my night stand.

3. Okay okay...I'll grab the Twister mat and you get the baby oil. We'll meet somewhere in (grabs the map)...Texas?

*hugs* And you are mine. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

You make me smile! :)


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Omg Christoph you should have called out my name. (cough cough) oops people are not supposed to know I am...errr....Supergirl...Superman's offsider. Could have flown ovewr in seconds to sort all this out. Geez I thought it were only me that started fires.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

blondepoet: I WAS calling out your name, I called over and over and...oh...wait a minute...that was in my sleep I was calling your name. I remember, because my wife gave me a right good wallup up side the head!


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahhahaah


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

lol :-D


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Brilliant, witty and hilarious as always. I just felt so sorry for your poor cat, but still couldn't help giggling at the way you worded it, (don't worry, I know you love her really). Side splittingly funny hub :)

@ Spryte, naked Twister with baby oil!!!!!!!!! ???????? Sounds dangerous to me, very slippery if you spill the oil on the Twister mat :) :) :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Misty: Thanks so much. Glad you saw it and found it funny! Please come again! lol


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

LOL, can't keep me away :)


Illuminatii profile image

Illuminatii 7 years ago from California

That was great! Glad you both, (you and the cat) came out unhurt.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Illuminatii: Glad you liked it and visited. Thank you for the comment!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida

Christoph Reilly

This was fun to read, What a day! fires are amazing to watch. I am glad know one got hurt.

this was very well written, Great Hub!

God Bless

ABR


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Airbrushing: Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Hey, Christoph! You know I've never had an unkind word to say about your wonderful writing, but I have to ask: why didn't you get the garden hose and dowse your prize trees and the roof until the fire truck arrived? Just wonderin'...


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

JamaGenee: Hey! How are you, hmmm? We tried with the garden hose. My house has only one outdoor faucet which is on the other side of the house. The water pressure sucks anyway, and then with the hose stretched all the way around the house, there was barely a trickle. I trust this answers your question. If the inquest is over, I'll be saying goodbye. Hope you are well!


Bestboytoo 6 years ago from Ballarat Victoria Australia

The title is excellent Christoph. I've filed it. It reminds me of the title of one of Robert Fulgham's books. 'It was on fire when I lay down on it'.

It's appreciated I'm only human, but the cape and blue lights flashing, would've made everyone feel better.

Has the arsonist been collared?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

BestBoyToo: Yes, the Superman costume and red cape would have been effective. Everyone knows who did it - including the authorities - but they can't prove it. But, you know, turns out he's a really nice guy and does a lot for me and others in the neighborhood...and the house was uninhabitable.


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago

Hi again Christoph,

Thank you for the entertaining story. As exciting and comical as it is, it couldn't have been written any better. Are all your guy days so exciting?

I also love how reading the comments on your hubs is always another round of laughs and good times. Especially your lists with spryte. ;-)

~AC


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

AC: Thanks for reading and the comment. Pleased that you found it entertaining, and your kind words are simply too much. Thanks!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Aww man! Why would you make me laugh in as serious an event as a fire? You're storytelling is so great.

I would've been scared to death. And those people yelling to you that your house is on fire... hello! Duh! lol. What a story. Sorry about your pear trees. Did you plant new ones?

Was your neighbour living in the house next door or was it a vacant house?

Sorry for the questions. Just curious.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi K! No, I didn't plant new trees. It took so many years for those to grow, although I had not taken care of them like I should have, up until a couple of weeks before the fire. Figures. No, the house was vacant at the time. The neighbor on the other side bought the lot and we just threw all the wood into the pit that had been the basement. Now it is an empty lot. Farther back on the lot he grows vegetable, including tomatoes, which have kept me in fresh tomatoes for awhile now, and I've given a lot away too. Gotta love home grown tomatoes!

So, did you like my accent, Kaltopsyd? Hope I didn't say anything that offended you. I wasn't thinking so much about what I was saying. Just how I said it.

Thanks for visiting and the generous comment! (But then, your comments are always kind and generous!)


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Thank God the house next door was vacant. That's a relief! I was wondering. So something 'semi-good' came of the fire after all... vacant lot, tomatoes... :)

I did like your written accent. It'll be even cooler HEARING it. You didn't say anything that offended me at all. AT ALL.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Oh...K. No, I sent you an email with a link. Maybe you didn't get it. Here is the link. It should just play. If not, scroll down and you can download it, or write me and I'll send you the mp3 file in an email. You see, I did record it so your could hear it. So...Here's me, doing a Trinidian (or Trini) accent:

http://www.zshare.net/audio/79429494b755dd49/


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

HAHAHA. Ohhhhhhhh... okay, I'll check it out. No, I didn't get the email.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

CHRIS!! That was too funny to be true! Oh my goodness, you just made my day with that. You have all the words so perfect. Now I want some bust-up-shot. Come on, man! You made me hungry. Some parts of that monologue you sounded Trini and other parts you sounded like an East Indian immigrant in Trinidad. lol. Good try, Breds. haha.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Ha, ha! An East Indian immigrant? Ha! Well...my father was an East Indian from Tobago (too-bay-go) who married a Trini guhl, so I guess I picked up some of his accent! Ha! Come on, though, not bad for off the top of my head (or tip of my tongue). I said I needed to practice and probably study it a little. I haven't done that accent stuff in a long time. You should hear my East Indian accent! Anyway, glad you liked it. Now you can see why I had thought I might have pissed you off, since as far as I knew, you heard this a couple of days ago. And terribly happy to have made your day!

Okay, I'm just going for some curry....


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Haha, an East Indian from Tobago. Okay... no the accent wasn't THAT bad. Work on it some more and send me another file.

Ooh, I want some curry!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

K. Well, we'll see. Practicing takes study and time, which is in short supply. If only it was one that was easy for me. I just meant for it to be funny and make you smile,so mission accomplished. Anyway, I'll think about it. Besides, I wonder if even you can talk in a Trini accent? Hmmm? doo doo dahlin?


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Hey mista! Of course I can talk in a Trini accent. I probably will unintentionally trigger it this weekend because my family is coming for a visit. They're from the 'country' part of Trinidad so their accent is STRONG. I always revert to my native accent when I'm around them. It's very odd.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

My apologies, Lady. Of course you can...you said as much in your hub. Yes, like it used to be for me when around my Southern relatives. I'm just sayin', if you want me to do another one, I need someone to do it so I can study it, so why don't you do one for me? I'm just not sure I can do it better than I have already done. But it made you laugh, and that makes it worthwhile!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Yikes, you want me to make a recording? I don't have the proper device to do it. I guess it's worth a try... hm... I'll consider it.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

You don't have to. Although I just used the built-in recorder on my computer, you then have to convert the audio file to an MP3 (or some other acceptable form) and you need a program to do that. But that's if you want to post it online. If you were just going to email the file to me, that would be no problem, just as you recorded it, but it's not that important, so no need to worry about it. Nice of you to consider it though.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

My built in microphone on my computer sucks! It's horrible I tell you! I need a mic that I can plug in but I don't feel like buying one.

Anyway, let me stop clogging up your Hub with all this mumbo jumbo. :) Nice chattin' with yuh!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

The pleasure is totally mine!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

I came to it late, but you sure can write well Mr Reilly. The neighbours' house looks horrific... there but for the grace of God! But how you could sit and read a book and do your other blokey things, I can't imagine. I'd be jumping around like a scalded cat (or whatever happens to a cat caught in a house fire). How many lives has that moggie used up since you've known it?

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