I had what we will refer to as an 'incident' this weekend. But, before I delve into the details, allow me to note that I can laugh at this now, which must be a good sign.
So, on Saturday we were out getting breakfast when Darrick decides he wants to take my car to get a tune-up. Or, rather, half a tune up. You see, he had changed 3 of my 6 spark plugs, but couldn't find the others. You read that right: couldn't FIND the others. Which is part of the reason I am the wife of a poor teacher and not a rich head mechanic for BMW. So after running our morning errands, which included a visit to an auto parts shop for a new headlight and new windshield wipers, he jumped back in the car and announced that the guy working the register recommended a place down the street.
Mind you, we were in downtown Chandler...south of the wine bars and boutiques lining Boston Street....down toward the carnicerias and lines of day laborers trying to flag people down outside of Circle K. I know where this is going, but I've come to accept this about Darrick: he's cheap as hell, so if there's a way we can find a chop shop that'll change out the spark plugs for $100 and a 12 pack of Dos Equis, he's all over it. And...when we pulled up to a garage in someone's backyard, hidden behind a biker bar...I knew that 12 pack purchase was in my near future.
Whatever. I can deal. The dealership wanted $450 to change the plugs, and this guy says $100 in cash will get the job done. After a swap of cars, we end up leaving Stan Stan the Mini Van in this man's (please god let them be) capable hands, with orders to return at 3 pm.
Fast forward to 3 pm. We return to get Stan, and as we're leaving Darrick tells me he's going to run over to see is brother. So I hop in my car and he in his, and we head to our separate destinations. I pull into the garage, open my car door and smell...what IS that smell?!?! I note that the clothes dryer is on, and panic for a moment, since I recognize the smell is something burning. I fling open the dryer door in a heart-stopping panic, and....nothing. Huh. Odd. I expected smoke, thinking somehow a wayward baby toy had gotten into the dryer and was melting. I lean closer and sniff to be sure, but the smell is getting weaker and not stronger. I turn around, confused, and am about to shrug it off when I see smoke...billowing out from under my hood, while my car is off and parked in the garage and Luca is in the backseat.
Instinct basically took over. My first thought was, "Get Luca OUT of the car!" I unhooked her from her seatbelt and grabbed her out of the carseat. Once I have her in my arms, I run into the house and throw down my keys. I am afraid to open the hood because the flames might come get me, and if my car ignites my house is burning down. I curse myself for not having a fire extinguisher in the garage. I think of starting the car and backing it out...but...what if it's an electrical thing and starting the car back up ignites it?
The garage is filling with a HORRIBLE smelling smoke, and I am freaking out for real now. It's just Luca at home with me, and I can't leave her alone or risk her safety. I open the door leading from the garage to the backyard and step out there to escape the smoke. I dial my brother in law who Darrick is going to visit, to no avail. I try their other brother with the same results. I try my mom...nothing. I weigh feeling like an idiot against my house maybe burning down and decide to be extra safe, so I call 9-1-1.
The fire station is no more than 1.5 miles from my house, so I can hear the truck probably before it pulls out of the station. I walk out front, going through the side gate instead of back into the garage, and I wait on the sidewalk.
Up pulls the fire truck. Out jump 2 men in full gear....looking like the poster boys for How To Be A Dead Sexy Fireman. Two more men in blue shirts and the fireman pants follow. HOT HOT HOT. Combined, they were the four hottest men I have ever seen together.
The two in full gear rushed into the garage where they found....some oil...spilled on a gasket or some such bullshit...and nothing else. No fire. No flames. Barely any smoke left. One of the men in blue came to talk to me and get my info for their report. Embarrased, I explained that I'd panicked since I was home alone with Luca, and he ever so kindly told me it was ok, that's what they were there for and better safe than sorry. Mr Fire Gear centerfold 2008 walks out of the garage and makes a comment to Luca about her cuteness. Sexy McAllister follows him out. I avert my eyes so they won't see how stupid I feel. Mr. Blue once again assures me it's a good thing I called and tells me to never feel bad, especially when I'm home alone with a baby. I thank him and the other profusely, and watch them pull away.
Calm and slightly humiliated, I go inside to set my things down. On my way in I pass a mirror. There I stand in black yoga pants smeared with butter and pancake crumbs from Luca's breakfast and a shirt covered in dog hair. I have not showered yet. My hair is a nest of sweaty curls. The little bit of makeup I was wearing this morning is now a pool of black smeared below both eyes and some blotchy cheeks. And, oh, did I mention I had been doing work in the backyard all morning? I looked like a wild boar had played freeze tag with me and most definitely won.