Which is Worse?

I left work early Friday afternoon and will be away all of the next week.  While I was driving home, my boss called to ask me some questions.  Later that evening, I saw I had text messages from him.  That’s strange, I thought. He’s not usually so intrusive when I’m away from work.

Then I saw the message.  It said:

You missed the excitement…

That sounded rather ominous so I asked him what he meant.

There was an electrical fire…

I responded with a shocked one pseudo-word request for more information: Whah?!

He responded with the name of my computer.  I responded as any person accustomed to teasing in the workplace would:

You are lying right now.

He then explained:

No I’m dead serious.  Power supply was smoking very badly… No flames out of the box but it was close. Fd was called.  We salvaged your hd and will work on a replacement machine.

I still didn’t believe him, but he insisted it was true.  Several thoughts ran through my mind.  First was a clear memory of me standing in the doorway of my cubicle looking at my workspace as I prepared to leave, thinking, Oh, yeah.  I planned to clean up before I left.  This place looks trashed.  Oh, well.  And then walking out.  That image was now replaced with a couple of firefighters and several of my coworkers crammed into the space, seeing (and possibly commenting on?) all the mess.  And all the people who will likely stop by as news gets around – just to see if there’s anything to see.

My next thought was that I had missed out on a rare moment of excitement and by the time I return, everyone will have moved on.

The next was to wonder what my reaction would have been had I been sitting at said computer when the smoke started billowing out.  The person who reported it sits a couple of cubicles away but was likely visiting with the person across from my space.  What would have happened if he hadn’t been standing there?  Would all of those papers on my desk have helped fuel a conflagration?  My whole cubicle before it got under control?  Where are the fire extinguishers anyway?

The final thought was that it sure was convenient to happen to a person that wasn’t actually going to be there for an entire week.  Gives them time to get a new machine.  I bet the system administrator is going to be so thrilled when he returns from vacation Monday.

And, you know, it really didn’t affect my day any.  Could, indeed, have no real impact on me at all.  Unlike the poor schmuck my boss told me about next:

That was actually the second event today… earlier I walked into the bathroom and there were a pair of glasses in the first stall toilet… yep I’d leave them too if that happened to me…


Living Arrangements

During a recent drive home, Hal and I discussed our living arrangements. We have some of our most interesting conversations while driving home from preschool, just the two of us.

“Mommy, when is our house going to get a fire?”

“Oh, I hope it never gets a fire! Why?”

“Because then the firemans would come and put it out.”

“But then our house would be all burned up. We wouldn’t want that.”

“Well, we could move into a different house that no one else is living in.”

“I think I’d rather stay in the house we are in. Besides, we wouldn’t want to lose all our stuff that’s in the house.”

“Well, we could take it with us.”

“Not if it got burned up in the fire. Don’t you want to keep Mr. Fuzzy and your sleep bee and all those cool clothes from cousin Nicholas?”

“Well, we could just take that stuff.”

“Not if it burned up. When would we take it? Before the fire came?”

“Yes. We could just take it all with us. Before.”

“But how do we know the fire is coming?”

He didn’t have a good answer for that so we drove in silence for all of about two blocks.

“I want to live in a tree house. With you and Daddy and Bubba and Sissy.”

“That would have to be a pretty big tree house. What about Rose?”

“She can live there too.”

“But she’s a dog. She can’t climb ladders.”

“Well, you can pick her up and then Daddy can pick you up and then you guys can climb the ladder. What do you think of that?”

“That sounds complicated.”

“What if someone tried to knock our tree house down? That would make me very angry. I would growl at them. Like this. {growl}.”

“Do you think that would work? Growling like that?”

“Yes. I don’t want anyone to hurt my tree house. I’d climb down and punch them in the face. If they tried to knock down my tree house.”


“I want to invite all the people in the world to come to our tree house.”

“That would have to be a really big tree house to hold that many people.”

“I know, but we can make lots of beds for them.”


“I want one of those special beds. The kind with a bed on the bottom and a bed on the top. I love those kinds of beds. Bubba could sleep on the bottom and I could sleep on the top. I wouldn’t be able to touch anything. Not the door or climb down or anything. Bubba would have to help me get down. We’d use a workerman’s ladder.”

Interestingly enough, a week or so later, I picked him up and said we had a surprise for him. We were going to go look at something.

“Is it a bunk bed?!”

I just love it when they take all the steam out of your exciting announcement…