Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's Dangerous

I came out of my study and saw four candles burning in the kitchen.

"Dad, Mom's burning candles AGAIN," Eli 5.5 said.

"Hmm," I said.

"Don't start, candle hater," Gloria said.

"Fire forges steel," I said. "It's not supposed to be vanilla-scented. It's dangerous."

"Well, I'm standing right here," she said.

"That you are," I said. "Oh, and look what else is standing here, less than six inches away from a burning candle--a full roll of paper towels."

"Oh no," she said.

"Less than six inches away and the flame is at least an inch higher than the container. Let me just take those paper towels out to the garage and soak them in lighter fluid for you," I said.

"Good grief, I'm three feet away," she said.

"Congratulations, then," I said. "You'll be the first one to catch on fire. For the casket viewing, I'll get you a shirt that says I Was Burned Alive And All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt."

"Serve barbecue," she said.

"Mom, you're MRS. FIRE HAZARD!" Eli said, laughing.

"And before the house actually catches fire, there's the smell," I said.

"Of course candles smell," she said. "They smell nice."

"But you're burning four different candles, and they all have different scents," I said. "And do you know what you get with all those different candles burning at once?"

"What do you get, Dad?" Eli asked.

"Stinkitude," I said. "Stinkonics. The house is stinkified."

Eli fell down on the carpet. For a five-year old, anything involving the word "stink" is comedy gold.

"Daddy, I laughed out of my bones!" he said. "Mom! Mom! The house is STINKIFIED!"

"This is just going to get worse as he gets older, isn't it?" Gloria asked.

"Much," I said.

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