Speaking of Burning Buildings

Speaking of Burning Buildings October 22, 2010

It’s Friday afternoon. I’m sitting in this place. I am not drunk. But from the edge of my now slightly shimmering consciousness being drunk is very definitely beckoning to me, using as its soft siren the second half of the Hulk-sized mug o’ delicious Karl Strauss Oktoberfest beer insolently poised on my table not a wrist flick away.

Whoa. Maybe I am drunk. That seemed like a pretty drunk sentence, didn’t it?

I liked that sentence!

And so, alas, it begins.

Boy, you swing by a place while they’re dicking with your car at the garage across the street, and the next thing you know you’re 12 oz. of beer into obsessing over how it’s hardly any wonder, given “words” like Oktoberfest, that no one knows how to spell anymore.

And then you’re thinking how awesome that is, because you personally have always considered proper spelling as something very near a downright draconian oppression.

Downright draconian oppression.

I like that, too!

You know, now I’m thinking that maybe drinking a little more beer is in order. (Young people: I’m kidding. Whenever life offers you a choice between drinking less and drinking more, always choose drinking less.)

Speaking of me in church, this Sunday morning, at 9:15, I will be speaking in the sanctuary between services at this church. For all of my fans in the Dana Point area of Southern California, you should totally be there. I’m thinking of actually gesturing during this talk. Last time I gestured during a talk I sent a thurible flying through the air. It was quite exciting. I’m proud to say that as we were fleeing the burning chapel I managed to segue my talk into a lesson about hell that I think many of those screaming and running found instructive.

Speaking of burning buildings, about two weeks ago, in real life, I stopped a (pretty little) building from burning down.

It was quite early on a Sunday morning. I was standing at this huge car wash, waiting for my car to get done. Gazing across the highway, I noticed that smoke had begun to rise from the top of a white, one-room, stucco-type little utility building there. And slowly but surely more smoke arised arosed appeared. And pretty soon there was no avoiding that from its inside the building was on fire.

So definitely interested if not outright slightly panicked I look around myself, and find that the only other person waiting for their car to get washed is a nun. A nun! Who was wearing what appear to be those entirely flammable nun robes!

Anyway—what with there being almost virtually no one else around just then—I ended up running across the street, finding the door to Casa de Flames locked, very quickly (and luckily!) locating a hose, hooking it up to a spout, kicking the spicket on, and with the hose spewing water everywhere climbing to the top of the structure. Standing on its roof, I managed to wrangle water down onto the floor of the building, which was very definitely burning. Flames were actually licking up. But in bad, bad way.

Maybe twenty minutes into my dramatic little escapade a big fire truck, siren roaring, screeched up to the building. The fireman who leaped off the engine immediately started acting like I was in the way. They were, like, “Attention, misplaced citizen! Please come down off the top of the building. We who are professionals have important fire extinguishing work to do here!”

And I’m like, “Hello? Late much? And what do you think I’m doing up here with this running hose? Cheering the fire on?”

But, whatever. And of course I got right the You-Know-What out of their way.

Back across the street, my newly cleaned car sat waiting off to the side, keys in ignition.

I was wet, not entirely unfrazzled, and fairly covered in fresh, damp streaks of charcoal. The nun was long gone.

What could I do?

I climbed into my car, sat, turned the key, and began my two-mile drive home.

Life. One minute you’re just standing around minding your own business. The next you’re seeing smoke.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Shore I puffy heart you.

  • U R making my brain hurt. I had to “dictionary” both “thurible” and “segue” because of U! (Hey, if “Google” is now a verb/noun and people “google” this, that, or the other thing instead of “do an online internet search,” I can “dictionary” instead of “look it up in a dictionary”!)

  • I take it you were being censed during your talk. Is this a liturgical innovation?

  • Anonymous

    Life is a series of shed fires. Good on anyone who sees smoke and grabs a hose.

  • Kim J.

    Love it! Great blog.

  • Karen

    I must admit, that was quite the ride… from beer, to church, to burning churches and hell, to burning buildings with flammable nuns nearby, to heroics with totally super hero announcer type fire people… and the descriptive drunk sounding word groupings. Yes, reading this was really fun. Thanks John!

    So its gonna be this Sunday? Rats! I won’t be going to S.D. until Nov.

  • Speaking of great sentences, you totally missed the opportunity to use “thurible” and “terrible” together.

  • Don Whitt

    Okay…what happened to the imperfect past tense (is that what it’s called? Intransitive verbage?) where we now use leaped instead of lept. Sleeped instead of slept. Lighted instead of lit. Shocked instead of electrocuted.

    What has happened?? Oooo….it makes me so maddened!!!

  • Don Whitt

    Or, “I thuribly blew it”.

  • Karen

    Together, they threw the terrible thurible that Thursday, tempering them to think tranquil thoughts.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Yes I know Don but it doesn’t bother me a whit 🙂 It was a great story. I think the best part was the part about the nun, ha-ha. A fun read.