Grease Fire

The grease fire was my fault-- I am used to cooking on an electric stove, where it takes a minute or two for an electric burner to heat up, while a gas burner is fully "on" right away. I had put a small amount of oil into a frying pan and then rinsed off 2 pieces of chicken from the fridge, and the oil got hot fast--not smoking hot, but hot enough to spatter when I put in the wet chicken, make oily steam, which in turn caught on fire from the burner flame.

Normally I would have just left it to burn out on the stove after turning off the burner, but in a masterpiece of design there is a plastic microwave oven 13 inches above the burner; the fire extinguisher is attached to the back of the cooktop, the lid for the pan was nowhere to be seen; and in the words of Sublime, it was "flaming up good." Since I was wearing long heavy cotton sleeves I just picked up the pan by the handle and stood in the middle of the tile floor, waiting for the temperature to drop enough for the flames to go out(remember there were two big cold pieces of chicken in there); and while I was doing this, the fire alarm went off, and a voice, the same smug female voice that tells you to turn left into a concrete road divider when you use Magellan, said "Fire...Emergency...Fire...Emergency," And instead of being grateful for this public service announcement, I said: "I KNOW BITCH, SHUT UP!!".

Two seconds later the fire was out, though I now have a soot stain on my kitchen ceiling to match the bloodstain on the living room ceiling. I took the pan and the chicken outside and dumped the chicken on the barbeque, and asked J, who was minding his own business working in the shed, if he would mind cooking the chicken while I "cleaned up." He asked no questions.

The illo is from Jana Oliver's Madman's Dance, and if I was doing it again I think I would change his pose--I had a photo for reference and I should have changed the left hand on the full cover.