Here it is only March, and someone came up with a bright idea to tackle spring housecleaning. Not that we couldn’t use a little tidy-up around the clubroom. However, when Madam walked in with a new carbon monoxide alarm, I figured she must want to check the methane gas level wafting from my turnout blanket.
“So, what prompted you to hand deliver this alarm?” I queried, knowing that horse hygiene dropped to a dangerous low this time of year.
“I’ll tell you what prompted me,” said Madam, “the Saint Paul Fire Department!”
“If memory serves, the last time you mentioned the Saint Paul Fire Department, you and your friend Sandra chatted up some off duty firemen at a Dixie’s Happy Hour.”
“Yes well, those guys were good looking,” she reminded me. “And, they claimed to be excellent cooks? And all those hours spent lifting weights—why any woman upright and taking nourishment would have noticed.”
She then described how one of her carbon monoxide alarms had gone off on Sunday afternoon while she and the Baby Jack Russell napped. After opening the windows, she headed to Ace Hardware to pick up a bundle of nine-volt replacement batteries.
Monday it happened again, same alarm, though a second one in the bedroom squawked a few times as well.
“Do you know you’re supposed to call 911 when you hear squawking?” she asked. “So I called. The next thing I knew I was speaking with a fire captain who told me to grab the pets, and get out of the house post haste. He would be right over.”
“Goodness, that was a much better response than you and Sandra got from the Dixies firefighters,” I offered.
She ignored the innuendo.
“Incidentally, pets don’t appreciate getting hurried out the door when an alarm hits the high notes,” said Madam. “I captured the JR, but the cat disappeared in the basement.”
“So, what did you do?” I gasped, picturing the Fluff Muffin trapped in the clothes dryer gasping for air.
“I ran for the car and backed outside,” she replied. Then I realized I was wearing flannel pajamas, and my shoes and coat were still in the kitchen.”
Running back inside seemed risky, so Madam turned up the heat in her Subaru Outback and waited for the carbon monoxide management team to arrive. Meanwhile, the Fluff Muffin thumbed his nose at her from his seat by the living room window.
“Well, at least you could see if the cat fainted from fumes,” I added reassuringly.
Madam continued. Within minutes three good looking, presumably buff, male cooks pulled up in a large fire truck with lights flashing. This, of course, captured the neighbors’ attention and eventually drew a small crowd. The noxious fume squad filed into the house where the cat greeted them cheerfully. It took about a half hour to determine everything was clear, whereupon Madam stepped out of her car and thanked everyone for coming.
“Faulty carbon monoxide alarms,” she reported. This explained why she drove to Menards and picked up new ones, including one for our game room.
“Um… I’m awfully glad you didn’t asphyxiate the cat,” I offered, “but it does seem like a complicated way to land a date, especially decked out in those good-looking PJs.”
“You make a good point,” she replied.