Apropos of nothing
October 3, 2008
Yesterday evening my father and I intended to cook a pizza, and turned on the oven, not knowing that a potholder had somehow inadvertently been left inside it or had fallen into it by mistake. Some time later, an acrid, probably poisonous, gas filled the kitchen and began seeping into the rest of the house. When my father became aware of this, he astutely took the smouldering potholder out of the oven and threw it out the back door, onto the concrete steps. We opened windows, turned on electric fans, and (upon my suggestion) went out and ate a pizza at a restaurant. When we returned, the house still reeked, but parts of it were tolerable, and my father and I sat down in front of a television set and watched the vice-presidential debate between Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
This morning, although the fans were going all night, the smell is still pretty severe — a lung-burning smell that, I find, also produces symptoms of nausea. I haven’t gone outside yet to look at the charred potholder; I wonder what on earth it was made of.