15 de abril de 2011

Billy and the Old Toaster

It was a big day for Billy as he waved goodbye to his parents. They were off to a fancy dinner and a show, and it was with great whining that Billy had convinced them that he was old enough to look after himself for a few hours. He smiled as he waited for the back of the car to turn the corner and vanish for the evening.

"Finally!" he thought.

He slipped into his pajamas and flipped through the channels until he found something sufficiently action- packed on TV that his parents would never let him watch. This was going to be an epic night. And yet, something felt like it was missing, and with a rumbling from his stomach he knew it was missing from his stomach. Tonight was a night for doing everything his parents never let him do, so he skipped off into the kitchen to make on of his "disgusting" and "totally nutritious-less" toasted peanut butter and bacon sandwiches.

He gathered all his ingredients and gently rubbed the cool metal side of the ages-old toaster with affection. It had been on the kitchen counter for longer than Billy could remember. It wasn't much to look at: it was covered in old grease and hardened-on...well, it was impossible to tell what it was anymore. The knobs didn't fit on quite right and the toaster hummed just a little too loudly for comfort, but it had always been there for Billy and never let him down. He slid his concoction onto the glowing racks and went back to his movie without giving another thought to his sandwich.

The movie continued on with it edge-of-your-seat thrills, and Billy sat mesmerized as the hero outran a fiery explosion. The special effects were incredible and Billy felt like he was right there in the film. In fact, he could even smell the hot smoke of the fire.

"Wait," Billy realized, "you can't smell things on TV!" He looked around and noticed thick black smoke billowing out of the kitchen. "My sandwich! No no no!"

He ran in and saw the flickering tongues of fire peeking out of the old toaster. Panic set in as Billy ran back and forth trying to decide what to do. He tried yelling at the fire, he tried insulting the fire, and he tried blowing it out like a giant birthday candle but nothing worked. The smoke was beginning to sting his eyes and his heart raced. He searched through his memories frantically and he flashed back to the day Fireman Dan spoke to his class about fire safety. Billy went through the steps one-by-one. He dropped down to his hands and knees where the air was still clear and quickly crawled out of the kitchen, down the hall out outside. He ran next door, knocked on their door and told them precisely what happened. They called 911 and before Billy knew it the Fire Department was on the scene. So, too, were his parents, who rushed home as soon as Billy called them. While they were upset that Billy had been so irresponsible as to leave the toaster unattended and let his dinner burn (he never did tell them what it was he had cooked), they were overwhelmed with relief that Billy was safe and thankful that he knew what to do in the event of a fire. Things can always be replaced, his parents told him, but you're the only you in the world.

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