Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fire Fear Month

There are a lot of great things about October.

Fall, pretty leaves, Halloween, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, etc.

But there is one thing about October that I HATE.

Fire Safety Month.

First - I'm terrified of fire. I'm pretty sure it's because of a reoccurring nightmare I used to have as a little kid that included flying around with Peter Pan and him leaving me on a pile of wood in my backyard (that was inhabited by evil guys) that was going to be turned into a bonfire.

For some reason I'm terrified of fire... but still love Peter Pan.

Maybe it's the whole physiology of "he's mean to you because he likes you?"


Fire and I are not friends. I feel like one of the worst ways to die would be by being burnt alive. ::shudder::

Then... in elementary school they would have fire fighters come in and talk to us about fire safety. I remember watching a video once that told us that a fire can spread through a whole room in under two minutes and if there was a fire we had to get out ASAP.

As a little kid with brittle bones and spent most of her childhood in casts and lived on the second floor of a funeral home... this scared me to death. There was no hope for me in my mind if my house were to ever catch fire.

Hi kids! Today I'm going to tell you how you're going to die!

Above all... fire drills are THE WORST.

You need to understand... I'm a really jumpy person. I hate horror movies because when things go BOOM or jump out at you - I jump a foot out of my seat. Don't even ask me about the Good Friday service at my church or when I had to walk home in the dark after seeing Disturbia. The thing is... I anticipate it. I anticipate the bumps in the night and the loud noises. So when they would tell us that we were going to have a fire drill at school... I was be anticipating it ALL DAY and freaking myself out. So by the time the fire drill actually went off...

Yeah.... I didn't like fire drills.

They should have just learned to NOT tell me when they were going to happen so I wouldn't be freaking out all day in class.

Then, in high school they had a special way for me to do fire drills - because 1/2 the time I was in a wheelchair and during fire alarms the elevator wouldn't be working.

They would strap me to this board thing like a mummy and it would roll down the stairs.

The first time they tried it on me my freshman year the rolling mummy carrier thing stopped right in one of the main doorways. Just my luck one of the cutest upperclassmen guys was right outside the door and witnessed my humiliation.

Yup - this is SUPER attractive when you're 14...
After that day I decided to just walk down the stairs like everyone else during fire drills.

It got worse in college. You see, when you live on campus they do a fire drill in October. First, this is silly because every few weeks you have a "fire drill" anyways since someone burns the popcorn in the microwave. But in college - they don't tell you what day the fire drill is going to happen, you just know it's going to be sometime that month. Also - they don't do the fire drills in the middle of the day. Oh no. It would be at like 4am when everyone is sound asleep in their beds.

Fire drill - 4am - October - in Chicago?


I never slept in October. Every night I would hang my hoodie on the bed post, wore socks to bed, and put my wheelchair right next to me ready to go. Then I would lie awake in my dorm room anticipating the dreaded fire drill.

I know you all are so impressed with my "paint" skills. ;)
My sophomore year was the worst. It was the one year in college I was able to be on the handicap accessible floor at my school. It one on the first floor, had a ramp, and an automatic door where I could just press the button to open the door. It was a good thing too because I ended up with a broken leg before the first semester even started.

Well... the fire drill came. But the handicap door WASN'T WORKING. That was the door I had to use to get to the ramp.

Thankfully all of us on that floor were really close. So two of my friends (one of them was pregnant) carried my wheelchair down the stairs at the other door to get me out.

OK... there were only like 5 tiny steps and the pregnant girl was only in her first trimester so she wasn't showing... I exaggerated in the picture for dramatic effect.

But seriously. Not handled well suburban university in Chicago - not handled well.

You can imagine my relief when a couple of weeks ago at work they decided to not do a fire drill during staff meeting.

Do you all have any irrational hatred of something or a ridiculous fear of something?


  1. First of all, your Paint skills are totally epic. Secondly, this gave me a flashback to when I was doing Study Abroad in the UK and one of the guys burnt a pie at 4.30am and we had to stand outside in the sleet for an hour... Thirdly, I'm terrified of people dressed up as cartoon characters. Like the characters at Disneyland. We went there when I was seven and I was *JUST* old enough to realise that Mickey had a cartoon body and human legs and that there was a person in there. HORROR...

  2. I'm sorry that I was the reason you had a broken leg!

  3. Melbourne- Mickey at Disney Land is frightening... don't blame you there!

    Rachel- It wasn't your fault! It was mine. I mean... my legs were shaking after an hour of moving in freshman into their dorms. You would think that I would have slowed down a bit that day.


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