Flaming Hot Dogs

You’ve probably heard that hot dogs aren’t good for you, and I’m going to tell you a story about how hot dogs nearly destroyed me.

One summer day, when my kids were about seven and 5-years-old, we went to Costco, and when we arrived home, the kids played upstairs. I unpacked our groceries, cleaned the kitchen, and started to prepare our dinner. It was a hot day, and I thought we’d have a simple indoor picnic, including red grapes, potato salad, and hot dogs. Everything was going just fine…until I got distracted.

The first distraction was that the Schwan’s delivery man came to my door. Schwan’s Home Delivery is a direct-to-consumer frozen food delivery company that sells ice cream, pizza, meats and seafood, breakfast items, and desserts if you’re not familiar. He rang my doorbell, and I answered. Glitter, our teacup Pomeranian, went nuts when he rang the bell, so I scooped her up when I opened the door. I politely listened to his special deals, but I honestly didn’t have the freezer space to accommodate more frozen foods because I’d just come from Costco.

As we stood in the driveway talking, a builder with homes just down the hill from us pulled in. He had questions about some work we were having done to our landscaping. He and I walked across the grass, looked over the cliff towards the new homes he was building, and got lost in conversation. I’d only been outside a little while.

At just about that time, my youngest daughter came running out of the house yelling about hot dogs.

“What are you yelling about?” I asked. I shushed her and sent her away. I had completely forgotten that I’d put the pan of hot dogs on the stove and turned it on.

The next thing I know, my oldest daughter brings me the cordless phone from inside. I put the phone to my ear, and it was my husband on the other end.

“I just got a call from ADT, our alarm company,” he said. “They said they got a fire alarm code from our house. Is everything OK?”

I had been standing in the yard barefoot, and the sun was shining. What on earth could be wrong? “Go inside and check it out,” he said.

When I went inside, black smoke billowed from the kitchen and filled the entire house.

“Oh no! I left the pan on the stove, and our house is filled with smoke!” I said. My kids were in a panic, and Glitter was running amok, yapping like little dogs do.

That’s when I heard the sirens.

ADT had called the Bellevue Fire Department, and they came, sirens blaring, to my house.

“I’m coming home,” my husband said.

Three firefighters came to my open front door in full uniform. I was mortified. What was happening?

“It’s OK. There’s no fire. I just got distracted,” I explained. I didn’t want to let them in.

But they had to come in to investigate. They tromped down my hallway in their big black boots and into my living room. They set up a giant fan to blow the smoke out of our home.

Glitter continued to bark and spin around, causing a scene.

“What is that, a squirrel?” one of the firefighters asked, regarding our dog with a stink eye.

When I walked the firefighters out, my next-door neighbor, Bill, was standing next to the fence that divided our properties. He asked if everything was OK.

“She set our hot dogs on fire!” my oldest chimed in, completely ratting me out.

And while I stood outside, talking with my neighbor, my kids’ Taekwondo teacher drove by slowly on his way home from work, taking in the scene.

By the next day, the news had spread that I had tried to set my house on fire with hot dogs! I sincerely hoped this event wouldn’t make the police blotter in Newcastle News.

I’ve never left a pan unattended on the stove from that day on.

I’ve always known that hot dogs weren’t health food. I’ve since learned they can also be deadly!

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