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How do you like your steak? With the fire brigade or without?

If it wasn’t for the fact the BBQ gas bottle turned out to be empty, this episode would never have happened.  
In the past we have teased the Provider about his historically bad cooking skills (in all truth, this has been a little unfair) but after last night, let me tell you, he will have a hard time EVER stopping us now. It is destined to follow him for the rest of his days, poor bugger.
It was our usual Wednesday night. The boys and I had just returned from a solid rugby training session. They were tired and starving so I’d settled them down to a meal of store-bought BBQ chicken (the Ninja Boy) and a huge slab of bacon and egg pie I’d made earlier (Son#2). The Provider had spied a few thick steaks in the back fridge and thought, “You little beauty!” and figured he’d BBQ those suckers for himself and give what he didn’t want to the dog. Good plan. Or so I thought.
It all started to go pear-shaped when he discovered we’d run out of gas for the BBQ. “I’ll just cook them in the frypan inside then,” he says. No worries, I thought distractedly. I was halfway through my own piece of bacon and egg pie while sitting at the counter reading a magazine, so I wasn’t really paying much attention to what he was doing. When will I learn?
A few minutes later, I was aware of hearing the sizzle of steak meeting hot pan. Things escalated when he made a call on his mobile while the meat was cooking, a rookie mistake if ever there was one. I’ve always said men (in my house, at least) are hopeless multi-taskers.  Shit ALWAYS happens when you’re not paying attention.
Our extractor fan over the oven is about as much use as tits on a bull and those steaks were smoking like lapsed nicotine addicts… said smoke billowing up over our heads, hugging the length of the kitchen ceiling and being sucked up the stairs. Cue the smoke alarm up there to lose its shit and start wailing. A few minutes later as the smoke increased, the main, hardwired, back-to-base house alarm went off. 
That’s when pandemonium ensued. Picture this, if you will: 
Smoke everywhere
Unbearably LOUD mofo siren SCREAMING
Both the Provider and I frantically fanning the smoke alarm sensors to shut them up
Blue light of house alarm flashing, siren WAILING
Phones ringing (the call from the alarm monitoring company)
Dog howling and barking, not happy with the WAILING
Kids telling us to turn the alarms off
My brain finally engaged when I punched in the right code on the keypad to silence the screeching mother of a banshee house alarm. I then rang the security company to tell them that no, it was NOT a fire, just my husband failing spectacularly at multi-tasking. 
Was both embarrassed and dismayed to hear that despite this, the fire brigade had already been despatched and “once we call them, they have to attend.” OH CRAP.
And all because of some charred pieces of meat. 
It’s all happening here…

A very short time later, the fire brigade showed up. With not one but THREE firemen. I immediately told the Provider that HE was in charge of explaining why they were here.

The Provider was most apologetic, sharing the story of his little faux pas in the kitchen. The Firemen Three were very understanding and revealed this wasn’t the first time they’d been called out for a burnt steak. It happens a lot more than you think, apparently.

In a way though, their prompt attendance was very reassuring. Once our call came in to the station, within 60 seconds those boys were up, dressed in all their gear and on the truck heading out. You couldn’t help but be impressed. I know *I* was. And from the comments on Facebook and Instagram I got after posting this picture, there were more than a few gals who were too!

I may burn steak MYSELF if this is what shows up…

In the heat of the moment (pardon the pun) I totally forgot to ask the boys their names but they delivered everything you could ask for in a fireman… a speedy arrival, extremely professional with excellent senses of humour to boot. Many thanks, fellas and my sincere apologies for the false alarm. I hope the rest of your night was uneventful. There will be no more steak here until I fill the BBQ gas bottle, I promise!

On a serious note, later we all sat down and talked about what our family would do in the event of an actual emergency. Having that plan in place before something happens is important, a fact only too clearly demonstrated to us earlier. When all you can hear is the wail of a siren, staying calm and thinking straight can be incredibly hard to do.

Have you ever had to call the fire brigade? Does YOUR family have an emergency plan in the event of a fire? Who cooks the steak at your place?

4 responses to “How do you like your steak? With the fire brigade or without?”

  1. Rosie Avatar

    Thanks for the Saturday chuckles, dearest lady. I can well imagine the ridiculousness that ensued, but am glad the NSWFB are as good as the MFB.

    I hope the provider won't use this as an excuse to get out of cooking in the future, though!

    Wonderful story, thanks hon

  2. What Sarah Did Next Avatar

    It WAS funny, later on. At the time, I was more mortified by the fact we had the fire brigade in attendance! LOL. The Provider won't be allowed to cook UNLESS it's on the BBQ outside!

  3. Janine Fitzpatrick Avatar

    This is hilarious. Even my disastrous cooking – and trust me there have been many smoke-filled moments – has never resulted in the actual ARRIVAL of the fire brigade. Hats off to the Provider.

  4. What Sarah Did Next Avatar

    It's a story that will live on LONG into the future, Janine! 🙂

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About Me

Hi, I’m Sarah!

Former wild-child of the 80’s, classic rock fan and loyal friend to a particularly awesome group of people. Forever planning to write more. Fervently wishes she lived at the beach. Loves the mighty All Blacks. Rather partial to a cheeky glass of red.

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