Christopher tm Herdt (cherdt) wrote,
Christopher tm Herdt

Outside the Box

When I got home last night, I told mrrranda to put a shirt on so we could go out and watch the hundreds of fireflies flickering in the park.

They were magical, as always. There is magic in the world, but it is in things like a dreamy spring day filled with the soft snow of cottonwood seeds, or a park at dusk filled with mysterious and incomprehensible glowing messages from insects.

The mosquitoes were out too, of course. I told Mrrranda that it is nice that the glowing bugs do not bite and that the biting bugs do not glow, or else the one would be hard to appreciate, and the other hard to smack into oblivion.

Then something smelled like burning plastic.

Wisps of smoke were coming from the metal trash barrel in Longshore Park. We ran back to the apartment, past the goofy-looking man talking to himself with a wire coming out of his ear, got a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher, and ran back. We poured the water over the barrel, but it was still smoking. I ran down to the river and got another bucketful of water and poured that on too, and then another. But it still smoldered.

"Maybe we should call the fire department and ask what to do," I said. We ran back to the apartment, again past the goofy man who was talking to himself with the wire in his ear, and called the fire department's non-emergency number. Mrrranda told them where the fire was, and we went back outside to wait for them. I brought another bucket of water up from the river, but it still smoldered.

A huge fire truck arrived, and we waved at it. They walked up the hill and had a brilliant idea: push the trash can over and find the source of the fire. It turns out someone had emptied their still-burning charcoal into the trash can. They used our bucket to get more water from the river to pour on the charcoal, and then picked up the trash and put it back in the can.

We felt a little sheepish. We could have done that. We didn't need a bring out a huge truck and a half-dozen firefighters for that.

I keep wondering what the goofy man who was talking to himself in the lawn chair must have thought when he saw us running back and forth with a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher.
Tags: fire, fireflies, lightning bugs

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