Monday, March 21, 2005

Test your fireplace BEFORE you have a party, not during. Trust me on this one.

We had some friends who remodeled their family room. They put in a beautiful fireplace. They replaced their furniture and carpet with white furniture and white carpet. They had children. They were asking for it, weren't they. . . .

The children were no longer allowed to play in the family room. The family room had become a parlor, for adults only. These parents became militant about no mess in the family room. No toys were allowed in there. No food. No cat. No dog. Nothing that might possibly cause any kind of mess on that white furniture or that white carpet, was allowed within shoutin' distance of this pristine room.

They were proud of this room. They considered it to be the showplace of the house.

They had a party to show off the new room. The fancy white room was full of adults. No children were allowed to enter the room. Children are messy.

Since they had remodeled during the summer, the new fireplace had not yet been used. It had been tested, to make sure it would draw, but there had been no fire in it for several months.

The husband knelt before his fireplace and struck a match. The paper caught, and then the kindling, and in a few minutes there was a beautiful fire roaring away in the beautiful new fireplace.

A few minutes later all hell broke loose.

Since the fireplace had not been used for so many months, rats had apparently nested in the chimney. The smoke blinded them, and they fell from all sides of the chimney's interior, right down into the flames. As the adults stood staring in horror, flaming rats poured from the fireplace and ran all over the white furniture and white carpets, each one eventually collapsing and dying. Black burned trails and black burned spots and black burned rat corpses were all over the white carpet and the white furniture. People were screaming and running out of the house, just like the rats were flaming and running from the chimney.

They had to re-do the room. This time they chose sensible dark patterned carpet, and durable dark furniture, and allowed the children back into the room.

That way, if the rats ever came back, the burned places wouldn't show as much. They would just blend in with the pattern, like the red creme soda stains and pizza sauce stains and popcorn butter stains and Koolaid stains did. You know, the stains everybody's family room should have, if it's a good family room that people of all ages USE, as a family room is meant to be used.

Besides, if you'd ever met their kids, you'd know that even a flaming rat would move heaven and earth to find another escape route, rather than run into any room that contained those two.

I think of this memory every time I see an all-white room, and I hope with all that's within me that such people have no children to exclude from it.

There will be plenty of time for "pristine white" after your kids have moved out. If "pristine white" is your idea of a good time.

Personally, I've always thought an all-white room looked like the waiting room at the nervous hospital.

The end.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:45 PM | |


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