#True Story – I stomped the carpet to put out the flames

When it comes to working in the kitchen I just don’t trust myself and I’d rather ‘play it safe’ due to an event that happened years ago. You’ve heard the saying  ‘a watched pot never boils’ well I say ‘the devil is in the detail’. I’d rather watch and wait.

Years ago I  hadn’t kept an eye out and a pot full of boiling hot oil caught on fire. When I noticed I panicked. It was ‘a deer in the headlights’ moment. When I did ‘spring into action’ I made bad choices and I watched as the house started to catch on fire. My mind was racing. I was walking around not knowing what to do with the pot. Go outside, no the dogs will jump up. Cover it with a towel, oh no the towel is on fire now too. By now my arms were getting painful from the burns I was receiving. I dropped the pot. It was spinning like when you spin a wheel to see where it will land. It was all happening in slow motion. It landed and ‘ground to a halt’. I realised the pot was no longer on fire.

So there I was, ‘running around like a chook with it’s head chopped off’ putting out flames that had started to lick up the walls from where I had passed. I stomped the carpet for flames that had taken a hold there. I survived!

It took a few months for those burns to heal. The doctor would cover it daily with special cream and then bandage it up. Both forearms were badly burnt. I couldn’t move my fingers because the scabs that formed were so big. It looked like armour from my elbows down. These days all I have are a series of small white scars on my forearms to remind me of that night. Little oil splatters. Nothing compares to what it could have been, but it didn’t need to be.

Guess that’s the problem when you panic. If I’d been thinking logically I would have ‘left it well alone’ and logically put a lid on it. But it was one bad choice after another. So these days I stay put in the kitchen and think of how it was such a close call. I’d rather watch the pot now.

Idiom or phrase meaning

  • Many shapes and forms – all different
  • Play it safe – act with caution
  • A watched pot never boils – time passes slowly when you wait for something to happen
  • The devil is in the detail – simple at first look, to do something thoroughly
  • A deer in the headlights – paralyzing surprise
  • Spring into action – do something quickly
  • Ground to a halt – stopped
  • Running around like a chook with it’s head chopped off – frantic or out of control
  • Leave well alone – leave it alone because you will make it worse by doing anything

ESL – Advanced

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