A bunch of us had gathered at Sandy’s house. She was a cook, aspiring to be a professional. When she invited us for a meal, it was good. Always a good feeding and delicious. We were her test subjects, never knowing what great idea she’d come up with. Whatever, we were happy to eat it.

On this day, Sandy was dressed — as always — in a loose Indian blouse and long skirt. The blouse had angel-wing sleeves. Very pretty, if slightly inappropriate for working in the kitchen. All of us had been smoking a little hashish. Hashish was ubiquitous, available everywhere. The appetizer for dinner to come.


“Hey,” I said. “Sandy! You are on fire.” Sure enough, the wings of her blouse had passed smoldering — I’d missed that — and were in flames.

“Oh,” said Sandy, flustered.

All the friends stood there, staring at the pretty fire. Dummies, I thought. “Hey,” I yelled, “Don’t just stand there. DO something.”

Then, I put out the fire. Cotton doesn’t flame up quickly and if one is attentive, it’s easy to douse. Sandy thanked me profusely for a perfectly normal thing I’d have done for anyone. What was puzzling was how come the rest of the gang had stood there with their mouths open, apparently at a loss to know what to do. “Not good in a crisis,” I surmised.

“No one else tried to put out the fire,” Sandy pointed out.

“Not a big deal,” I said. And it wasn’t. I don’t know why I was the only one who realized that “Sandy is on fire” should be followed by putting out the fire.

Sandy stopped wearing loose clothing in the kitchen and stopped inviting those particular friends for dinner. Shortly thereafter, following a misunderstanding with the local constabulary about growing certain plants on her balcony, she moved to San Francisco and opened a chain of take-out restaurants.

I visited her there. She’s doing fine and no longer feels obliged to grow her own on the balcony. In any case, it’s legal.

Author’s Note: Today’s Daily Prompt: Daring Do, is another rerun. My original is still posted. This version has been lightly edited. I also changed the picture. I do have to thank WordPress for this unexpected opportunity to get another run out of an archived post.

Categories: Anecdote, Daily Prompt, Food, Humor

Tags: , , , , , ,

37 replies

  1. The post itself was funny enough, but Garry and Marilyn – your last two comments are absolutely hilarious!


  2. I think the hashish appetizer might have had something to do with the lack of action on the parts of the other dinner guests. Fortunately you were there to save the day.


    • I had the same appetizer. I think response to emergencies is hard-wired. Some people spring into action — pretty much reflexively — while others freeze, mentally and physically. I’m generally pretty cool-headed in a crisis, but I know a lot of people who become pillars of salt, apparently paralyzed. I don’t think anyone was all that stoned, but I do think they really were not “wired for action.”


  3. This is hilarious — it should be a vignette in a Woody Allen film. Or your film.


  4. Were her restaurants a success?


  5. Might smoking a little too much hashish have something to do with the lack of speed on dousing the flames? Anyone would do it, but you’re the only one who did…


    • I think they were all a bit lame in the “what to do in an emergency” department. Fire is usually a very energizing thing, you know? Flames? Smoke? I think most normal people (stoned or otherwise) would automatically PUT OUT THE FIRE. They were just a bunch of dunderheads.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Or in WordPress. In a year it would have made a great prompt “Tell us about then time when your friend caught on fire – with photos if possible”. If they keep repeating this prompts I will really have to start doing things to have something to write about.


    • They have my original response still posted, so I didn’t really have to do anything, but just to be annoying, I posted it again, slightly changed, so now there are two posts by me and both are the same story. If they run it a third time, well, I’ll just have to run it again.

      If ONLY I had had a camera with me. I could have done pictures of me and my friend while she burned. Sell the whole thing to the local news. Make a few bucks!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Can you imagine the incident today with everyone snapping cell phone pixs and selfies w/ Sandy BEFORE aiding her?

    Liked by 3 people

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