Monday, December 19, 2011

Event Review - Lighting the House on Fire

In my never-ending quest to bring you reports of interesting things you could do with your weekends, I have found the most fascinating event - burning down your house. Unfortunately, I have to give this a negative review, as I must say it is not nearly as much fun as it sounds.

Honestly, I never meant to review a house fire. I always pretty much assumed it would suck, and I think most people would agree that a house fire is a pretty crappy way to spend your day. However, today my son made fireworks in his bedroom and succeeded at setting his mattress aflame. Shortly thereafter, the attic exploded.

OK, that's a dramatization. Only the windows exploded. The attic itself (where his room is found) did not explode, though one wall of the house was pretty well ruined, and was open to the rain when I left tonight.

If you do decide to burn down your house, I highly recommend having very good homeowner's insurance. That way, while the firemen throw every game you own out a second-story window because your office is next to your boy's bedroom, you will rest comfortably, knowing that all of your games will be replaced. Like, in three months or so, when the checks come in. And, of course, you won't have that cherry copy of Black Ops any more, since they only made 1,000 of those.

Also, if you do intend to burn your home, it's a good idea to take your computer out of the office first. Had I realized this, my computer would not currently be a mishapen pile of melted plastic, and I would not have to write the evening's review on my wife's laptop while in a hotel room.

Another good tip, if you decide to burn your home, is to save the Christmas tree. If you can grab any presents, that's also a good idea. We may be celebrating in a hotel room this year, but we will have our artificial tree and most of the presents (that is, the ones that were not water-damaged when the ceiling in the living room collapsed).

While the actual event of watching flames shoot out the windows of your home is actually quite exciting, it is amazing how quickly the excitement becomes very boring. Once the fire department finishes with the process of saving about half of your wordly possessions (the other half being claimed by hungry flames), you will have to wait for the insurance rep to show up. After that, you will have to wait for the guys who will board up your home. Then you will wait for the guys who will come out and see what can be salvaged. Then, for some extra good times, you will have to wait for the arson investigator who thinks that your son is working for Al-Qaeda and building a bomb in your attic.

So, all things considered, lighting fire to your house is getting a flat-out negative review. Not only did I miss the cool part where flames and smoke shot out my windows, but everything after that sucked. Not one part of my day after that was awesome. If you are desperate to do something destructive, just to break up the monotony, consider hitting yourself in the foot with a hammer. It will hurt an awful lot, but at least you won't have to wonder how long it will take you to paint all those Warhammer Quest miniatures. Again.


No need to clean, if you're just going to burn everything
An excellent way to get your attic remodeled

Half an hour of sheer terror followed by a whole lot of boring
Virtually guaranteed to lose something with considerable sentimental value


Anonymous said...

Definitely not having kids. If anyone is going to make combustibles in our house it will be me. (flatulence)

Derek Thompson said...

Going to assume this is not what you meant when you titled your blog "Drake's Flames."

Sorry about your luck, man. Best wishes.

Steven Davis said...

Matt -

All my best to you and your family.

Do keep keeping your sense of humor.


MIchael Rhodes said...

My commiserations to you on this , I admire your ability to laugh about it (although I assume through clenched teeth). I have to say this is my worst nightmare 40+ years of geek collecting would be gone and no insurance company would believe how much replacing games really costs

Lowell Francis said...

I played that game a couple of years ago. I only managed to lose all of my rpg collection, but saved the board games. I worst part was getting all the painted miniatures cleaned.

Matt Drake said...

Yup, I'm serious. My house burned. It's not all gone, though. The boy's room and my office were upstairs, and are basically a total loss. But most everything else downstairs is OK, though the water damage from the firehoses gave my house a firm thrashing (and now I'm finally going to get to replace all the crappy floors downstairs).

I'm a fan of black humor. I have always admired people who could crack wise in the face of disaster. Plus it's really not as bad as it seems. The insurance will cut me one hell of a check to replace all the destroyed belongings, and I was considering getting rid of a bunch of those games, anyway. I doubt they'll offer me full retail, since that would just be crazy, but I should be able to get the stuff I really want off eBay, and just kind of go, 'meh, I hardly played that anyway' for the rest.

Matt Thrower said...

That's awful. Commiserations - hope you manage to salvage a little bit of holiday cheer from the wreckage, and that it's a top-class hotel.

Pop Fugitive said...

Massive commiserations, especially at this time of year (although having your house catch fire is never good no matter when it happens).

Still, whenever your son gets mad at you for something trivial in the future you can always remind him about the time he burned down the house...

Peer said...

At least your son now knows that making your firework is not such a good idea.
I hope you can replace your games!

Jason said...

I'm glad no one was hurt!

Chris said...

So sorry to hear about your house!

Jexik said...

"See, son! I told you not to play the 3rd missile!"

Sorry to hear this Matt. As crappy as this all is, it'll probably make this one of your more memorable Christmases, and you might actually relish the chance to go to other people's houses since you can't be in yours.

Thing I'm most worried about is that computer. How much of your writing and everything was on there? Can the data be recovered or was it backed up?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about it. We had a small fire in our kitchen years back when our son decided the oven would be a fun place to hide a plastic mug. It takes a long time to recover and it's stressful to be out of your house. On the upside, everyone was OK and we have a *really* nice kitchen now. So in the end it will work out for you. Hang in there.


Jeb said...

So, like a 3/10? 2.5?

Unknown said...

Holy fargaroli.

This might help with estimating your claim for the games, but it means you will have to enter the games you own into the bgg database. It estimates the value of your collection using thought hammer prices and bgg market place prices.

Hope you and your family are back in your home soon.

Matt Drake said...

Shelley, that is one of the most useful things I have seen since this whole thing started. That is going to save me days of work. The adjuster is sending me a list of games, based on what she could see of the burnt and soaked boxes, and I thought I was going to have to check eBay for the price list one title at a time. I can enter those games in a single evening.

GuppyProf said...

As I was reading your event review, I was hoping it was just a joke. No such luck. I feel terrible for you and your family.

I wish I lived nearby and could offer you some help even if it was just a seat at our table for Christmas dinner.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to here but a big thumbs up at your ability to laugh. R.A. Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land defined laughter as humanity's way of dealing with a wrongness for which nothing else could be done. That pretty sums up your latest "review."

Lee M said...

Glad to hear your family and you are all ok and that you still have a sense of humor about the experience. You seem to have a solid perspective on losing your possessions. Still, sorry for you loss, especially Black Ops.

Mac said...

We had a house fire in November, and we ended up knocking our house down to the ground and starting from scratch. The house had no structural damage, but there was massive smoke damage, and we can still smell it coming off of the ground outside the house even though all of the burned material has been taken away. House fires are nasty, and the smoke that comes from them is not even remotely related to the smoke that comes from any other fire. I tried a service from a company that does the job on cleaning and restoring damage property from fire and they did their job very well.

Fire Damage Beverly MA