I sit in lotus, eyes glazed. My mind faraway as I stroll the beach of Playa Jaco, with a lovely Costa Rican woman “Lo siento, pero no comprendo lo que dice.” (I am sorry but I don’t understand what you are saying.)
“Snake?! Matt!” I hear faintly.
¿Qué? (What?) I respond, leaping over the wave as it runs up the beach… a sea snake?!
“Matt!” I hear loudly this time and realise it’s my fathers voice from the next door neighbours house.
As I morph from lotus to springing grass-hopper, my iPod pulls from my ears and my Costa Rican beauty (spanish teacher) bids her farewell. I run towards the danger, haphazardly grabbing my finest snake catching implement (straw broom) while getting ready to produce my best “crikey” the minute I see the snake!
No snake but smoke, billowing from the dishwasher and quickly filling the house. I’m instructed to run home and retrieve the fire extinguisher from the garage. Back at the scene, I instinctively shout, “shut off power at the main board” (thanks to daily fire fighting drills from my Navy days). Once power is isolated by Dad, I pull the pin on the extinguisher, open the dishwasher door and push the leaver down to suffocate the fire with dry powder… nothing. Wtf!
I start yelling for a hose and bucket as I fill all manner of implements on the kitchen sink with water and douse the flames. It’s nearly out when dad runs in with another fire extinguisher and empties it into the dying flames.
“Where’s the snake” I ask? He grins. When our neighbour sounded the alarm, dad, being a forester in countless bush towns across Queensland, was regularly called for emergencies, the majority of these being… you guessed it, snakes!
Safety Notes: (All jokes aside) Don’t leave electrical appliances running unattended. The dishwasher was left running while the neighbours went for a bike ride. The fire was discovered by their mother dropping in for a visit, in the nick of time I’d say!