Imagine this scene…
Myself and four other students, talking and finishing lunch as the housemates who went out last night slowly trickle in to the kitchen. Ilessi says, “Do you smell something?” Everyone pauses, but no one does. In my infinite wisdom, I suggest that perhaps it’s time we clean our oven as I’m sure there have been spills over the last few weeks. Conversation and laughter resume. All of a sudden, Kozumi says, “OH, I forgot!”, then jumps up and rushes to the oven…and opens it. Billows of smoke pour forth. “Close it!” I say, and momentary chaos breaks out. We discover that the windows in the kitchen don’t open. We open the kitchen door and some of us begin to fan the smoke away from the smoke detector. We begin to think crisis averted…and then the alarms go off. Michel, who is very much feeling the effects of his evening, has a look on his sleep-deprived face that is well, priceless. Some running around and franticness, and then I remember the fire department. “Does anyone have the number to the housing office?” I ask. More scurrying and Krista calls out, “I have it!”
“Hello? This is Mellanie from Västra Flygeln (the name of our house). There is no fire. Just some burned toast. Can you tell us how to turn the alarm off? Oh, we can’t? We just have to wait for the firemen? Can I call them and tell them there is no fire? I see. Ok, thank you. We’re very sorry”
Our final sleeping roommate, Vassia, appears in the doorway, bewildered at the scene before her. Once assured there is no immediate danger she retreats to the shower. Michel, and his hangover, sinks into a chair and closes his eyes. And then the firemen arrive to turn off the alarm that has put half the neighborhood on alert. Thankfully they do not fine us, and instead seem rather amused at the state of us. We all thank them profusely for saving us from Kozumi’s breakfast and vow to purchase a toaster for the house!