Skip to: main content or site footer.

Annual Clara St. Fire today!

Tim Schafer Tim

Simon’s deli next door caught fire AGAIN today. Experts agree this is totally insane and weird because it was almost exactly a year ago that it caught fire in exactly the same way. One of the tenants of the flop house above the deli chucked out a lit cigarette, which alighted upon poor Simon’s awning and smoldered, eventually erupting into a massive, smelly inferno. The thing that made this year’s fire especially exciting is that some of us were inside the deli at the time. I was enjoying a tuna melt with some of our excellent programmers, when one of them started screaming like a girl (I think it was Anna), “Fire! The building’s on fire! We’re all going to die! Ahhhh!”

The other programmer eating with us, let’s call him… Matt Franklin, calmly rose from the table, twisted one of his beard hairs, found a fire extinguisher and ran outside. I jealously found my own extinguisher and followed him, determined not to be outdone. Matt’s extinguisher was a dud however (heh heh, what a loser!), so he ran back to our office to retrieve the official double fine fire extinguisher. Which we cleverly keep in the bathroom. The cleverness of this plan was then revealed when Matt realized that someone was in the bathroom, and the door was locked. So we all burned to death the end.

Or did we?

Luckily, being the coolest, I had my extinguisher ready to go, and so I took aim and—click—it was a dud too. And covered in dusty diner grease.

“Noooooooo!” I yelled to the sky, in slow motion.

The fire raged on. People were throwing themselves out of upper-story windows, maybe. We ran back into the deli to grab something to throw on the fire. Since the building was burning, there were no rules. Total pandemonium. I probably could have grabbed all the deviled eggs if I wanted to. I probably could have even shoved them all in my mouth at once, and walked around with my mouth open, scaring people with my moaning egg-maw. But no. I continued to fight the fire in my quiet, humble way.

I grabbed the hot water carafe off the coffee maker, ran back outside and threw it’s contents on the fire. It was pretty silly, because a coffee pitcher, it turns out, is not really the best way to deliver moisture to a fire. The angle of the spout and the wind—I don’t know what happened—but I totally missed the burning part. I just got this other, non-burning section of the awning all wet. There was a crowd gathered by this point, and they saw me hurl lukewarm tea water at an uninvolved patch of awning next to the fire, and I was totally embarrassed. This must be how junior firefighters feel. It was too humiliating. I had to leave. Screw this fire I said, and left. I have no idea how it turned out. Simon could be dead for all I know.

If he’s not, though, you should really go to the Olympic Deli some time when they are not on fire and try one of his tuna melts.

They are delicious.

All in all, the fire was generally agreed to be the best one yet. We all had a great time, and we’re looking forward to next year’s fire. I wonder though… if this could be related to another recent flammehav we had recently… hmmm…

Associated games

Skip up to: site menu or main content