My embarrassing experience with the Houston fire department began in Kansas City. A seasoned traveler commented that steam could remove wrinkles from a shirt. That information appeals to one who can’t figure out which side of an iron to hold.
I arrived in my room and promptly removed my shirt from the suitcase. I hung the shirt in the bathroom, turned the shower to its hottest setting, and closed the door. Proud of myself for planning ahead for the next day, I called my sweetheart. Time flies when you’re having fun.
After about 45 minutes of conversation, I remembered my shirt, the shower, the hot water, and the closed bathroom door. As I threw open the door, a volcanic burst of steam hit my face. By the time I fought my way through the fog to turn off the water, I heard a disconcerting sound.
Smoke detectors don’t make good elevator music. They don’t produce pleasant and soothing sounds appreciated by those on the 18th floor of a hotel. They also apparently can’t tell the difference between smoke and steam. I quickly called the front desk to confess my blunder. Doors began to open and slam in the hall as my fellow travelers expressed curiosity and concern. One voice proclaimed, “Some idiot is smoking!”
I stuck my head out into the hall way, and thought about agreeing, “Yeah, some idiot is smoking!” But instead, I ‘fessed up. With a sheepish grin, I said, “I’m the idiot. I was trying to steam my shirt in the bathroom.” At least everyone seemed happy that evacuation was unnecessary.
Then I heard the sirens.
I love happy endings. No firemen dressed in battle gear stormed the hallway. No axe was swung, and no idiot was arrested or publically humiliated. In fact, the rest of the evening was quiet and uneventful. And on top of all that, my shirt looked really good the next day!