One-Liner Wednesday – Fire Genes

I have permission to use today’s one-liner, but only if I add a certain disclaimer as to ultimate culpability. That disclaimer requires a disclaimer and permission from another party. Confused yet?

I thought so.

OK. The one-liner, courtesy of my (I normally say ‘our’ but it’s ‘my’ for the purposes of this post) daughter, comes after she substituted wax paper for parchment paper under some biscuits while baking. The wax paper kinda-sorta caught on fire.

I figured out why the biscuits weren’t turning golden brown. I turned the oven off after the fire and forgot to turn it back on.”

You gotta admit, that’s a pretty hard statement not to feature on a Wednesday.

The disclaimer comes in two-parts. First, the substitution-of-similar-but-not-identical-things gene

Second is the propensity-to-set-things-on-fire gene. They both seem to arrive via my contribution to her genetic makeup.

In fact, the one-liner I was planning to use came in an email from my brother, after he finished cleaning our mother’s apartment:

“…the microwave will have to go to resource recovery since the stains from the fire won’t come off.”

The refers to the second fire my mother had in a microwave.

I’ve set a few things on fire in my time, including the hillside that was our backyard. I set that on fire when burning paper trash (we could do that when I was young). Ironically, I had won a school-sponsored fire-prevention contest the day before. The night Faith was born, I came home from the hospital and tossed some leftover pizza in the oven. A couple days later, when I brought the family home, my wife asked: “what’s burning?” Then, of course there was the Great Thanksgiving Turkey Fire.

As for the substitution genes, when I was a college sophomore, I decided to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t have backing powder, so I substituted a slightly different white powdery-like substance…salt. Those cookies were hard. Hockey puck hard.

If you’re still confused, maybe the diagram will help. The photos in the gallery were collected on a recent trip to Boston.

Faith’s Mom is clear. But, Faith reminded me (1st comment) of a teapot my mother had scorched pretty badly (wooden handle is charred)  that Faith received in May.


This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. You can follow this link to see the one-liners from the other participants.




  1. Now, you’ve picked a topic that everyone probably has a story about. Years ago, we bought a new toaster. My daughter had a friend sleep over, and they put some pop tarts in. All of a sudden she comes to wake me up that there is some smoke. By the time, I ran to the kitchen there was a full blown fire going on. Something went wrong with the new toaster, it melted a paper towel holder which dropped the roll of paper towels onto the top of the toaster. It looked like a fire with a log placed on top. Major kitchen repair. I’ve had one small issue (notice I didn’t say fire) in the microwave. I put a sunbutter jar in with some sudsy water to clean it up before recycling and didn’t realize there was some tiny metal where the inside lid had been pulled off. Looked like a fireworks display for a minute or two. I’d much rather think about those food shots – looks good. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like that toaster was out to get you. I hope it wasn’t a gift from a “friend.” The mental image does fit with New Hampshire, except for the danger/damage. We don’t have a microwave. My wife doesn’t like them, but now I’m wondering if that’s the whole reason. Thanks Judy !

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the little halo you drew over the editor. She must roll her saintly eyeballs at her fire-starter family. There’s not much she can do to keep you and Faith safe if this is in the genes. I’ve not burned or set fire to anything except toast and a few of the campfire potatoes I made on the grill. On the other hand, do NOT give me a knife when I’m either drowsy or have had too much caffeine. I have gone to the ER from erroneously using a bread knife…

    I would give almost anything right now for a stack of pancakes and syrup. Yum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. The editor has had mishaps with knives in the kitchen. No trips to the ER, but she tends to use the smallest knife that will do the job. I think she’s off the hook for the fire genes. Faith is now claiming that it was the teapot-inheritance that brought these dormant genes to life.

      I get mad at myself when I include pictures of pancakes. I’m in a hotel that doesn’t even have pancakes on the breakfast menu!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I like how you illustrate the family firebrand tree. You’ve done similar work before with traffic mishaps. Maybe you could have a second career in forensics! Or the court appointed illustration-guy! Yeah!

    Glad to hear that all survived the biscuit burning!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you like your biscuits crispy, Dan. Thanks for this PSA to make sure a fully-charged extinguisher is in every kitchen.

    I knew you had a hot blog, but this is ridiculous …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This brought a smile to my face, Dan, and sent me to the kitchen to quadruple check that no burners on the stove I haven’t used this morning were all off. :-) I have a s-i-l who for a time used a wooden spoon as a poker for her fires. She gave it to our older daughter when our daughter wasn’t too old and of course it caught on fire. :-(


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet, according to the comments, you might also want to check the toaster and the teapot. A wooden spoon is probably not the best thing to stir the fire with. It’s good to know these genes are spread well throughout the pool ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When #4 Daughter was an infant, I was doing something with a plastic bowl in the kitchen when she woke up and started screaming. Naturally, I plopped the bowl down wherever and ran to see what was wrong. Nothing was wrong. Except that I had plopped the plastic bowl down onto a still-hot burner, which ruined the bowl, the burner, and the air. Opens doors, a fan, and a quick trip to the discount store and the appliance parts shop erased all traces by the time Charlie and “the big girls” got home. Now, did #4 have a premonition, or did she cause the trouble? Or was it a self-fulfilling prophecy? In(en)quiring minds want to know!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d be laying that off on her. I mean Faith didn’t waste any time blaming me and my mother. I also did once melt the bottom out of a metal tea kettle. I left it on high overnight. When I came down in the morning, you could see the glow all the way in the living room.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So the bomb disposal guy isn’t the only one who wears a ‘if you see me running try to keep up shirt’ ! I think this post is firing on all burners. Now for NASA that would be a good thing… I would say more – then again I have completely sterilized a tea kettle or three… Thanks Dan !

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is funny. But I have to admit that when you mention genetics and have a diagram in the same post, my eyes start to glaze over a bit, so I had to make myself study it. The halo helped, along with the color and the fact that you had stick people. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my. Fires in an oven are tough ones to pass up. Reminds me of the time I preheated our oven while the cutting board, knife, & turkey carcass were still in there from the day before.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow…how many fire extinguisher do you have in and around your house, now? On to the fire subject. The most I’ve burned is toast and a few cooking pots. As a kid we had an incinerator barrel on the hill next to the barn. Everything burned in that thing, except the hill. My uncle was the Fire Marshall in town. 🚒 As little kids we had to learn how to run through a brush fire, 🔥 in case we ever got cornered. Still remember those scary lessons. Love your One Liner logo, Dan! Happy Wednesday! 🌺 Christine


  11. That diagram is great! I did enlarge it to get the full effect of the fire starter’s timeline! :) My claim to fame in the fire catagory, is burning any bread. Caught the whole oven on fire once, and had the fire dept. come out with sirens blaring. It even got written up in the Army Post newspaper! I still burn bread.


  12. Who would have thought that accidental arson was in the DNA!

    My husband made the mistake of thinking wax paper was just like parchment paper and used it in the oven. Thankfully he could smell his mistake before a fire happened but, of course, the food he was cooking had to be thrown out since it was coated in melted wax.

    The only time I have set fire to something was the night before my wedding day. I was ironing my Dad’s shirt when the iron I was using just combusted and a flame shot up my arm. It singed all of the hair off of one arm and removed a layer of skin with it. My wedding dress was short-sleeved. I, therefore, spent my wedding day holding my arm at an awkward angle so that my mother would not spot my burnt arm and freak out about the mishap.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah, yes. These things happen. I haven’t set food on fire, but I think I get super bonus points for catching a silicone oven mitt on fire on a glass-top stove. I mean, that’s REALLY special.
    I don’t have the audacity to out-write your word count with all the kitchen mayhem four kids have brought over the years, but you can tell Faith that Sassy put her no-bake cookies on parchment paper and became very confused when they stuck. They stuck good. So, ya know, like I said, These things happen.
    In the 00s I had a series of appliances die fiery deaths. I did one day not too long ago see that my blow dryer was recalled, so that was a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post, Dan. Hysterical. Perhaps you can submit this to some medical journal and get an official diagnosis name for the burning gene. Haha! I love it. I was rooting for you until you showed those pancakes. How rude! Showing us all a picture is not my idea of sharing, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh my goodness! I also think our family has some pyromaniac tendencies, albeit accidentally! :D Randy soon after he moved into an apartment graduating from OSU, caught his kitchen curtains on fire, had thrown french fries into oil and went out to his grill to flip hamburgers. Thank goodness, Dad often told us to get apt insurance Before moving in, just to make sure everything is covered. All my kids have caught things in fire in the oven. In Mom’s case, for years out at the lake by herself, mice would come inside. So, all special cookies and candy went into the oven and microwave! :) :) No preheating oven was all of our lessons learned the hard way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Preheating an oven full of stuff, seems to be a common way to start a fire. The kitchen curtains would be scary. Fire can spread very quickly. I always had renter’s insurance. Your father was right.


  16. I lit a flannel shirt of mine on fire once. Unfortunately , I was wearing it at the time , but a friend of mine was near enough to give me a big hug and extinguish the flame . Be careful out there .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it was “stop, drop and roll” I’ve never heard of “hug a burning person.” There’s a story there – “A friend will give you the shirt off his back. A true friend will hug you when your shirt is on fire.”


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