Great news, kids: we’re almost there! Just a few more miles to go, and then we’ll be ready for a fun day at–oh, shoot. I just remembered something: I left the front door of the house unlocked and the kitchen on fire. Sorry, guys, but we’re going to have to turn around.

Oh, man, I feel like such an idiot. How many times did I tell myself this morning, “Now, before leaving, make sure you turn off the lights, lock the front door, and put out the grease fire that started in the kitchen thanks to an unfortunate bacon-related incident?” Five times, at least! Well, remembering one out of three isn’t too bad, I guess—although now, of course, I’m wondering if I left the hall closet light on, too.

The really annoying thing is that I know everything would probably be fine if we just kept right on going to the amusement park. We live in such a safe neighborhood—it’s not like there’s a group of local robbers that spend their Saturday afternoons going from house to house checking for unlocked front doors. Plus, even though the fire was still going strong when we left, I’m sure it will just put itself out soon enough, based on that one animated fire safety video I kind of remember from second grade. But I also know that if I don’t go take care of both of these things right now, it’s going to completely ruin what would have otherwise been a perfectly fun and relaxing afternoon, so I really think this is for the best.

Wait, hang on a second…OK, yes, I did definitely remember to turn off the hall closet light before we left. So that’s good.

I really am sorry about this, kids, but I promise I’ll be as quick as possible back at the house so we don’t eat too much into our time at the amusement park. You two don’t even need to get out of the car. I’ll just park, hop out, try to put out the grease fire with water, realize that the water isn’t working, decide to smother it with a blanket instead, spend a few minutes figuring out which blanket I am most willing to sacrifice, realize they’re all too nice, remember we bought a fire extinguisher a few years ago just in case something like this happened, triple check that the hall closet light is off, grab the fire extinguisher, put out the blaze and lock the front door.

It’ll be, like, 90 seconds, tops.

And, look, we’re already almost back home! Based on the steadily increasing size of that pitch-black smoke plume rising up over the horizon, I’d say we’re no more than five minutes away. We’ll be back at the amusement park by lunchtime, I promise.

You know, it’s funny how easily things like this can slip your mind. I must have checked to make sure the back door was locked and the fire in the bathroom was extinguished, like, seven times before we left, and I somehow didn’t even think about the front door or the kitchen fire until we were already halfway to the amusement park. Well, just remember this when you have your own places someday, kids: before you leave, make sure every door is locked and every fire—both literal and figurative—is extinguished. Otherwise, you’ll be like dopey old me here, taking away from what was supposed to be a fun family day just to make sure we leave the house a little bit more secure and a little bit less burned down.

OK, and we’re home! I’m just going to run in, and we’ll be back on the road in no time.

Oh, geez, are you kidding me? I did forget to turn off the hall closet light. Unbelievable.


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