The lobbies and entryways of New York City apartment buildings are usually full of (unasked for, unwanted) menus from local restaurants. Entrepreneurial delivery boys pile them by the door in the hope that residents will grab one on their way upstairs.
Around three o'clock this morning, some random, roving asswipe decided to set the pile of menus in our entryway on fire.
Here are a few things that I have learned from this experience.
(1) When Chow Chows smell smoke at three in the morning, they go completely, batshit insane. Considering that there wasn't enough smoke to set off the smoke detectors in the building, I actually find this comforting.
(2) We live in a very friendly building anyway, but there's nothing to unite neighbors like even a minor, contained fire in the wee hours of the morning.
(3) The New York City Fire Department does not mess around. When a fire call (placed by the initial smoke-smellers before the source of the fire was discovered) comes in from a hundred-year-old, highly combustible building, they arrive quickly and in force.
(3a) The New York City Fire Department is also incredibly nice and understanding about being dispatched at three in the morning to extinguish a small pile of blazing restaurant menus.
(3b) Based on the comments I heard after the fire brigade departed, single New York City females find firefighters to be extremely hot, pardon the expression.
(3c) Married ones, too.
(3d) And not a few of the gay guys.
(4) A relatively small pile of cheaply printed restaurant menus set afire will make a stink that lingers in a six-story apartment building for hours and hours.
(5) It is somewhat difficult to go back to sleep with an adrenaline bolus in your system.
(6) A "near-fire" experience makes you want to reach out to your friends and family, the ones you love and hold dear. Hope all of you are well.