I once again saved my family from a most certain death on Monday, and I have my nose to thank.
You see, I have an extremely keen sense of smell. Until Monday, I felt this talent -- nay, this gift from the gods above -- was just a joke, a funny little thing the gods do to people just because they can: giving various people in the world totally useless gifts.
The gods have a not-so-funny sense of humour. Please click if you want to read the print that is clearly too small to read, unless you have 10/20 vision and are a freak.
In fact, my acute sense of smell is actually a great pain in the ass most of the time. Because I am always the first one who smells something, often the ONLY one who smells something, and that "something" is most often something most people would not want to smell.
Case in point: Gryphon eats something out of the garbage and ends up having two days of very bad gas, which no one but me notices.
Another case in point: the guinea pig cage needs to be changed, and of course, no one notices but me. Awesome.
Yet another case in point: there's something rotting in the fridge. Of course, I realize this before the food actually even goes bad. Everyone else? When the food is a melting puddle of mush at the bottom of the fridge.
As you can see, most of these things are pretty much useless things to notice. And when I do, I always exclaim, "Oh my god! Do you smell that?!" And everyone usually looks at one another, and then at me, and shake their heads, and then feel my forehead to make sure I'm not burning up with a high fever.
And I have to yet again remind my family that no, I don't have a fever, I just have a very acute sense of smell that is totally useless.
So, back to Monday.
I wake up at 7 a.m. to the acrid smell of smoke. I like sleeping with the window open, which is normally really pleasant, except for the screeching of those stupid, perpetually happy birds who want everyone to know they're awake and raring to go at 4-freaking-a.m. So, I wake up to this smell, and I immediately know it's not a "good smoke" smell, which is more like a fire-in-a-fireplace smell, and not a there's-polyester-and-plastic-burning-up smoke smell.
This smell is a bad fire smell, and my instincts immediately perk up and I am wide awake. I jump out of bed, run to the door, and yell down the stairs, asking Dee (who wakes up at 6 to watch cartoons on t.v., god help his little soul) if he's turned on the furnace because it's a tad chilly out that morning. No to the furnace. I run and put in my contact lenses so that I can see, and then check around our bed, thinking that perhaps the ceiling fan is on fire. What? Ceiling fans can burst into flame. Yes, they can.
Then I go to Em's room and check to make sure her flat iron hasn't touched a tissue or perhaps a curtain, or maybe a pair of dirty underwear. Nope.
I then run downstairs and check the stove, the furnace room, the dryer. Nothing.
And then I open the front door, and lo and behold, a wall of smoke hits my face, and I hear sirens in the distance. And a certain calm lands over me as I realize that it's not us, but some other unlucky bastard whose house is burning to the ground. And I heave a heavy sigh of relief and close the door. And then I start getting a little upset, because this damn smell woke me up, and now I was doomed to a day of fatigue. Thanks for that, unlucky people who are probably out on the street now. Good going.
And that is how I saved everyone from a certain death. And now, my nose no longer feels entirely useless. In fact, I am thinking of donating it to science.
Update: I found out that the smoke is actually coming from 57 forest fires burning in Quebec, to which we're very close. I hope all the little animals find their way out.