It took a long time to get all the building work done on our house - much longer than it should have - and we’ve had bits and pieces being done right up until late last year, but it’s pretty much at a level of completion now, so of course we’ve started breaking it. This is why we can’t have nice things.
To be fair the carpets have been in for over a year. Everyone said we were mad getting light beige carpets in a house with two young kids and a dog, but we weren’t total idiots. We’d bought carpets that were pretty cheap and were also cleanable with bleach! Not that we have really tried to clean them, but we’ve basically got away with it for maybe 16 months.
And the joke’s on the people who thought our kids and dog would fuck things up, because they actually had nothing to do with our downfall. It was all us. And this was an issue that bleach couldn’t fix.
We have a wood burner in our lounge, which adds a bit of a heat on a cold night, but gives out much more warmth if you leave it open. There is a little mesh guard to put in front of it, which I do if no one is in the room, but it does cut the heat significantly and we have a large hearth, so if we’re sitting in the room it’s pretty unlikely that anything really bad can happen - can you see where this is going?
We were sitting watching telly tonight and the fire was burning brightly. I heard a crack and saw something roll out of the open door, but assumed that it could only have fallen on to the tiling. But my wife was sitting nearer so I asked her if everything was OK and she looked over and said, “Yes.”
There were a few obstructions in her way and she hadn’t noticed the thing roll out, so it was only when I smelled a slight plasticy burning smell that I thought something might be wrong. And behind the box of wood that was on the carpet in front of the wood I saw the carpet was smouldering a little. A large bit of wood had been catapulted just over the edge of the tiled area and had burned a crater into the carpet. I pulled out the smouldering wood and looked at the damage. It was pretty bad. It looked like a crucible being used to melt plastic. Who would have thought that fire could so completely change the nature of carpet.
It wasn’t a little scorch mark that we could rub out, this was like the Alien had dribbled some of its corrosive spunk on to the floor and it was already burning its way down to Australia.
Luckily it hadn’t started a proper fire or overcome up with its fumes, but it was super annoying. Catie hadn’t been able to see the faggot from where she sitting so this wasn’t her fault. It was mine for being cavalier and thinking that I could control fire.
Could we cut out the burned bit and put some of our spare carpet in? It would look awful. Were we going to replace the whole carpet? Don’t be stupid. We had been planning to maybe redecorate in a decade or so when the kids wouldn’t ruin stuff. But we hadn’t considered ourselves.
So I just got a rug from my office and covered up the awful mess which means we never have to think about it again. I suspect we might have a roomful of rugs before my life is over.
Why must I spoil everything beautiful?