Dad always used to cook with charcoal, “Nothing cooks better!”
It was common to see flames and smoke emanating from our backyard; thank goodness for those asbestos shingles!
In fact, there was one time that Dad cooked hamburgers and forgot about them. Literally hours later, smoke signals start in our backyard and we get a call from one of the neighbors (“Hey Jerry, dinner’s done!”). Out at the grill, the burgers had turned into hockey pucks and, in a weird twist, were not cooked on the inside.
Our neighbor took the burger and put a magnet on the back and stuck it on the fridge.
Dad cooked things one way, Chernobyl (read: burned and charred beyond recognition).
The phone rings.
It’s the neighbor letting us know that there’s smoke billowing from the yard.
We laugh, “Yeah, yeah, we’ll check the grill.” and then remember that we didn’t have anything on the grill…
Running outside, we see that the garage is on fire (an unshaded lamp fell onto one of the Halloween dummies (stuffed with old newspaper!) and the heat from the lamp started the dummy on fire).
Hose in hand, the fire is extinguished and we laugh about how no one called the fire department because they were so used to seeing smoke from our yard.
(damage was limited to the prop and a small piece of wall, nothing structural.)
A few years later, Dad decides that the garage needs to come down and he’s a “If I can do it, I’m not paying anyone to do it.” (Thanks Dad!)
So him and some friends start pulling the sides out and there’s a shell left.
BTW, we tried to burn the garage down but it wouldn’t start…
Dad takes a heavy-duty rope and lassos the crossbeam where the roof was. Now, at this time, I was maybe 100 pound, soaking wet. He hands me the rope and tells me to pull. After a couple unsuccessful tugs, he stands in front of me and we both pull, tug-of-war style, us vs. the garage.
Suddenly, the beam cracks and we were pulling so hard that when the beam gave way, he fell into me, I fell on my butt and there was some tumbling involved.
Oh, but we got that garage down.