In event of a fire: Take the dog or skis?
Colorado is as dry as Dick Clark’s skin. I won’t say, as our governor did, “All of Colorado is burning.”
Only a very small portion of the state is on fire; unfortunately, that small percentage is what’s making headlines. Authorities across the state are taking precautions and implementing restrictions to assure their towns and counties will not be the next headline on the evening news.
Locally, Fourth of July fireworks have been canceled, campfires outlawed. The Sheriff even ordered my wife not to cook.
Though well-intended, those precautions can only lessen the odds, not prevent a community from falling victim to the flames.
All your personal property is a target for your enemies.
The papers feature pictures of homeowners packing what they can in vehicles and leaving the rest to fate. Fire is the enemy that forces them to make a choice of what is crucial and what is disposable.
Some say our forests are overgrown. They suggest years of fighting fires, rather than letting them perform a natural thinning process, is partly the cause of our crisis. Others contend logging, though disfiguring, lessens the danger of serious fires.
My community, thankfully, has thinned the forests while at the same time fashioning firebreaks with the creation of countless sub-divisions of second and third trophy homes. Since these mansions are mostly on the wooded outskirts of the wealthy neighborhoods, they are the first lines of defense. If worse comes to worse and the flames make it to my downscale district, my mate and I decided we needed a plan.
We realized we would, more than likely, have only limited time to pack up and evacuate, so a predetermined list of what to take and what to leave would be helpful.
We agreed to save space for important papers and documents like bank books, titles, and our prenuptial agreement – complete with amendments, addenda, and Ellen’s no-toilet-cleaning clause. We hit a snag in terms of how many skis we could save. I suggested, space being limited, one pair apiece would be fair. Her contention was, since mine were longer, she’d take seven. We settled on two pairs of ski boots apiece, though she wondered if she could wear a third pair as shoes. My laptop computer made the cut, as did two of my bicycles. We decided to leave her “Buns of Steel” video and Thighmaster behind.
The next 20 minutes were spent excluding items. We both decided to risk leaving most of our clothing, 13-channel television, and my autographed poster of Che Guevara. We were unanimous on the decision to include our small dog, Robby, though Ellen suggested, if it meant leaving behind ski gear, perhaps we could simply spray the little guy with fire retardant and hope for the best.
When we looked over the list, we were both surprised how little we had of value; Ellen seized the opportunity to include her lucky jog-bra and photo album of old boyfriends; I threw in my knife collection. The plus side of this meant Robby was guaranteed space on our car’s roof rack.
Though we were delighted we had space available for the cur, I think both of us were shocked that, out of a home full of stuff, most of it was unimportant.
The good news is we have room for the belongings of others. We felt it would be selfish not to offer assistance to those evacuating neighbors over burdened with goods. So, to all our fellow citizens living in the wealthy parts of town. If, God forbid, we all are required to flee, simply leave out your gold, silver, Rolexes, and Picassos. We’ll pick them up on our way out of town. Please – no ski equipment; it takes too much space and I’d really miss that dog.
Biff America can be seen on RSN television, heard on KOA and KYSL radio, and read in this and other fine newspapers.
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