This is me at the hospital with my head in a metal bowl of water thanking my lucky stars I escaped major damage. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sarah Simpson Column: The good deed that blew up in my face

Why I’ll be ordering take-our delivery pizza from now on

I’m one of those annoying people who get their Christmas shopping done early and then when the inevitable “Are you ready for Christmas?” question is asked, I am able to smugly say “why, yes! I am!”

The truth is I shop early because I’m no fan of crowds. While I like to think of myself as a patient person, I would rather skip long lines at the register if I have a choice. And, with a little planning, I do.

So, when my father, who is out of town, asked me to hit up a local store on Black Friday to grab him an item at a good discount, I was not looking forward to it. I did it though because, well, family.

When my Dad asked me to return to the store the following day to pick up an outdoor propane pizza oven, I was a little more annoyed. Two days in a row? Come on! But, he’d bought it online and it was paid for and all I had to do was pick it up — and try it out, he said. Deal. Who doesn’t like pizza?

We assembled the glorified barbecue later that afternoon. My kids were so excited. My son even drew a paper pizza to put in the oven while we were setting it up. When dinnertime approached, we took it to the back deck, borrowed the propane tank from the real barbecue and hooked it all up.

Before the first use we needed to heat it up for roughly 20 minutes to temper the cooking stone or something like that so we cranked up the propane, clicked the ignite button and wandered away while it did its thing. Except it didn’t light up like we thought it had and although it hadn’t been 20 minutes, it had been long enough for what I would call a significant amount of propane to build up inside the dome of the oven.

I say this with confidence because when I went to reignite the unit, fire shot out of the little pizza window hole and into my face. Yup, the favour I did for me Dad literally blew up in my face.

Thank goodness my children weren’t with me. (I have thanked the powers that be for that every day since.)

In any event, I yelled for my husband (and in retrospect I’m so glad he knew I was serious because how often do I really yell for him for way less serious things?) and he came running. My eyelashes had melted together rendering me unable to open my eyes. My face was hot, my hair was burnt, and it scared the you-know-what out of me. And him.

On our way to the hospital, kids in tow, I was able to pry my crunchy eyelashes apart. I knew I could still see but the ER was still the right call. There was a bit of a wait at triage, so my kids sat on the chairs with their pens and papers while my husband stood with me waiting to check in. The kids were calm, likely because I was, but I knew they understood what was going on when my son came up to me with a Nurse Next Door pamphlet. He’d written “Mom” on it and had drawn hearts inside.

Once I was being taken care of, my husband took the kids home for dinner while I spent the next hour or so alternating the sides of my face in a cold bowl of water. It was tricky to get my head in deep enough to flush my eyes, so I was pretty proud of myself when I figured out the right angle to submerge an eyeball and my nose but still be able to breathe out of my mouth.

The doctor examined me and said I “scorched” my right eye — his word not mine — and had a bit of a burn under it, along with the obvious eyebrow/eyelid situation. Some ointment for the eye, goop for the burn and I was ready to go. I was fortunate to escape major damage, he said.

“I hope you enjoyed your CDH facial,” said the doctor with a grin. “Next time use a long stick.”

We laughed because well, what else can you do? All this to say, I’m grateful to the staff at CDH for their care and to my husband for taking such good care of me and our children. That and my dad can keep his fancy pizza oven. I think I’ll just order in from now on.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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Despite the efforts of my young son to sell me on it, Nurse Next Door services were not needed following my pizza oven ordeal. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

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