Red Candle Caper



"DC & The Mysterious Case Of The Red Candle"



OK... (deep breath, DC)... Well, Boys & Girls... I think I'd better regale you with a little story of a recent event that involved me... er... VERY much involved me... (ahem)... well... here goes... I recently had the pleasure of visiting the fabled borough of Hartford... nestled in the tree haven that is Connecticut... All was shaping up nicely, & I was looking forward to a well-earned day off after a long, bumpy, relatively sleepless overnight drive...

When I checked into the hotel, I was somewhat disappointed with the... er... 'size' of my quarters, so, I asked my Fab Assistant... the Lovely Christie, if she would be so kind & ask the management to find me a rather more accomodating living space for my stay... Luckily they had such a spot... A charming suite of rooms on the 22nd floor, with a spectacular view of the immediate area... Ahhh... I remember sighing... now for some kip... (sleep)... Not so... remarked the Lovely Christie... you have a conference call with 'All The Powers That Be' at 2pm... "BUGGER", thinks I and had another strong cuppa tea to try to keep my fading eyes from closing altogether... So... whilst our bags & baggage where transferred to the 'Very Posh Suite'... & after my call... we decided to brave the Satanic heat... ( I shit thee not)... & go for a walk...

After returning somewhat deplete from the stifling hot, humid BESTIAL temperature that was afflicting poor ol' Hartford... (we really MUST do something about Global Warming, Boys & Girls)... I went to check out my rooms... & very nice they were, too... BUT... there was a rather peculiar, stale odor in the toilet area of the bathroom... (no... I hadn't used it)... So... what do I do???... I use my little red Feng Shue candle I've had for years... & what do I do with it???... I light it & stick it on the toilet seat for what I imagine will be 5 minutes at the most, in anticipation of the flame burning off the smell... & the I proceed to call my Beloved Missus to catch up on our day... As I'm chatting away merrily, my Trusted Right Hand Woman, Ms Lee... dashes in the room announcing that we're 20 minutes late for our dinner reservation around the corner at the reputable 'No Fish Today' seafood restaurant... (I shit thee not)...

After a fine repast of assorted shellfish which must have taken at the most 45 minutes... & after indulging in some sinful carrot cake at Vaughans character filled pub... we return to the hotel to see 3 of Hartford's finest Fire trucks, lights a-flashing, in attendance... Oh... thinks I... innocently... I wonder what could be the matter???... As we enter the building we hear the announcement that everyone could now return to their rooms... (yes... they had evacuated the entire hotel)... Still none the wiser... (sleepyheaded, tummy full, you see)... we get the elevator to the 22nd floor with a rather sweaty individual who tells us excitedly that he had to run down 22 flights of stairs when the alarms went off... "Better than having to run UP 22 flights of stairs tho', eh???"... says I, with my ever ready wit... (ahem)...

As we turn the corner to my suite... Oh, Oh... Nah... it couldn't be... the firemen & hotel management appear to standing right outside my room... "Can I help you, gentlemen???" I enquired rather nervously... "Is this your room???", asks the collective... as I walk inside to view what appeared was minimal devastation... "Yes... what seems to be the trouble, Officer???" I responded chirpily... "Did you happen to light a fire in the bathroom, Sir???"... "Why no, Officer... why would I... ???"... Oh... dear... I step into the bathroom to see the commode absolutely blown apart!!!... Not just red wax from a little votive candle dripping down the seat... THE WHOLE TOILET BLOWN UP!!!... (pictures to follow)...

Sheepishly, I agreed to the 3rd degree from the hotel's head of security... & further Q & A's with the Fire Marshal... I was moved to another suite on the 17th floor... unfortunately, it was a 'Smoking Floor', & on entering my rooms I could smell stale tobacco in the air, so, I proceeded, rather innocently again... (thoughtlessly???)... to light a few incense sticks to clear & freshen the air... Instantly, there was a belligerent knocking at my door... "WHAT'S THAT SMELL???"... the security guy asked, rather out of breath... "Er... a Lynyrd Skynrd song???"... I responded... "Is that... .INCENSE???!!!"... he demanded... "Yes... is there a problem???"... "PUT THAT OUT!!!"... & I did... since then I have been banned from carrying matches... or anything inflammable, as a matter of fact... Hopefully, just 'til the end of this tour... I hope... Oh... for the record... the hotel kept $1800 as a deposit for the toilet... I wouldn't have minded... but, I didn't even get to use it!!!...

Here Endeth My Story Of The Day... & of course I am delighted to say that no one was hurt in this situation... (from what I understand my crew never even left the bar)... & I deeply regret any inconvenience to everyone involved... the hotel staff & particularly the extremely charming & helpful, fearless Firemen of Hartford... who were simply marvelous... love & LIGHT... DC.