Holy Smokes Batman! An Electrical Fire!

Tonight we celebrate the three month anniversary of the Great Fire of 2011. You haven’t heard of the Great Fire of 2011 you say? Oh my! Sit down and buckle up kids. Daddy’s got a story to tell.

It all started with a lamp… we guess. Technically it all started as just another Friday, I guess. In actuality all of the omens of an impending disaster were perfectly placed and epically ignored due to a combination of what I like to call the friggitties (the Friday giddiness/giggities).

Omen #1- I left work before 4 pm. Nothing good EVER comes from me leaving THAT early, ESPECIALLY on a Friday. It usually ends with one of the most drunken nights of the month. This night was no exception.

Omen #2- I watched a house BURN DOWN on the way to Hunter & Jerrod’s apartment in Hollywood. I shit you not I was there for the start of the fire and watched until it I realized that it was probably a meth lab that was going to explode in my face if the fire got any bigger. The house hasn’t been fixed to this day…

Omen #3- We had an epic dinner. I’m talking about more than a dinner of the month sort of outing. It involved our first dinner at Jerrod’s new workplace, an epic DimSum place called Bao, where we slammed drinks, pounded food, sat next to Amanda Seigfried (you know, mean girls and whatnot), and watched Jerrod’s face as his manager punked him on the bill before giving us the most awesome discount I’ve ever seen. Oh yea then JT showed up right as we left.

Yea. She fine.

Omen #4- We were going to go hang out with a huge group of girls. The majority of our nights are spend bro’ing down (yes this is a word… in our dialect at least) over a bottle of scotch and a forty (ok forties) of terribly amazing malt liquor, but due to a birthday celebration we were all set to go out with a huge group of fun girls!

Ok so let’s review. I get off work early which never happens, I watch a house burn down which was way more entertaining than it should have been (especially in hindsight), we have an epicly drunken dinner sitting by a celebrity, and we’re going to hang out with a bunch of cool girls. Could this night get any better? Of course not! If you believe in the yin and yang of the world where someone’s misfortune is offset by someone else’s fortune then you’d notice that we were soooooo deep in debt that SOMETHING had to give. Two things definitely did but luckily my story is overshadowed by this one (*sighs as he avoids telling a thoroughly entertaining yet embarrassing story about himself*). A tale for another time… preferably over a bottle of scotch… though I could be talked into a forty of Mickey’s.

Back to the story. I have to warn you that my recollection of the rest of the night is highly disputed and invariably inaccurate so the following comes from secondhand and primary accounts of which trend towards both the accurate and the absurd. It all started with a good neighbor.



Jerrod stands in the midst of a group of people at the bar. His phone vibrates so he takes it out of his pocket. His neighbor is calling. Jerrod ignores the call. His neighbor calls again. Jerrod exits the bar.


Jerrod: Hello?

Neighbor: Hey man your fire alarm is going off and I think there’s smoke coming from beneath your door.

Jerrod (hammered): What?!

Neighbor: Yea just thought you should know.

Jerrod (slightly less hammered): Uhhhh thanks.

Jerrod puts phone in pocket and heads back inside to find Hunter.


Jerrod finds Hunter holding two freshly bought PBR tallboys.

Jerrod (quickly sobering up): Dude, our neighbor just said our place might be on fire.

Hunter (HAMMERED) slowly puts down drinks, exits to call his building manager. Jerrod watches Hunter leave, then looks at the drinks, back at the door, back at the drinks, and proceeds to chug one of the tallboys before heading out to find Hunter.

Exit Jerrod stage left.


From here the story gains momentum. Hunter and Jerrod found the first cab they could and hopped in. The cabbie demanded cash before drive until the boys told him their story. Just like out of a movie the cabbie FLOORED it and drove like a real life version of the video game Crazy Taxi through downtown LA and back into Hollywood where Hunter paid as Jerrod ran inside.

Before I continue I want to let you know that I compiled this list of “what to do in case of fire” from the internet and will now compare to Hunter and Jerrod’s reaction. Here’s some motivation to help you put yourself into their shoes at the time: You are drunk, ok you are DRUNK, you have had an extremely happy and stress-free night, you get an extremely stressful call, you take an extremely stressful cab ride home, you run as fast as your Asian legs will let you to your door preparing to deal with a situation that could range from non-existent to extremely dangerous, and you are standing right at your front door with your best friend/family member by your side. Ok ready? GO.

Check closed doors for heat before you open them.

Fail. Records indicate that upon reaching the front door Jerrod karate kicked it in and bull-rushed inside only to come straight back out due to the inordinate amount of smoke.

The first thing you need to do is stay low and leave the building immediately!

Fail. Unlike the movies Hunter and Jerrod note that the smoke inhibits all seeing and breathing. Blind and suffocating, our two brave protagonists continued into the apartment to find the source of the fire.

Close doors behind you as you escape to delay the spread of the fire.

Fail. Not only was closing the front door the last thing on their mind at the time, Jerrod immediately opened the sliding glass door on the deck to allow smoke to exit. Makes sense to me.

Don’t stop to take anything with you.

½ pass. The first two items in Hunter’s hands were a trash can that he emptied all over the kitchen and hallway to make room for water, and his telecaster. Jerrod passed this step though in hindsight he has expressed regret for not grabbing his Ukulele when he had the chance. Don’t worry man according to the internet you did the right thing and Hunter didn’t. Unfortunately your prize is that you don’t get jam Ukulele with Hunter whilst he wails away on his telecaster…

Call 9-1-1 from a neighbor’s house.

I’m going to give them a pass here because it was pretty obvious that someone else was going to call 911 at this point and it was COMPLETELY obvious that no one else was going to do shit about the fire.

Never attempt to put out a fire yourself, no matter how small it is!

Fail but an epic one at that. There are two sayings I would like to quote here: “No guts no glory” and “No pain no gain.” These two crazy bastards did not just ATTEMPT to put the fire out, they SUCCEEDED, and all without water damage I might add.

Now for the quick version. Jerrod drunken monkey-style karate kicks the door open and is immediately forced to retreat. Hunter rushes in as Jerrod re-groups and follows. Both notice the fire is centralized in the corner of Jerrod’s room. Jerrod rushes to open the sliding glass door while Hunter grabs his telecaster and the first thing he can find (a trash can), empties it on the floor, and runs outside to get someone to fill it. While outside some kinda helpful neighbor goes “hey, there’s a fire extinguisher on the wall.” I would be thinking “thanks for grabbing it for me asshole” but Hunter instead immediately pulled a move straight out of Ong-bak the Muay Thai Warrior and elbowed the glass, shattering it into a million pieces and gashing his elbow in the process. Meanwhile Jerrod is trapped on the balcony unable to see or breath from not staying low like the rules told him to. Hunter notices Jerrod is missing, runs to the balcony and man-handles Jerrod out the front door like King Kong manhandles a giant Banana after smoking a King Kong sized-J. Hunter re-enters to put out the fire only to discover the fire extinguisher isn’t working. Hunter quickly exits, assesses the situation, notices the hand grenade-like pin that is apparently built to stall you in times of distress, pulls the pin, heads back in and successfully puts out the fire. Hunter and Jerrod head outside to catch their breath only to have the fire start up AGAIN. Hunter finds another fire extinguisher (without gashing a body part) and, with his newfound knowledge, quickly pulls the pin, runs back in and puts out the fire for a second, and final time.

When all was said and done the firemen could only contribute their “guardian angel” like presence, the neighbors and landlord retreated from their gawking positions back into their un-touched rooms, and Hunter and Jerrod were left alone in what was left of the place they had begun to call home after moving to Hollywood just four months earlier. As the smoldering flames slowly burned out there was nothing left for them to do except let the gravity of the situation force them to sit down and enjoy breaking the one (and practically only) rule they had established upon moving in; no smoking inside the apartment.

In the piles of ash left by their conquered foe they sat. Two cigarettes, two heroes, one giant ash tray.

Afterward: After spending as much time atop Mt. Olympus they decided to return to the house where us mortals were enjoying our now meaningless festivities and where I, now far beyond the state of comprehension, was oblivious to what had just occurred until the story was recited in detail the next morning. Yea. Way to help friends in need.

12 Responses to “Holy Smokes Batman! An Electrical Fire!”
  1. Leslie Madsen says:

    OK, I’m wiping the tears of laughter from my face as I finish reading about the smoking apartment…come to think about, maybe it’s just from thinking about the ukulele that bit the dust.

  2. Moe says:

    OMG!!! Too funny!!! Perhaps all of yo need to attend a fire safety class, now that you have your own apartment :~)

  3. Grey Goose, Dirty says:

    You’re a great story-teller, Kluck. However, a fairly questionable friend in times of need apparently. So aside from all this fire nonsense that you couldn’t be bothered with at the time, did you at least get lucky?

  4. tsonoda148 says:

    Yes I agree with Grey Goose, you are quite the storyteller, Kluck. I love love love the line, “Two cigarettes, two heroes, one giant ash tray.” Your ability to write “funny” is commendably amazing. Love it. Well, sorry about the fire , though, obviously. And the ukulele.

  5. Lisa says:

    Well now I feel like I know the whole story, and I feel extra bad about them coming over the following night and not making it to the bar.

  6. I have stumbled across your blog and have found this post refreshing and hilarious! Thanks for the siggitties (the Saturday giddiness/giggity). Does that even work? Haha.

  7. Jerrod Popham says:

    The reason I like this most is because it doesn’t paint me as a total drunken madman, screaming while running around in a suicidal inferno. Thanks dude.

  8. Jesse says:

    Kevin this stuff is gold

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