The Roof Is On Fire

Daily Post prompt: Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

We don’t need no water, let the motherfucker burn.


I’ve actually given thought to this question. My roommate is a little obsessed with emergency preparedness. He says it’s because we live in California, a region prone to earthquakes, but really it’s for the zombie apocalypse. It is remarkable how similar preparing for an earthquake and preparing for the zombie apocalypse are. The only real difference is the amount of ammunition you need. We have guns, ammo, battery operated everything, emergency water and emergency rations, which are rotated out as they approach the expiration date. He has a spreadsheet. Like I said, he’s a little obsessed.

It’s hard to live with someone like that without wanting to take part in it yourself. It’s like when your coworkers pool their money to buy lottery tickets; you buy in because you don’t want to be the one person who has to come into work the day after they all win. In my room, I have a pry bar, a mag-light, a Louisville Slugger heavy-duty baseball bat in-between my bed and bedside table, and a gun safe with a 9mm handgun and one clip loaded with kill shot. And, of course, my dog. I think I’m covered.

If there is an emergency, all of my friends know to come to my house. The entry fee is enough water for themselves. All of my friends have extra water stashed away somewhere just in case. If there is an earthquake, a zombie apocalypse or some other catastrophic emergency, we’re good. On the other hand, if the house itself were to catch fire, we’d be screwed. There’s so much ammunition in there that it would be popping off for days. I hope the three large gun safes my roommate has are fireproof. Knowing him, they’re not only fireproof but they’re Faraday cages, too.

My safe is not fireproof though, because I’m cheap, so once my dog and cat made it outside, the first thing I would do is empty the contents of my safe. Does “the contents of my safe” count as one thing? There are more than five things in there, so if it doesn’t, I’m already over limit. Let’s break it into a few different categories.

Thing One:

Due to the contagious preparedness of my roommate, I have some bug out cash and all of my important papers in a folder in my safe. Everything I would ever need to prove who I am and what I own is in there. If I could only grab one thing, that folder would be it.

Thing Two:

The safe is also the residence of family jewels that probably aren’t worth too terribly much to anyone but my family, e.g. my Finnish grandfather’s knife, my grandmother’s gold ring, which is much too small for me, and my grandfather’s gold pocket watch:


Thing Three:

While I was in the safe, I’d grab my gun and ammunition. The housing of which was the original purpose of the safe in my room.

Thing Four:

I’d grab all of the art from my bedroom walls. I don’t have much that’s worth anything (at least, I don’t think I do), but it’s all original art. Some of it is mine. Most of it was done by friends. It has either been given to me or bought over the years and I’m quite fond of my collection. I’d hate to think that all of those artists spent all of that time creating things only to have them destroyed in a stupid fire. Creativity should be saved.

Thing Five:

If I still had time and my house wasn’t a smoldering wreck yet, I’d grab my shoes. I have quite a nice collection of shoes. It took me a long time to gather them in one place and it would be a shame to see them go up in flames. Also, I’d probably grab some clothes since I don’t want to be naked and homeless.

Attention Thieves:

I could really live without Thing Five, but after the papers and the jewelry and the art, I don’t have much of value, monetarily or sentimentally. In fact, I don’t have much of value at all. So, if you’re reading this list and thinking that watch looks mighty nice, remember that, in my bedroom, I have a pry bar, a mag-light, a Louisville Slugger heavy-duty baseball bat in-between my bed and bedside table, and a gun safe with a 9mm handgun and one clip loaded with kill shot. And, of course, my dog. She’s a ferocious killer:

I will destroy all of my stuffed friends one day.
I will eat your soul.