A natural gas explosion in the middle of the night
had flattened the entire structure
of a house down the street.
I pass by it every day.
Well, not anymore.
The family had escaped unscathed.
I’m not sure how
when I look at where it’s been.
So now I had received an invitation
to a community open house:
“An informational update
to Activa Avenue neighbourhood residents
regarding the investigation of the 429 Activa Avenue
home incident and a discussion on what you can do
to be safe in your home.”
There will be presentations by the Fire Chief,
the Fire Prevention Officer and
the Manager of Customer Relations from the utilities company.
They will probably tell you that it’s okay,
you probably will not blow up
but here are certain measures
that you can take to ensure
that this does not happen to you
like it did right outside your window:
Do not stuff cats into the vents.
Do not fart when standing too close to the furnace.
Do not fuck your wife on the stove.
Make sure your children get good grades.
Pay your utilities bills on time.
people are scared
so they need reassurance
that their families
will not suddenly disappear into a fiery abyss
while they sleep,
that their house now on second mortgage
will actually remain standing when they awake
and that their furniture, their TV’s, their wardrobes
and DVD box sets
-everything they have collected over all of time
will not be decimated and lying about the street
in pieces for all to see come 6AM.
If you follow these instructions
you will remain safe
this will never happen to you
now go back to sleep
and don’t think about the fact
even with the best intentions
even when everything has been checked
and well-maintained and checked again,
breakdowns can still occur.
They should have me on the panel
as a guest speaker.
I only need a minute right at the end
to leave them with that.
I would like to hold my own community open house
on how to use stop signs
a couple years ago
a man that lived a couple blocks down
paid two guys from the same neighbourhood
to kill his wife.
That had also rocked the local community.
I don’t recall receiving an informational update