(Anybody sitting in a crowded theater? No? OK.) FIRE! FIRE!
Sitting in my room minding my own business when suddenly I heard a loud buzzing noise, punctuated by snaps, crackles and pops like the devil's own bowl of giant Rice Krispies. I looked out my window (once I had determined that Sluggo was not attacking me) and saw flames shooting up the wall of the vacant house next door. The electric meter had shorted out and burst into flames. I called the fire department, of course, though the outside fire burned out before they got here. They broke open the garage (the meter is on the wall of the attached garage) and found a smoldering fire on the inside, too. PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric, the local utility company) was called and they disconnected the offending house from the electric grid. But now I will probably have fire nightmares. I have been prone to them ever since, when I was about five years old, our neighborhood movie theatre was gutted by a fire and I was deprived of movies for six months. Worse, I just took a look at the meter on my house, and it is the same make as the one that blew up. Yikes. Time to call an electrician.