How many neurotics does it take to make a fire?

Alice: Hey, why don't we make a fire?

Scott: Why would we do that?

Alice: Because fires are nice.

Scott: I was going to work…

Alice: You could work right here, right by the fire.

Scott: eyes Alice with suspicion.

Alice: Okay, if you don't want to—

Scott: No, let's do it. Okay.

He goes to retrieve the logs and kindling, because Alice is a princess who does not wish to dirty her princess hands.

Scott: I should have cleaned out the fireplace, it's filled with ash.

Alice: Don't forget to open the flue.

Scott: Can you get the newspaper sections we don't read?

Alice: Business and Sports, coming up.

There is crumpling.

Alice: These pages have colored ink on them. Are you supposed to burn colored ink? Isn't that like a carcinogen or something?

Scott: It's fine.

Alice: And you opened the flue?

Scott sighs.

Finally, there is something like a fire.

5 seconds later…

Scott: What did you do with the carbon monoxide detector?

Alice: It's in the basement, somewhere.

Scott: You took it out and I saw it down there, I saw it and I thought, that's a weird place for it to be but I didn't get it, and now I can't remember where it is, and we're probably going to poison ourselves.

Alice: There's one upstairs. That's enough, right? Do we need one down here, too?

Scott heads down to the basement.

He returns with no carbon monoxide detector. Meanwhile, the fire is almost out.

Scott: The fire's almost out.

Alice: I know, but see how there's that little bit in the back? I thought maybe if I left it alone it would come back.

Scott, sighing, restarts the fire and returns to the couch.

12 seconds later…


Scott: Are you feeling light-headed?

Alice: I was just thinking that. Crap.

Alice heads down to the basement, and returns with the carbon monoxide detector.
She plugs it in. They watch it anxiously.


Alice: It's 0.

Scott: I still feel weird.

10 minutes later.

Alice: I'm going to bed.

Scott: Is the carbon monoxide making you tired?

Alice: Look, it's still 0. I'm just tired.

They look at the fire.

Alice: Can we leave it?

They attempt to stamp out the fire, using their various fire-related implements, but on it burns.

Alice: Now that we want it to go out, it won't go out.

Scott: It'll be fine.

Alice: Right. The smoke alarm is right there. It's fine, right? Right.

They go to bed, eyeing the dying embers nervously. Somehow, they all survive.


The next evening…


Scott: Did your lungs hurt you all day?

Alice: We're never making a fire again, are we.

Scott: I didn't say that, why would you say that?