Morning Car-B-Q

Exiting the Mass Pike onto Route 30 in Framingham this morning, I smelled smoke. It was a frustratingly slow rainy commute, so at first I thought I was just smelling cranial smoke. But no: There was a car ahead with a bad smoke problem. Really bad. Can’t see inside the car because of all the smoke in the passenger cabin bad.

I passed the car as the driver was getting out. He was running around to the front of the car, which, I noted with some alarm, now featured flames starting to lick out from around the edges of the hood. And he was trying to open the hood.

I called 911, of course, and went on my way. But it made me think: Darwin Award candidate. If you can actually see flames coming out of your engine compartment, do you:

  1. Run like hell
  2. Stay a safe distance away from the car and wait for the fire department
  3. Risk burning your hands and a fireball in your face to open the hood

I know which one I wouldn’t choose.

—Incidentally, the title is the word that would inevitably be used in the radio traffic report back in Washington DC any time that a car fire occurred, and it always creeped me out. Because on the one hand, I could visualize people hurt and thousands of dollars worth of damage, and then at the same time … barbecue! So I just had to inflict that little piece of mental damage on my loving readers this morning. Happy Monday.