Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

No politics in this post I promise!

I have a tale to tell. One full of woe, miadventure and of bad decisions having horrid, almost tragic repercussions. And it all happened in my kitchen two nights ago! Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

It was a cold and dreary night, the wind was howling like a banshee, making trees groan as they flexed their mighty trunks in order to avoid being ripped asunder. Life was quiet in Number 23. The heating was on, music played and the electric lights shone valiantly in an attempt to deny the wintery dark its dominance.

There I stood in the kitchen, returned from another day in the mines, determined not to be cowed by the Arctic air that grasped at my skin and wound its icy fingers through my clothing seeking to embrace me and steal away my precious heat. I had skillfully prepared the ingredients to my meal, and the onions, garlic and chicken were sizzling happily in the pot, heated by the clear blue flame. The Thai Red Curry herbs filled the air with an intoxicating fragrance, making my stomach rumble. Suddenly an acrid and bitter tinge was added to the air - burning!

Shocked, I rushed to examine my potential meal and there beofre my very own eyes I saw my worst fear. An area of blackness had taken hold, searing itself angrily against the side of the pan. This could not be! I had to stop the madness! I moved hastily to find an implement with which to perform culinary surgery and save my patient's spicy taste and in doing so my fate was sealed. I knocked the pan ever so slightly.

It teetered on the edge for what seemed an eternity - I had caught the movement out of the corner of my eye. Whirling round, I saw the cooker's natural tilt caused by the uneven flooring provide enough force to overcome the inertia and my sweet, succulent nourishment started its inexorable descent towards the oblivion of the tiled floor. I could not permit this injustice to happen and my instincts took over. My lithe body flashed across the gap and my stomach arrested the dish's horizontal displacement. But the equal and oppposite reaction now began to enforce itself as the pot began to tilt in the other direction.

Here my training took over. I had spent many an hour honing my reaction skills for such a situation - my right hand flashed out and pinned the pan against me. The surge of adrenaline faded as the contents of the pot, blissfully unaware of their potential demise, continued to fry in a now level container. Thoughts ripped through my mind - "Phew" and "Victory is mine!" followed by "Something's not quite right here" and then "Shouldn't this be hot?" The doubt crept in, my mental wall crumbled and the pain leapt across the barrier like bloodhounds after their prey. CRASH! The pot fell to the floor as I jerked my hand away in the vain hope that I had avoided the heat transfer. I was quickly proved wrong. My cries of pain and anguish ripped through the apartment and echoed off the buildings outside. I placed my hand under cold water until I felt it no more but it could not numb the tear in my spirit. Turning, I looked down at the floor and saw, to my delight, the pan sitting as happy as you like, correctly oriented with no spillage! That night I ate like a king, with my left hand.

And so, dear readers, take heart from this tale. Believe in your abilities, and remember, catching a falling hot pan from the stove may provide second degree burns on three fingers, but a mighty tasty meal!