This is an older story that I recently rewrote. I’ve done so many serious posts, I thought it was time for something fun.
If you enjoy this one, please “share” or “like”. It makes me happy.
My Pants are on Fire
Jolene and I were in Amsterdam. The Venice of the North. The city where anything goes. We walked by sex shops that had things neither of us understood. In Amsterdam, it’s live and let live. Everyone does their own thing and no one cares. The city is bursting with art and history and practically anything else you can think up.
Although we did check out the Red Light District, we mostly spent our days at places like the Anne Frank House and the van Gogh Museum. We decided to take the evening wine cruise through some of Amsterdam’s scenic canals. It was back in the day when you actually had a video camera. I was lugging it around along with a spare fully charged battery. Remember they used to tell you to run the battery all the way down before recharging your battery? Mine still had a little life in it so I left it on the camera and brought the spare with me. It had a cover but since I hate carrying a lot of stuff around, I just shoved it in my front pocket of my jeans.
The cruise was great. Amsterdam has hundreds of low arched bridges that cross it’s canals. They are lit up with tiny lights and crossing under them, one after another with a nice glass of wine and the moon shining in the glass roof of the barge made for a wonderful night. We walked the narrow cobblestone streets back to our hotel. It was a big Marriott and the lobby was buzzing with activity. It was just what you would expect for Amsterdam. There were white haired men in suits and bow ties, groups of leather punks and of course lots of tourists. We sat and people watched for a while then headed back to our room. As we made our way through the lobby, I felt a small twinge on my upper thigh. What was that? Some kind of weird muscle cramp? It felt more like a pinch. Oh well, just keep walking.
We got back to the room and I plopped onto the bed. It was late and I was exhausted. Jolene was in the bathroom and I opened my suitcase to find my nightshirt. Just then I felt a white hot burning at a very private part of my upper thigh. I mean like lighting shooting through my groin. I started to scream! I could smell burning fabric and …burning flesh? I started to jump around, trying to rip my jeans off. I was screaming…..- My pants are on fire!
Jolene burst out of the bathroom. She had no idea what was happening but she understood that somehow my pants had caught fire. I kept yelling Oh My God! Oh my God! My pants are on fire and pulling at the zipper! Jolene had no idea how in the 5 minutes she had been gone I had somehow set my pants on fire. She ran to the bathroom for water. I was still ripping at my jeans. In the back of my mind I knew it must have something to do with that big VCR battery in my pocket and the coins I had tossed in on the way home.
Jolene had filled the ice bucket with water and was rushing toward me, just ready to dump it on my crotch. I screamed…No! Not water!! Get these pants off me! She yanked them down to my ankles and we saw a large burn in a very inconvenient place.
I stumbled back to the bed with my jeans still around my ankles. The battery had two small metal plates that made the connection on the back of the camera. Because I had not put the cover on the battery the contacts were exposed. I had also thrown some loose change in the same pocket. Some how the change had worked its way into a formation that allowed the battery to complete a circuit and the power flowed. Right into my thigh. It had burnt right through my jeans and into my flesh. There were two significant burns and a sort of sine wave between them. It looked like I had been branded in a very personal private place!
Just then there was urgent pounding on the hotel room door. A man’s voice barked-Open the door! What is going on in there? Is everyone alright? Jolene left me and got to the door. She opened it to find a worried hotel porter who pushed past her and into the room. People had called the front desk about a woman screaming. The porter glanced around to take in the scene. Hmmm, Two women, one sitting on the foot of the bed with her pants around her ankles moaning in pain and holding her crotch. The smell of brunt flesh filled the room. His concern turned to boredom. Jolene barked “We’re going to need a lot of ice and we need it now! He gave a small calm smile, nodded, and slowly backed out of the room. He efficiently returned with the ice and waited for his tip. I guessed he was thinking, just another night in Amsterdam.
The next morning I could barely walk. The burn was not in a good place. It scorched me with pain with every step. I decided to go to a pharmacy and see if I could buy some kind of burn cream. So after breakfast we headed out to find a pharmacy. I limped up to the counter. God, it hurt. Jolene felt so bad for me, she stood close behind at the counter for support. I tried to act as casual as possible and asked for the pharmacist. I told her how I was a pharmacist too back in the U.S and was wondering if there was anything I could buy without a prescription for a burn. The young woman was all business and we did not have a “I’m a pharmacist too” bonding moment. Maybe I was nervous, maybe it was the pain but she started looking at me with a skeptical eye. When did this burn occur? Huh? Last night. Why did she care when it happened? She moved on. And what type of burn is it?” I just looked at her. What? She repeated the question. What type of burn is it? I must have looked guilty and stupid because she started to list types of burns. “Is it a heat burn? A chemical burn?” I stared at the floor and whispered, “It’s an electrical burn”. Then….. And can you tell me the location of this burn?” Now people were in line behind us. It was totally silent in that damn place. Where the hell is the background music? Shit, Shit, Shit! Why can’t this woman just sell me the damn cream? The pharmacist waited. The customers waited. I hesitated and then I snapped. I raised my voice loud enough for the entire store to hear. The groin! OK? It’s an electrical burn to the groin from last night! Can I just get some damn burn cream???? Jolene started to back away from the counter. The pharmacist glanced up, looked a me and quickly disappeared into the back.
During the rest of the trip when people asked me why I was limping, I told them I twisted an ankle.