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How Ryan Gosling Saved My Life

June 3, 2013
Check your smoke alarm batteries

One Saturday afternoon last month, I was lying on my couch watching a thought-provoking, sophisticated film – OK, it was "The Notebook" – when I decided I wanted some popcorn.

A few weeks earlier my roommates and I had just moved into a new four-bedroom house that we were renting for the year. It wasn’t a great house but the location was perfect so we decided it was OK to make some sacrifices. A minor one of those sacrifices was the microwave. It was a bit outdated, which to me, basically means it didn’t have a popcorn pre-set button. You never realize how important those preset buttons are until you don’t have them.

I put the bag of popcorn in, set the timer for four minutes (seemed like a reasonable amount of time) and wandered back into the living room where I was immediately captivated by the dreamy eyes of Ryan Gosling – I mean the riveting plot of the movie.

You can probably see where this is going, even if I couldn’t at the time.

When I finally remembered the popcorn, it was too late. I pulled the smoking bag out of the microwave and dashed around the main floor of my house – a trail of smoke following me. This is only the exact opposite of what you should do when there’s a small fire in your microwave (recommended procedure: leave the door closed, unplug from the wall. If the fire doesn’t go out, go outside and call the fire department). I eventually decided it was best to throw the burnt popcorn on the porch and wait until it cooled down and stopped smoking. Disaster averted.

But here’s where the story gets interesting.

It wasn’t until the next day when I was telling the story to one of my friends that it occurred to me that despite my running frantically through the lower level of my house with a smoking bag of popcorn, I never heard a loud, blaring noise.  In other words, the smoke alarm never went off.

That was how I realized that the only smoke alarm on our main floor didn’t have working batteries. I had changed the batteries in my smoke alarm in my previous house on Daylight Savings day like I’ve been taught, but I moved into this house a few weeks after daylight savings time started. With all the stress of moving into a new place, I never even thought to check the smoke alarm.

Now, everything is good. I have a smoke alarm with working batteries, a microwave with a popcorn preset, and I can brag to all my friends that Ryan Gosling just might have saved my life.

Julie Kenneally is the Public Relations Associate for Safe Kids Worldwide.