Some friends and I were gathered for a weekend at the home of the one who inspired the "Olive" tale, and had settled on a cook-out for dinner. Part of the cookout was going to be corn-on-the-cob, cooked on the grill.

Now, we're none of us professional grillers, and we were all pretty tired that weekend (it had been a long, over-night drive for some of us), and so it's perhaps a little bit understandable that we just didn't quite think things through entirely. Not that that's an excuse for what happened, just a possible explanation for it.

So, anyway, the one person among us who'd actually done corn-on-the-grill before was taking an afternoon nap when we decided it was dinnertime, but the rest of us figured, "here's the corn, there's the grill, how hard can it be?" So we went to it, shucking the corn, removing the silk, then putting most of the husks back in place. Then we started the fire, put the steaks & corn on, and wandered back inside. We'd only left out one little step, really.

A couple of things happened then, more-or-less at the same time. The toilet overflowed, the dog got into the kitchen and sprayed whipped cream everywhere, and the corn caught fire.

In the ensuing chaos, I got the fire duty. So there I am, pulling flaming brands of corn out of the grill, and trying to explain to each torch that while, yes, technically a grill is a very good place to catch fire, the timing might have needed a bit of work. Somehow, the folks inside, who naturally all saw this, heard my well-reasoned, detailed explanations as something resembling "Hey! No! Wait! Stop!".

I think the sliding glass door introduced some acoustic distortion, so they just didn't hear what I was saying quite correctly.