A friend of mine from college and his son were critically injured when their house caught on fire in the middle of the night two days ago. He wasn't a great friend, not even a good one really. He was a geographer, so we had a few classes together. He worked at Wild Oats and would bring me oranges. Then we'd eat an orange on the steps of Johnson Hall and smoke our after-class cigarettes together. I have very happy, though brief, memories of him. I remember him being a genuinely nice guy with a quick and sincere smile. The kind of guy you want to have around as a friend, really.
Anyway, he and his four-year-old son are in critical condition. His wife and their two-year-old son are physically okay, but I can't imagine what sort of psychological or emotional toll this would have on a grown person, let alone on a toddler.
As it turns out, their house didn't have a working smoke detector. The favor I ask of all of you is to take ten minutes this weekend to check the batteries in the smoke detectors in your homes. If you're one of the 12 people who reads this blog, then it's safe to say that I love you dearly, so I'd appreciate your keeping your tails safe.