>Sadly, there was no opportunity for the Grannies to spar earlier tonight, as Granny called and canceled because her stomach was bothering her. (She has diverticulosis.) Sister, Sister's Husband, Husband, and I picked up Bubbe and had a strangely uneventful meal. She didn't even use any racial slurs. It was very pleasant.

After dinner, Sister decided that she needed to stop off in Bubbe's apartment to take a dump before we went on to another activity. It is a damn good thing she had gas, as that is how we discovered the other gas problem. When I walked into her apartment, I swore I smelled gas. The closer I got to the kitchen, the worse it was. "Um, does anyone else smell gas?" I asked nervously.

"Oh, people have been telling me they smell gas when they come over, but I don't smell anything," Bubbe said. "Don't worry. My oven doesn't work though."

However, the other "kids" agreed that we should worry. Over the strenuous objections of Bubbe ("But my window is always open. It's fine. I don't want the sirens attracting attention. Here, let me turn the stove on. See? It works."), I called the nonemergency number for the fire department, and the operator sent over a few guys.

As we watched the truck unload from our window perch, Husband started cracking up. "I love the giant walrus mustache on the fat guy," he commented. And lo and behold, a few minutes later one of the characters from the old Saturday Night Live "Super Fans" burst into the apartment. (OK, "burst" implies that he moved quickly, which I am not sure was possible for this particular firefighter, but still.) Trailing him were two nebbishy, nervous guys, one in charge of a flashlight, the other a wrench.

After banging around for a few minutes with Bubbe interfering every few seconds to tell them how it was, they finally turned off the gas and stomped out, telling her to tell her landlord that she needs a new stove. We hung around a while more, Husband and Sister's Husband looking at Bubbe's Photo Shrine to Her Family, which makes my mother's photo Shrine to Her Family look piddling (pictures to follow upon my return to NY), mocking Sister and I for our various hideous poses and awful fashions.

When we finally left, I had a splitting headache, which I am sure was from the fumes - although several of us had our own leaking gas issues, so I am not sure which fumes. At any rate, it was not the evening I expected, but definitely full of excitement.