No, I haven't taken up cigarettes. I put a pot of ten-bean soup on the stove to boil, promptly forgot about it, and left the house for three hours. When I pulled back into the garage, my middle daughter said, "What's that smell?"
I ran into the house which was now billowing with smoke and learned a couple of very important things.
1) Where there's smoke, there isn't necessarily fire, there may just be a hardened mass of charcoal-like beans.
2) My smoke detector doesn't work, and yeah, I know there are easier ways to check that.
I turned off the stove, grabbed the smoldering pan, and ran it outside so it wouldn't contribute to the cloud of smoke billowing around my house. Then I yelled to my daughters to open all the windows and turn on the fans. We spent the next few minutes doing this. The cloud of smoke dispersed, the inside temperature of the house immediately rose to nearly match the outside temperature of 108 degrees, but the smell didn't go away.
My youngest daughter went outside to stare at the pan. "Look at the black mark on the grass!" she said.
Some of the grass in our yard is dead--probably due to the fact that we have a giant trampoline blocking a few of the sprinklers. I'd put the pan down on the dry part of the lawn and charred a patch of grass. So yeah, while I was unsuccessfully trying to air out my house, I nearly ignited my back yard.
I would have noticed that eventually, I suppose. You know, like when the smoke started billowing back in through the open windows.
I don't think I should be trusted to cook anymore. I should eat out from now on. It’s safer.
I've opened all the windows again and now the chocolate kisses I stashed in my closet are melting into chocolate and tinfoil blobs. I know. I've just eaten half a dozen of them.