DEAR ABBY: I wholeheartedly agree with "Steaming in Massachusetts" that you shouldn't cook if you have been drinking.
Four years ago, I went out to dinner and had a few drinks. When I returned home, I threw a chicken breast and some oil in a skillet and turned on the stove to cook it for my 17-year-old son who was working late. While the skillet heated, I went into the living room, turned on the TV and sat down.
The next thing I remember, I was in my front yard being shaken by my neighbor.
I had consumed only a couple of drinks, but they were enough to make me pass out and not notice the smell of the oil smoking in the aluminum pan. Fortunately, a neighbor walking with her 5-year-old son saw the smoke pouring out of my open windows. She sent her son home to dial 911, while she stood at our fence screaming for us to get out of the house. (Our two Rottweilers wouldn't permit anyone to enter our fenced yard.)
My husband heard the neighbor's screams and went outside. When he realized I was still inside, he re-entered the house and found me fast asleep. He dragged me outside moments before the police were going to shoot the dogs to get in.
I am forever indebted to my neighbor and the fire and police departments. I learned a hard lesson I will never forget: IF YOU DRINK, STAY AWAY FROM THE STOVE! -- KAREN IN TAMPA, FLA.
DEAR KAREN: You had a close call. Since the amount of alcohol you consumed caused you to become unconscious, I hope you called a halt to the drinking. Your frightening experience should have proven to you that when you drink, you're a danger to yourself and others.