April 27, 2022

😲 How a Vacation Rental Almost Killed Me! 😵


I have always adored storytelling. Reading, writing, going to storytelling shows. I am all about today's occasion. In light of the day, I thought I'd tell you about the time Boredwalk co-founder Matt and I nearly got killed by a vacation rental.

This event took place the week we published our Grievance Journal. We decided to celebrate the accomplishment with a weekend away in Topanga Canyon. If you're not familiar with this corner of southern California, Topanga is a famously hippie'ish coastal town northwest of Los Angeles. It's tucked into the mountains and filled with yoga studios, shops selling crystals, and green juice bars. Okay, it's not super different than LA-proper, it just has way more incense and patchouli.

We arrived at our charming treehouse-style rental and were greeted by the owner, who was already burning some of the aforementioned incense, because this is hippie central and I guess he was trying to set a mood. He told us he'd be back shortly to drop off towels and that we could could get settled in.

As soon as he left I stubbed out the incense. It's not just that I'm a hater (which I am); I also have horrible allergies and any kind of scented thing makes me sneeze like crazy. As the incense smell began to dissipate a new odor became apparent. I smelled gas. Matt, who is less sensitive to smells than I am, suggested it might be a smell from the rental's furnace having been turned on just prior to our arrival, and that we shouldn't worry about it. Instead, we went to get dinner.

By the time we got back to the rental the smell of gas was overwhelming, and the faint odor that had been masked by the incense was now overpowering and undeniable. As I got more insistent that there was a gas leak, the owner — who, as promised, had come by with fresh towels — audibly gasped, now noticing the gas leak I was insisting was not my imagination.

It turned out someone had bumped the stove earlier in the day, turning on the gas, but not the flame. If we hadn't stubbed out the incense we never would have been able to smell it and would have definitely been killed either by carbon monoxide or an explosion.

People can say what they will about my contrarian nature and tendency to dislike things, but if I didn't hate incense I wouldn't be writing this email today. Lesson: sometimes being your authentic and generally prickly self can literally save your life.

That was a close one gif

Averted that crisis, on to the next one!


Before we get to our main course — amusing links to brighten your day — let's mention a few April 27th birthdays and historical facts:

Writer, philosopher, and women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft was born on this day in 1759. She died in 1797 just 11 days after giving birth to her daughter Mary Shelley, who would go on to write Frankenstein.

Aviator Sheila Scott was born on this day in 1922. Scott broke over 100 aviation records through her long distance flight endeavors and became the first person to fly over the North Pole in a small aircraft.

Artist/Inventor Samuel Morse was born on this day in 1791. After establishing a reputation as a portrait painter, Morse went on to develop Morse code and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy. (Humanity's very early prototype of text messages.)

Also born on this day: singer/actress/Prince protege Sheena Easton (1959), original lead guitarist and co-founding member of rock band Kiss Ace Frehley (1951), and author/civil rights activist Coretta Scott King (1927).

It was also on this day in 1994 that South African citizens of all races were allowed to vote in a general election for the first time. Nelson Mandela was elected first president of South Africa in that election.

Finally, on this day in 1667 that English poet John Milton, having become blind and impoverished, sold the copyright of "Paradise Lost" for £10. Who says being an artist is a thankless job?

Now on to some amusing links!


1. When the coven puts you on shopping duty

Shout out to our newest team member, Madeleine, who has been making truly hilarious videos for us! If you like this one, please help us out by sharing it with someone who might like it, too!

2. Puppy/Kitty friendship that will have you going "aww!"

Forget about the world being a relentless hellscape for just a minute and give your psyche a pick-me-up with this adorable duo.

3. Cake for a fairy

Miss Wondersmith baked the most cottagecore cake you've ever seen with lemon and stinging nettle. The rest of her Insta account is lovely, too.

4. Sommelier Pairs Wine With Fast Food

I guess this is one way to elevate a burger and fries.

5. And now for something wholesome

This Instagram account only features feel good stories. Will it restore your faith in humanity? Okay, probably not, but it's better for your mood than your usual doom scrolling, so check it out.


OK! Hopefully these little diversions helped to brighten your day! We'll be back here in your inbox on Friday with more entertainment and Boredwalk news and a secret limited edition weekend drop you will NOT want to miss! Until then...

Peace, love, and stories,