The Reluctant Townie | What to do if your head is on fire

The Reluctant Townie | What to do if your head is on fire

So someone has informed you that your head is on fire. What do you do?

There are any number of avenues you may pursue to address this issue. But as it turns out, there is an official protocol. Follow these simple instructions.

FIRST, DECIDE WHETHER YOU WANT YOUR HEAD TO BE ON FIRE. Ask yourself tough questions. Is this something you wished to occur? Don't just be a passive observer in this event, take charge, be bold and make a decision about what you stand for. Perhaps it is that you would very much enjoy your head to be engulfed in flames, in which case you are a monster and my methods have no use for you. More likely, you would prefer that your head not be on fire. That is fine. So you've decided — you'd rather your head not be on fire at this time. It is an undesirable outcome. Good, that's an excellent place to start.

CONSULT THE VERY BEST PEOPLE. Have you spoken to experts in the field of head combustion? If not, you should schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience. Let career professionals inspect your head with their wide array of speciality tools. Have they come to a consensus? What are they saying? That your head is demonstrably aflame? How unfortunate, as you've already decided you'd rather your head not be aflame.

Do you admit defeat? Do you succumb to an undesirable outcome? Of course not!

FIRE THE EXPERTS. They say your head is on fire? Well, you say their pants are on fire. See how that works? After you remove these so-called head combustion experts from your life, you will no longer have to consider their inconvenient conclusions, and you will be free to pursue more agreeable feedback.

DECLARE THAT YOUR HEAD IS NOT ON FIRE. Your head is not on fire. How could I possibly know that? Because you told me so. And if anybody would know whether your head was on fire, it would be you. And you're saying that it's not, definitely not. That's good enough for me. The overpowering smell of burning hair is kind of ruining my lunch, and the sprinkler system you appear to have triggered in this restaurant is making a soggy mess of my all-you-can eat salad and breadsticks, but I'll take you at your word.

BE PREPARED TO DEAL WITH SKEPTICS. Beyond the inconvenient assessment of the so-called experts, there will be members of the general public who do not stand to gain financially from diagnosing your head to be in flames who will nevertheless perpetuate the myth. You will encounter them in your daily life, and they may assault you with merciless refrains such as "Pardon me, sir, but your head is on fire!" or "Say fella, would you care to borrow my fire extinguisher?" Ignore them. They are not living your truth; they are irrelevant.

HIRE NEW EXPERTS. Seek out experts who will agree in advance not to tell you that your head is on fire. Such experts bring to your defense the benefit of their unquestionable authority on the subject and will go a long way toward silencing your critics. You have a tremendous amount of respect for the right kind of expert, which is, as it turns out, any expert that you agree with.

ON AN UNRELATED NOTE: SLEEP STANDING UP, AND LIMIT YOUR PROXIMITY TO THE CURTAINS. Regardless of the state of your head's flammability, it is generally a good idea to sleep while standing up, clear of any curtains or low-hanging fabrics. After all, studies show that most people who die in their sleep, die while laying down. Scary stuff!

CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN THAT YOUR HEAD IS NOT ON FIRE, EVEN AS THE FABRIC OF YOUR SHIRT BEGINS TO MELT AROUND THE NECKLINE. Should anyone continue to disagree with you, even in the face of the most recent findings of your most recent set of experts, who have serendipitously cleared you of any suspicion of your head being on fire in perpetuity, you may parry by turning their intrusive concerns back upon themselves. My head is ablaze? No, sir, perhaps it is you with a flaming cranium!

UH-OH, YOU'VE STOOD TOO CLOSE TO THE CURTAINS. I warned you. Now they have caught fire. (NOTE: That is not an admission of your guilt for the current state of the curtains. It would be impossible to fault you, because your head is perfectly not on fire.) Pay no attention to the accusatory tone of your roommate, who is now attempting to tackle your upper body with an unfurled blanket. If he cannot see that your head is in a perfectly static molecular state, that is his problem, not yours.

DIRECT THE FIRST RESPONDERS TO THE SCENE OF THE REAL FIRE. Show them to your living room inferno, while you simultaneously purchase emergency homeowners insurance using an app on your smart phone. Do not comply with the first responders efforts to turn their firefighting capabilities on your head. The flames have not just now spread to your eyebrows and eyelashes, heating the contents of your eyeballs like a teapot, obscuring your vision and flooding your nervous system with excruciating pain, and furthermore, you know your rights as a citizen.

FIND AN OPEN AREA AND BURN TO A CRISP. OK, so perhaps your head is on fire after all. You will never admit it, because at this point, why would you? It would only make you appear foolish.

Ryan Jackson commissioned this report to help combat future incidents of your head being on fire, and he can be reached at

Sections (1):Living

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
GeneralLeePeeved wrote on March 18, 2018 at 8:03 am

Oh, Ryan! ...poking the bear again?   You're going to get some nasty comments.....when they figure out what you're talking about.

787 wrote on March 19, 2018 at 11:03 am

Is this guy actually *paid* by the News-Gazette to write this garbage, or does he do it on a volunteer basis?   I hope it is the latter, as it isn't worth much

At this point, I'm not sure which is worse... this tripe, or the rubbish that Elizabeth Hess writes, which is usually composed of topics that are already months old.. such as Target's restrooms.  Yawn.

Both would be a much better fit, if provided for the Smile Politely crowd.