Last time I was at the Queen Mother's residence, I wanted to turn off her printer. I no longer mess with finding the on/off switch for any appliance (she waved dismissively); I just yank the plug out of the socket. In this case, the plug was on a power strip, so that threw me. Next time I shall just yank the entire strip out of the wall, because what I found was terrifying. I truly haven't been able to speak of it till now.
In trying to find the right plug I touched them all. One of the plugs was the type that looks more like a box than a plug. It was an adapter. And it was melted, people, melted! Melted like a block of butter in a microwave. Luckily I didn't touch the part that was completely liquefied. Luckily, I did not curse. (Mom was right there. Can't.) So I yanked the entire scorched surge protector out of the wall and dropped it into the brass trash can. Mom reports the adapter continued to melt and then adhered to the can.
(Actually, I find this an example of quick thinking on my part, unlike the last time I touched a plug. I began pulling my blow dryer plug out of the wall with wet hands and thought (this is word for word): "Huh. That's a funny sensation. Weird, it stops when I take my hand away from the plug. Huh. You know what it feels like? It feels just like when I was in Jr. High Science and the teacher gave us an electric shock in our module on Electricity. Maybe it's an MS thing, like Lhermitte's sign. No, that's in the spine. Hey, this is an electrical plug, MAYBE SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH IT...AAAAAGGH!")
So, as is our wont, Mom and I dealt with the scary situation by fantasizing how much worse it could have been. Mom pointed out that since she'd had me take down all the smoke detectors because they were making tiresome shrieking noises and she couldn't turn them off that she would not have been awakened if there had been an electrical fire. (She got away with this by telling me the respirator she sleeps with would have drowned out the sound of a smoke detector.)
Then she was a little let down because she remembered electrical fires don't cause flames, but lots of acrid smoke. And then I pointed out that since she sleeps with a respirator maybe she wouldn't experience even the acrid smoke. This was untenable. The goal of the fantasizing is to comfort ourselves that Death, it was cheated.
Then I pointed out that the respirator pulls in air from the room, and it was possible the filter might even take out all the acrid from the smoke. Completely the wrong move. Mom looked at me as if to say "Did I not teach you how to play this game?"
I cheered her up by telling her that the last time I spent the night (after her fall) I found the noise of her respirator to be immensely comforting, because it was proof she was still alive. Of course, sometime that night I realized the sound of the respirator meant nothing, she could have died in her sleep from kidney failure and how would I know? I was listening to the respirator breathe, not listening to Mom breathe. I could have let her sleep till noon the next day, all cold and dead and blowing up like a bellows. I told Mom that. She loved it.