So there we were at 6 in the morning. Bringing coffee to cops and firemen, while we were knocking back cans of beer. Normally this behaviour – the beer drinking in public, not handing out coffee – is rewarded with a fine. Now the men and women of the law just gave us some curious looks. Oh what a night it was. The story you’re about to read proves for multiple reasons that drinking alcohol is way better than smoking weed.
So the setting is a normal house in the Dutch city of Tilburg. With neighbours sharing our thin (according to complains about partying at other occasions) walls on both sides. After the graduation ceremony of a friend of mine I get home pretty tired. But around 3.30 in the night my beauty sleep is disturbed in an unusual way. The doorbell rings loud, I hear people banging on walls and windows and a loud voice yells ‘police, open up!’ I put on some pants and the officer downstairs tells me the neighbour’s house is on fire. I have to get dressed and leave the house right away.
But first we have to wake up my housemates. One of them came home an hour ago pretty drunk and is very far away at the moment. ‘Joris, Joris, wake up! There’s a fire, we have to go’. My intoxicated housemate mubles that he is awake and I rush to pack some stuff. In the meantime Joris apparently fell asleep again. When I scream at him to get out of bed, he tells me to fuck off. He clearly think it’s a bad prank. It takes a cop next to his bed to convince him that this is real. Another housemate doesn’t react either. He might be out, but we can’t take the risk so the cop kicks in his door. The room is empty. Outside it turns out the fire is two houses next to us. A typical case of when weed growing goes wrong. The fire started with short circuit, since the electricity of the plantation was done quite amateuristic. The attic of this old house is full of wood and it burns like a torch. Needless to say we fear for ouw belongings when the flames burst through the roof.
Talking to other bystanders we find out that a student who went drinking in town discovered the fire early. Even before the weed growers themselves noticed anything. This thirsty student may have even saved our lives. Anyway, the firemen show their skills and get the fire under control. Our house is unharmed, even the smell isn’t that bad. Meanwhile the cops discover another weed plantage in the house between us and the one on fire. Holland at it’s best. Still we now see how risky these illegal plantages can be, when there’s a lack of security in the safety department. Some people say weed never killed anyone, guess those people don’t count the ones killed by fire.
Around 5.30 am we can enter our house again and decide to grab some beers to celebrate the good ending of this adventure. The firemen and cops are looking at us like we’re drinking toxic acid or something, where we thought this was quite normal behaviour. Anyway, at least we could offer them some coffee and have a small but productive street party. The moral of this story? Rather a drinking neighbour than a smoking neighbour.