“Please, explain to us again what happened,” said the first investigator.
Perry and Kip looked at each other in disbelief.“I don’t know,” said Kip. “Think. Your boss is in there somewhere. What were you working on? What went wrong?” “You know the way things look now, you guys could be in real trouble,” said the second inspector. Perry’s eyes bulged. “No. It wasn’t me. You gotta believe me.” “Then give us something,” said the first inspector. He was met with a wall of silence. “Gus, go take Kip here and get him some coffee. He looks like he could use a cup.” The second inspector took Kip and led him away from the group. “Okay, talk to me,” the first inspector said to Perry. Perry stared at his shoes. “Me and the boss were working on a gas line in the kitchen. It was cold outside, and the house was shut up tight. It was my smoke break so I went into the hallway. The boss was sayin’ something about a leak. I don’t know,” said Perry. “Where was Kip?” As Perry spoke Kip returned with his coffee. “He was doin’ odd jobs n’ stuff, I dunno. Like I said, I was grabbin’ a butt. The boss says to me, ‘strike on box.’ I don’t know what he’s sayin’, ya know? I light up, then all hell breaks loose. I wake up in the street with my shirt blowed off,” said Perry. Kip spit coffee all over the inspectors. “You idiot. He did’t say ‘strike on box’. He said ‘don’t strike the match’!” Perry looked dumbfounded. “Really?”
“I swear, you’re as deaf as a post,” said Kip.
“Strike on box? What does that even mean? Really,” said Kip.The blood drained from Perry’s face. “Oh, my bad,” he said, meekly. There was a commotion from the building. A soot stained man fought his way through the rubble to the amazement of the watching firefighters. The man pushed away medical attention, walked past the fire investigators. “Boss,” said Perry. Without a word, the boss punched Perry square in the face, knocking him unconscious. The fire investigators stood slack jawed as Perry fell to the ground. Kip leaned over Perry. “Did you hear that?”