Tyler puts a kettle full of water on the stove and cranks the burner to the highest it can go.
We play a round of rummy. We have no interest in each other's money. Also, we don't have that much money to start with. If I win, he has to go get groceries next. If he wins, who knows?
The highest setting for the burner boils water in the kettle in two minutes, fifty-three seconds.
I expect a rumbling, a bubbling, a something. No.
I expect the kettle to get warmer. A little, then a little more. Not enough.
My turn. Three of a kind jacks.
His turn. Discard.
Five six seven of spades.
Four of spades.
Eight of spades.
Three of a kind twos.
Discard ace of hearts.
Collect. Ace king queen of hearts. Discard.
Discard ten of hearts.
Four of a kind jacks.
I grab his cup, ready for the hot water.
Tyler tells me not to get the cards wet.
That's the least of our worries.
Ten minutes. The water is hot. I touch the kettle with my finger and pull it away before it can burn me. I hear it. I feel it. Nothing is happening.
Tyler gets up, pointing to his ear. He looks at me as he touches the kettle with his palm. Nothing. I get up and pull his hand away. The kettle starts to scream.