steve austin today is the day


It’s 1:30 in the morning and I just can’t sleep. My stomach is rumbling and I head to the bathroom to take a shit, hoping my pained stomach will relax and let me go to sleep. As I am walking down the hallway to the bathroom, I smelled a wood-burning type of smell. The type of smell an outdoor BBQ makes when you add hickory wood to it. Though I am half asleep, I think it’s odd and just for safety’s sake I check all of the rooms in my house to see if anything is burning. A quick check and fast dump and I am on my way back to the futon in the living room to try get some sleep. My wife and sons had fallen asleep earlier in the kids’ room and I was trying to do the same in front of the TV.

An hour went by and I awoke with my stomach in knots, twisting and turning and in general feeling I needed to once again take a major dump. I begrudgingly went to the bathroom and proceeded to blast out dump #2. Back down the hallway to the living room to resume the light sleep I had going. I smelled the burning wood smell again and shrugged it off as my white trash neighbors just up late and cooking out on the grill. It’s the beginning of fall and the temperature outside in Nashville is in the mid-70’s at night, so I could understand a little late night grillin’. When my head hit the pillow, I drifted off to sleep just like that. A comfortable, hopeful feeling that whatever evil demons that were in my stomach had been clearly shit out in my two thorough and involved attempts at clearing myself. The sandman came and off I went into a very deep sleep. I had been working late nights trying to wrap up mixes for two different bands from Italy, working out a deal recording and producing weapon sounds for a Major Video Game Company, and getting together the final edits of “Axis of Eden: The Film”. All usually a one-man job, handled by me with not enough hours in the day for sleep or personal life sometimes. Yes, this had been a very long and tiring week.

My nose wiggled and my cheek twitched. Something just woke me up. In a flash I looked straight up and then to the wall to see Smoke. Smoke that filled the Air like a thick blanket of black insulation that measured 3-4 feet from the ceiling down. My Whole House was consumed with black smoke. It was at this moment I remembered the smell I had picked up on the way to the bathroom. I didn’t understand and was chaotically confused, paranoid and freaked out all at one time. The first thing I thought was someone had set fire to my house from the outside because I had checked the whole house earlier and nothing was on fire or burning. It didn’t matter who or what caused it, because after the 2 seconds that all of this blasted my mind, I realized my house was on fire.

I screamed as I lunged forward off of the Futon, into the smoke and onto my feet. I screamed my Wife’s name “Hanna” as loud as I could possibly scream. By the time I made it to the kids’ door she had awoke. We looked in the kid’s room, the gun room, the living room, the kitchen and once again, there was nothing burning. Running towards my bedroom, I knew I was about to see something I didn’t want to see. I opened the door and smoke poured out like a wave at the ocean smashing on the beach. In the right corner of the room, 3 feet away from my bed, a Raging Huge Fire was emanating from the Lamp below it. The Fire was gushing against the ceiling causing it to plume and create a mushroom cloud of red, blue and orange fire with thick black smoke billowing off underneath the flames. The Lamp was a very dear belonging to us. I had bought the lamp while on tour in Japan, after a playing a concert called Beast Feast with Motorhead, Slayer, Converge, Hatebreed and a shitload of other sick bands. The Lamp was made by Buddhist Monks out of a Tree that was over 10,000 years old and cost nearly a grand. The Lamp was made of many blades that looked like long measuring rulers that together, formed a circle with a light bulb down inside at the base. To say the least the dryness of the 10,000 plus year old lamp was like perfect kindling and firewood.

The Fire was blasting against the ceiling and was way far beyond out of control. Next to the Lamp was a fire-proof safe that housed my wife’s pistol I bought her for Xmas, a Hk 4 Semi-Automatic German Police Pistol made in 1970, the year she was born. My bed I had as a boy; a Cherry Wood vintage full-size bed with High Posts on each corner valued at over $10,000 was inches away from going up in flames too. My wife and I bolted for the kitchen and like most people I threw the cabinet door open, grabbed a big glass, put it under the faucet and turned on the water all the way up. The Only bad thing was that at the speed the water was coming out, my whole house would be burnt down. This Fire was enormous and suddenly it hit me that even if the water somehow sped up in filling the glass, there was no way a glass of water was going to stop this raging inferno in my bedroom. I spun around 180 Degrees and in front of me was a Brand New 2-Liter of Pepsi that I had just bought from the store earlier that night. I grabbed the 2-Liter of Pepsi and in what seemed like 3 long faster-than-hell Olympic steps around the corner, I made my way into the room where the fire was burning. Black smoke was rolling off the fire and the room was consumed with heavy smoke and no air. My wife tried to stop me on the way to the fire. In her dazed sleep, she for some reason thought I had grabbed one of those Small BBQ Propane tanks (that’s shaped kinda like a 2-Liter) and screamed “No that’s a Propane Tank!!!!” I didn’t say anything back, I just ripped by her, shook the bottle of Pepsi, and Ripped the top off the bottle. I leaned forward and got as close as I could to the fire. Upon the cap coming off the 2-Liter, it sprayed gooey soda all over the heart of the fire. By the time had emptied the 2-Liter, the Fire had been dealt a blow and it’s plume was just barely out of reach of touching the ceiling now. I turned and raced back to the kitchen and headed straight for the refrigerator. I grabbed (1) more 2 Liter of Root Beer and a Pitcher of orange juice that had no top on it. I got as close to the fire again and poured the two liquids rightdown into the center of the flame. This time it knocked the fire down to about 5 or 6 feet high. One more trip to the fridge and the fire was under control. I took a towel and threw the still burning Buddhist lamp off the deck into the yard. My wife had gathered Hank and Willi, my sons, and took them safely out of the house to our recording studio in the back of our property and made temporary beds for them. Luckily the fire had started in the west end of the house, separated by the long hallway and on the east end of the building. The door to their room was shut, so no smoke made it to the inside of the room until after Hanna had awoke to my screams after I realized the house was on fire. The kids were alright. Because they were asleep when all this had happened they barely knew what had happened until the next day when they awoke in the studio.

We sat on the deck till dawn trying to put it all together. Life had been good lately. We had been working so hard to make all of the things we are involved in work out and suddenly with a heartbeat, we almost lost everything. The lamp smoldered and burned throughout the next morning seemingly not wanting to die or burn out. The really spooky or weird thing was, the last thing I had done that night was finish the final edits on a Live Today Is the Day concert from the very Beast Feast that I had bought the lamp at while there in Tokyo. To add even more bizarre strangeness to fate and what had happened, the cause of the fire was a T-Shirt that had fallen down into the Circle or Japanese Rising Sun of the lamp onto the bare hot bulb. The T-Shirt was from my current drummer’s band, Four Question Marks. So, the Lamp I bought in Japan for Hanna made out of a 10,000 year old tree by Buddhist monks nearly took everything I had by having a T-Shirt of my drummer’s band fall onto it. I don’t know about you but, but this shit seems like too much of a coincidence.

Funny thing is, a few days later, I was in Home Depot, out of my mind from repairing and renovating where the fire had damaged my room. At the counter a friendly black girl started up a conversation with me about the fire and was asking how I put it out. I told her about the Pepsi and how it was just right there when I turned around and she exclaimed “See Now! The Lord was looking after you!! Your house was on fire and He Said “Here Ya’ Go” this is what ya’ need.” Then she asked, “How did you think of Pepsi to put out the Fire? I remembered being on tour with my friend Byron Laird listening to Slayer’s “Necrophobic” and seeing Smoke and Fire coming from under our front right wheel. We pulled over in a Dallas Sears parking lot where the Sears had gone out of business. There was no water around ANYWHERE. For some reason, I realized that we had just stopped at Taco Bell and bought combo meals that come with the Gigantic Drink. I got back in the car and grabbed the two Mega Sized Taco Bell Pepsi’s and drenched the Fire that was burning around our front tire and the flame subsided.The Car could have exploded. So, maybe somewhere back in there I caveman-remebered, “Uhmm, Pepsi Put Out Fire!!!”.

None of the fucking smoke detectors in my house worked the night of the lamp fire. We didn’t have a Fire Extinguisher (other than the Pepsi of Course). Now we do and I recommend that you fire-proof the fuck out of your house before it is too late. There may not be any Pepsi around to save ya’ when it happens to you! Life is always willing to take you for a hard ride when you least expect it. Be Ready!!

-Steve Austin / Today is the Day

[Also check out our awesome (and long) interview with Steve from a few months back. -Ed.]

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