'FIRE! FIRE!' Jaspar screams out of the window, as though the black smoke pouring out of the house is not a big clue.
I ignore Jaspar's girl shrieks, take off my t-shirt and tie it round my nose and mouth. I can still hear the fire engine rumbling next door, putting out the bacon butty fire with real firefighters and professional water. I wonder for a second if I am doing the sensible thing. But HA! Is James Bond sensible? Is Superman sensible? Is Captain Underpants sensible? I THINK NOT. You would not catch one of them saying, "Hang on a mo, I had better leave this to someone who fights fires for an actual job."
Wilf the Wonderboy finds the back door and boldly knocks it down (it is open really). He strides like a complete non-sensible hero into a swirling fog of black smoke. He fights with a terrified wild animal and throws it into the wilderness (Blessed, the supremely fluffy white cat is a bit upset). He is about to hurl himself up the raging fiery stairway when he realises that there is no fire.
'PUT IT OUT!!' scream Jaspar from his bedroom retreat. 'I DIDN'T MEAN IT!'
I am utterly and absolutely amazed at what I see but first things first. I run up the stairs and just about drag Jaspar into the hall. 'I know what you were doing.'
Now it is Jaspar's turn to look utterly and totally amazed. 'You do??' He grabs my arm, 'you know about the first smoke-jack invented in 1770 by Peter Clare?'
I nod. 'I have made one of those but never that big and always in the back garden.'
'All that smoke, I thought I'd set fire to the whole house!'
'It is a hazard with this experiment,' I say, wisely.
There is the scrape of car tyres on gravel and the slamming of doors, followed by wailing. We both look at one another.
'My child! Where is my child?' MAC is on her way round the back.
'What about my child?' I can hear Mum saying.
Jaspar's eyes are big and round. 'You won't mention it then?' he says, 'Mum will FREAK!' I would quite like to see that but I can see he is close to pleading.
'Not for now,' I say. 'Not for as long as I can eat things without fear of bogies being added or go to sleep in beds free from toads and...'
'OK, I understand,' says Jaspar. 'It's a deal,' and he actually puts out his hand and we shake on it.
Jaspar and me reach the back door just as MAC and Mum turn up with a firefighter in tow.
'You alright, son?' he asks Jaspar. 'The smoke from these bacon butty fires can be quite nasty.'
'Yeah, I think it scared Blessed,' says Jaspar shuffling his feet around.
'What about you, Wilfred?' asks Mum.
'I was not scared at all, Mum,' I say, 'No we just fine, aren' t we, Jaspar?'
And I believe he smiles at me.