Ah fire. Giver of warmth, charred hotdogs, and toasted marshmallows. Fire has always been a problem for my family. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that we’re pyromaniacs, yet fire has been the prominent figure in many of our stories. I would like to share one such story with you.
When I was in JR High, I loved to set things on fire, build camp fires, experiment with fire, etc. I think this stems from a failed attempt at being a Boy Scout. I did manage to get my fire chit when I was a Boy Scout. It was pouring and our leader told us he’d give us our chits if we could keep a fire going. One partially ruined London Fog raincoat later…..
This story, however, is about paper airplanes, balloons, and a bit of my hair. Yes, I did set a bit of my hair on fire while burning a balloon. Lighting a balloon on fire is pretty cool. Because it’s rubber, it flames for just a second (dripping molten hot lava-rubber all over you), then is out. Unfortunately, the air inside the balloon sometimes makes the flame pop, which is how I set a bit of my hair on fire…
What? Where do the airplanes come in? Well, right about here I guess. As I said earlier, I loved to set stuff on fire. Somehow I got this great idea that setting paper airplanes on fire and throwing them out my window would be cool. Nothing like seeing a flaming jet hurl from an open window to the grass below (please remember that this was WAY before 9/11 and I was young and VERY stupid). Eventually, my brother joined in (yes this one was all on me). Every now and again, we’d accidentally set the grass on fire. Just a little bit. I wonder if my parents figured out what we were doing when we would go careening down the stairs and rush out the front door to put out a little grass fire…. Regardless, we kept this up until moms friend came over. Remember yesterday how I told you she was the one who spotted all the toys all over the yard? Yeah. She nailed us again. I think the conversation went something like: “What are the boys doing?”
“What do you mean?”
“There are bits of fire coming from the upstairs window.”
Ah crap… Caught again….
I can’t remember what our punishment was, but I’d bet it was a doosy. This was probably one of the many times my brother and I had to stand in opposite corners with our arms out straight without touching the walls. I’d bet this stunt got us 10 minutes, plus a grounding, plus a surrender of all fire starting materials we might have possessed. I will say that I never played with fire again. My brother on the other hand….