I know I’ve built this huge reputation for being the fire guy but let me tell you I have not always been on the friendly side of the flames!  Let me start from the beginning.  It all started when I was about 12 years old in my dad’s workshop in the basement.  It was the day before Halloween, and my brother Bob and I were going through my dad’s taxidermy stuff to try to make our costumes. No store-bought costumes for us! NO WAY.

I wanted to be the Wolf Man, so Bob decided to help me make my costume.  I found some flax ( flax is a hair-like substance that is made from some plant and is tan in color. Dad used it in his bird taxidermy)  Now that I had the hair, I had to figure out how to attach it to my face :).  Glue was out of the question. The next thing I ran across was a roll of window putty. Perfect!  I took some of the putty, and put some  across my cheek bones, chin, upper lip, forehead and sideburns.  Next, I took handfuls of the long flax material and pressed it into the putty, longer on the sides and chin, mustache and eyebrows, and really long on the forehead and sideburns! Next I took my dad’s camo makeup, and finished coloring my exposed chin with brown color.  I took my plastic vampire teeth and broke the top from the bottom, and put the top part upside down on my lower teeth to complete my WOLFMAN look.  It looked awesome to us!  We were laughing and thinking we were sooooo cool!  now we had to make it look REALLY cool and scary so I took a flashlight while Bob  shut the lights.  I took my mom’s double-sided makeup mirror ( you know the kind that has a side thats normal and the other side has a magnifying side?)  I flipped the mirror to the magnified side and put the flashlight under my chin and made my best wolfman faces and sounds……too COOL man!  It was then my brother got the bright idea to take a candle to make it look even spookier!  Me being an idiot, I agreed to do it… He lit the candle and put it under my chin in the darkness of the basement I looked pretty damned spooky in the mirror. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH spooky. Then bob thought it would look even scarier if he came closer to my face with the candle! Uh, yeah!!!!!!

As he got closer to my face with the candle the flame connected with the flax beard!  the flax had been drying since , oh, I don’t know, Egyptian times!!!! And all I could see in the mirror was the wolfman going up in a flash! have you ever seen flash paper the magicians use???? Yeah, like that!  Only after the screaming was over and my brother found something to put my face out that the real burning happened!  The putty that I used to hold the flax to my face was….uh, FLAMABLE! yeah!   it was REALLY flammable!  In fact, it was bubbling like the cheese on a freshly baked pizza!   Then my ass got beat by my dad for almost setting the house on fire!

It was a couple of years later when the flame master struck again… When we were kids we made these cannons out of  soup cans, we would take about 5 soup cans that had the tops and bottoms cut out of them we taped them together with duct tape  to make a tube, then we’d attach a pop can at the bottom with the open part to the inside. Then we put a tiny nail hole in the bottom of the can just opposite of the opening.  Next, we all bought the family sized can of Zippo lighter fluid and put a couple of squeezes of fluid in the nail hole.  Then you shake it up till you couldn’t hear the fluid anymore and it was now in a gas form. then you light a match and touch it to the hole and then BOOM! the cannon was supposed to go off, NOT!  so what did I do? yup! MORE FLUID!  shake it up, light the match, touch it to the hole… Nothing! grrrrr! more fluid!  shake, touch the match… Still nothing!   by now all my friends cannons have worked without a hitch, mine not so much.  Now there I was with what amounted to a bomb in my hand.  I wanted to light this thing  bad!  So I did what any kid would do! I lit a match and dumped it down the front of the cannon. hehehe!  still I got nothing!  I repeated this maneuver a couple more times and got the same results every time.  By now my friends had backed away from me by about 50 yards! Hahahaha  pussies!   I couldn’t believe that damn thing hadn’t gone off!!   So there I was holding this bomb in my hand , then I did something that at the time didn’t seem like such a stupid idea! I looked down the front of the cannon! and  there in the very bottom of the pop can was the smoldering head of the last match I dumped in there. it was at that exact moment in time that my brain separated from my body!  I thought I’d just blow out the smoking match head… and in slow motion I filled my lungs with air and exhaled down the length of the tube until the air hit the smoldering match head and then I saw this little red glow and then the match got the air it was looking for and I think it was at that exact moment my brain reconnected with my body and I realized just what I had done but it was too late!  as my  eyes widened in shock at my stupidity I saw the flash!  I couldn’t move fast enough! BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The next thing I remember was the smell of burnt hair and sound of running feet of my friends to my side!  by the grace of god I wasn’t blinded or worse!  I didn’t have any better luck with fireworks either!    a few years ago I decided I was gonna give the kids a 4th of July to remember!  I went down to the fireworks store on the reservation called BOOM TOWN, and spent about $600 bucks on all the coolest fireworks, I had a huge box of every imaginable thing you could think of from jumping jacks to the big roll of über firecrackers, sky rockets, mortars etc!

Everything was going great till the parachute incident!  One of the rocket deals had the fireworks float to the ground with the flares attached to little parachutes. Well, the parachutes were floating everywhere, and I didn’t notice the one stray chute that floated into my huge box of fireworks!!!!!  Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Immediately, it looked like World War Three with fireworks blowing everywhere!  They were bouncing off the house and blowing up. The kids and Nic went running for cover in the house, while I tried to keep the place from burning to the ground!  It all lasted about 5 minutes, but felt like it lasted an hour!  Hahahahaha! Oh well, I guess I should stick to just painting fire huh?  Happy 4th everybody! Be safe!