I Am NOT The Fire Starter…

So before I get into this, I should point out that I was never in the boy scouts…AND I’m the product of a single mother home.  So I didn’t learn how to do all the really cool crap that most boys learn when they are young…like setting stuff on fire.

There I was…sitting in front of my just installed majestic fireplace insert.  I had 5 logs of seasoned wood (I had just learned what “seasoned” meant that very morning), a copy of Saturdays Seattle Times, a little round fire starter thing that came with the insert, and a whole box of those heavy duty matches…yes sir, I was ready.  What I thought would be a relatively simple endeavor turned into a hard fought battle between me and the insert (which I have since named and will hence forth refer to as “Blaze Burnham” or “Double B” for short).  Indeed…it was a battle of will, a battle of intellect, and a battle for the ages…it was also a battle that I would lose.

My first step was to read the instructions on the little fire starter thing that the manufactures of Double B were nice enough to include.  For step 1 it said “set fire starter thing in the middle of the insert”…so I did, with no problems what so ever.  Next it said “set fire starter thing on fire”…so I did that too, once again with complete success.  Then it said “wait until fire starter thing is completely engulfed with flames then apply dry wood”.  So, I wait until the fire starter thing is completely covered in flame as instructed and then put on a couple of logs.  I sat for 10 minutes…waiting for a wave of comforting heat to wash over me.  Sadly, that wave of comforting heat never came.  As I watched the fire starter thing slowly burn away to nothing…with no fire or even a little smoke from the wood to show for it, I realized something had gone awry and this would not be as easy as I had first thought.

I was not deterred by the fire starter thing failing to start my fire…even though that was the very reason for its existence.  I considered this incident to be a minor set back to what would ultimately be a functional and heat producing relationship between Double B and myself.  Pressing on, I placed several pieces of crumpled paper in circle and then set the wood in a tipi like shape in the middle.  Setting several pieces of paper on fire, I was soon, and once again, puzzled as I watched the paper burn away to nothing…yet still producing no fire from the wood.  Regardless of how much paper I would put in, I was not getting my fire!  

By this time I was starting to take Double B’s rejection personally.  I hear stories all the time about people starting forest fires by flicking their cigarettes willy nilly into trees… and I can’t even get a single flame with dry wood, a full Saturday paper, a box of matches, AND a stupid fire starter thing!  Well…there was no way I was going to let Double B get the best of me…so, after swearing like a trucker about to drive off a cliff while getting a collect call from his ex wife, I headed over to Safeway and purchased a handy Duraflame log.  I had used Duraflame logs in the past and was confident in my ability to set that bad boy a flame.  Sure enough my experience came through for me and 5 minutes later I had fire! 

Feeling very manly and sure of myself, I proceed to load 4 additional pieces of regular wood onto the burning Duraflame log and look smugly at Double B as I bask in the sweet glow of victory.  A moment later, I proudly head upstairs to use the facilities.  While doing my business, I suddenly hear my smoke alarm go off and frantically head downstairs.  As I button my pants and try desperately to NOT repeat the tragic events of the great zipper accident of 92, I see smoke coming from my living room.  After opening windows and my front and back door, taking out my smoke alarm battery, and pouring a pitcher of water on the smoke producing but not all that burnt logs, I make myself a drink and set down…exhausted and resigned to the ass kicking I have received.  Raising my glass in the direction of my opponent, I say…”well played Double B, well played”.  His only response was to stare back at me in a cold, mocking silence.  Victory was his…and he knew it.         

Later that night, as I lay in bed, cold and deflated, I read the instructions on how to use Double B for the first time.  Apparently, according to section 7a, there is a small vent that needs to be “open” in order to properly and effectively start a fire.  Included in section 7a was a nice picture…clearly showing the vents location and what it looks like in the open position.  It’s become clear to me now why my friends never put me in charge of anything or give me any real responsibility of any kind. 

90% of the story above is true…and this is why I need to get married.  I need a wife who will prevent me from doing stupid things such as setting my house on fire and accidently killing myself before my 36th birthday.  Double B and I will have round 2 of our battle tomorrow night…only this time, I’m coming armed with knowledge…and lighter fluid!  There is no way anything can go wrong when lighter fluid is involved…right?  That reminds me…I should probably put the battery back in my smoke alarm.

“Only you can prevent forest fires”

– Smokey The Bear

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~ by coreysays on January 18, 2010.

3 Responses to “I Am NOT The Fire Starter…”

  1. Ok, I recall several incidents in which you have made fun of me for less. I will be remembering this!!!

  2. Note to self. Buy Corey a flame thrower for his birthday. Actually that may not be the best idea I’ve had.

  3. Note to Corey… read ALL instructions if you are unsure and for the love of God, NO LIGHTER FLUID!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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