2009-03-25

Liar! Liar!

So, as you know, or will figure out, I grew up on a farm. My grandfather had a farm that he’d rented the land on for years, and the out buildings, too. The farmhouse and yard was someone else’s.
Well, one year, the house was empty, and the huge yard went untended. So, the owner paid my grandpa to clean it up. And he paid me to help.

The grass was 2 feet fall and had gone to seed, so first we mowed it with the big ditch mower, then raked it, and put it into a big pile on the other side of the dirt road (don’t want to burn the house down). We then mowed it again with the riding lawn mower, raked it again, and put that over on the pile. And by “we” I mean he drove the equipment, I raked. And raked. And raked.

But finally, we were done, except for the burn. Now the grass was pretty dry, but not, “toss a match in and watch it go” dry. It was going to need a little encouragement, so I grabbed an old pop can, filled it with gas from the tanks, and walked over to the grass pile, matches in my pocket.

I feel I need to stop here for a second and tell those of you not from the Midwest, “Yes, we burn things.” We go out side and set shit on fire. On purpose. No one gets arrested. The cops don’t come. The fire department doesn’t come unless called, and sometimes not even then. It is a VOULUNTEER force. This is just the way things are. And yes, growing up, most farm yards had 2 huge tanks up on legs about 5 ft. off the ground. One with gasoline. One with diesel. Farmers don’t drive the tractors into town to fuel them up. But the tanks are probably locked these days.

So, noting the direction of the breeze, I use most of the can of gas to soak the grass pile, so the wind would blow through and burn the rest. Then, thinking smart, I poured about a 4 foot trail of gas along the ground (no EPA). Safety first, I took the can with a little gas left in it, and walked it to the other side of the road. I came back, struck a match, and dropped it on my gas trail.

And my grandfather saw one of the damn funniest things he’d ever seen in his life. Self immolation, country fried style.

I don’t know if I went to the wrong spot when I walked back across the road, or if the gas had run down hill slightly, but what I do know is that I was standing in a small pool of gasoline when I threw that match. Oh, sure, the flame followed right to the grass pile and set it on fire good. Totally worked as planned. The flames that shot up my pant legs and singed all the hair below my knees into curled up little embers, and caused me to jump and hop and dance and swat at my legs like I was on fire? Not so much part of the plan.

Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.

15 comments:

Cora said...

So, what you're saying is you want me to start callin' you HOT PANTS?

;-)

Cora said...

Actually, this reminds me of someone I went camping with who thought it would be a good idea to put matches in her back pocket "for safe keeping" before sliding down a cement slope on her ass. That's a way to toast your buns for sure! Hee hee hee.

Sassy Britches said...

FIRE PANTS! Yaaaay! Better than I imagined.

Sass said...

Please tell me you...
Stopped.
Dropped.
and Rolled.

Redneck schools (or midwest, whatever) chant that every morning like the Pledge of Allegiance.

Scope said...

Stop? Drop? Roll?

Not so much.

Dance and skip and hop around like a spaz who just had flames shoot up his pant legs?

I got that move DOWN.

And please note: It was just a flash of flame. The pants didn't actually catch fire.

Ms. Florida Transplant said...

First of all, you don't get nearly enough credit for your creative titles. Kodus. :)

That is hilarous! My parents have a burn pile in their yard...I used to have marshmellow roasts once it was in a manageable state. There's nothing more country than roasting marshmellows over your yard waste.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Damn you. Damn you for finishing this story so perfectly. I was going to make the comment about your super geniusness and how that tied in with Looney Toons.

And, by Damn you, I mean, "Well done, sir." But not as well done as your leg.

Badda bing.

Soda and Candy said...

Aww, poor little Scope & his BBQ drumstick legs!

Reminds me of a neighbor of my dad's friend who accidentally almost started a bushfire when burning some stuff in her backyard!

SkylersDad said...

Growing up in the mountains, we burned shit also. As a matter of fact, every house had an "ash can" out back that all of your burnable garbage got thrown into!

Nikki said...

Lighting things on fire is the coolest thing about living in the Midwest.

I guess tornados are pretty cool too though...

J.J. in L.A. said...

So you don't have to shave your legs either? ; )

Fancy Schmancy said...

Hysterical, you poor thing!

Callista said...

Now, that's a fire dance!

mo.stoneskin said...

I thought you and Mr Coyote looked strangely familiar. For a while I had been speculating...so now we know! You two are brothers right?

Morgan the Muse said...

Well, the only story I have that compares is my dad burning down a building. It was pretty awesome.