When I was a child, teenager, “tween” if you will, we had a outdoor wood burning stove that kept the house warm, and me from freezing to death, and it was my job to keep the fire going, a job I wasn’t particulary adept at. I was more interested in staying inside during the winter, cause, fuck it, its cold out there. Often times I would go outside and the fire would be out, turning the house into a Igloo with basic cable (very basic cable, like, 5 channels cable). I would have to take drastic measures to jumpstart the fire, measures that often involved gasoline, cause if Father had found out what I had neglegted to do, out comes the belt and you could only outrun him for so long (I still swear his legs grew 2-3 feet while he ran, giving him that longer stride.
So, this one day, I go outside wearing my Dad’s good winter cap, with real faux rabbit fur lining the inside, and a pair of his gloves (it was too much hassle to actually wear all stuff, which was a whole 3 feet farther away) and open the stove to see it was dead out, not even a lingering ember was left in the stove. I panicked, Father was due home any minuete, and I had to make it look like I had actually did my work, so I activated my very own “Defcon-1”. I loaded the stove to the very top with logs, and then put crumpled newspapers all around the bottom of the stove. Then I went and grabbed a match and lit the papers, watching them burn, but that wasn’t it, there was still my secret ingredient, I went to the back of the house, and opened up the recycling, and pulled out a Folders Coffee can, a can which can hold 1.12 liters of liquid, and then filled that can full. of…. Gasoline.
It was a time of desperate measures, I took this can full of gas, and walked back to the stove, focusing on the upcoming task. Gasoline is rather explosive, so I could’nt just pour it on the fire, I would have to hurl it like a Molotove Cocktail at the fire, while simultaniously ducking/ getting the hell out of Dodge. Now the doorway to our stove isn’t very big, but I was also the proud owner of a perfect gasoline throwing record, so I didn’t feel hesitant at all, basically, it was just another job. I took off my gloves and put them on the door to the fireplace, so I could have full movement of the fingers, to help with the accuracy, this was my biggest can of gas yet, a can filled with enough gas to drive to town and back if I so chose ( I couldn’t “chose” though as I was still too young for even a Learner’s Permit, dark days indeed). I was all set, the papers were burning in the stove, I had taken the pitching stance, and was ready to throw, what happened next, I remember it all in slow motion… I threw the gas, and I saw it fly through the sky, towards the intended target, then, it started to drift down, towards the door frame, I knew instantly that I had messed up (the military code for this is called “Broken Arrow”). The can hit the frame, spilling its contents all over, then I remember this bright orange fireball coming straight at me, I felt it hit me right in the face, I fell backwards onto the ground, and rolled around, because I had paid attention to the fire safety classes, not enough to know not to throw gas on a fire, but enough to know what to do once you caught fire ( I think that even I knew at some point in my life, I would set myself on fire.)
I stayed in the snow, face down in a snowbank, everytime I took my face out of the snow, the air would hit it and it would instantly hurt. I’m not entirely sure how long I stayed there, I think I was hoping for sweet death to take me, because that couldn’t be any worse than what was waiting for me inside once the parents found out. I finally mustered enough courage to stand up and I took stock of the situation, my dad’s good hat had burned away, the gloves, mostly gone, but on a bright note, the fire was roaring. I struggled to think up a excuse as to why I had burned my face away, the best I could come up with was deny it, and pretend that I had always had a dark red face and no eyebrows, I get it from my mother’s side. I went back inside, staying in the shadows, I had walked in, carefully surveying the scene, Mother was in the living room, doing whatever mothers do. I walked into the kitchen, thats when I heard my mother, “Matt, do you smell something burning?” I stuck to the plan, “nope, thats your imagination”. I didn’t sound convincing enough, and mother started walking into the kitchen, muttering, “nope, I really smell something burning, I hope I turned off the stov- she stopped talking and stared at me. I tried to look casual, “whats up?”. She screamed and immediately applied first aid (she tends to overreact). Needless to say, I got in trouble, but not as deep as I feared, and I was still in charge of keeping the fire going.