Monday, July 12, 2010

Earned My Title of "Camp Fire Girl" Again

When I was in first grade I was a "Blue Bird." That is the equivalent of a "Brownie."
After a couple of years I 'flew up' to the status of Camp Fire Girl and stayed in until seventh grade. I am still friends with several of the girls that were in my Troop.
Last night my "Camp Fire" training came in handy (NOT.)
Massey had a sleep over with several other girls. The plan was to camp out in the back yard in a big tent and roast hot dogs and make Smores over the fire pit.
My two sons dug a huge fire pit several years ago in the middle of our back yard during an industrious spurt of unasked for hard work. It is at least six feet across and outlined with bricks and large stones found back in the woods behind our house.
I came home from work one night last year to find Zach and the next door neighbor's son burning some old broken down bed room furniture of Massey's that had just been taking up space in the garage. The flames were well over twenty feet high and I immediately pulled the hose into the back yard when I saw my son and the neighbor tossing over a huge chest of drawers over the fence from my neighbor's yard into ours.
It was more a "Bon" fire pit and made me EXTREMELY nervous when they chunked the huge dresser onto the already twenty five foot high inferno.
Zach has recently cut down a small tree in the woods behind our house (I'm not sure WHY he did but I didn't bother to question him when he chose physical activity over video or computer activity.) When you have teens... I have learned it is best to never look a gift horse in the mouth.
I asked Zach if he would drag the tree into the back yard so his Dad could chop it up for the fire pit? I think adding the part about Tim doing the chopping made the deal sweeter and Zach lugged the tree into the yard.
After begging Tim to chop the tree up saying I wouldn't ask him for anything else (with my fingers crossed behind my back) he went and halfway chopped the tree. It was pretty dry so I could snap most of the smaller branches myself and the pit was pretty full of dead limbs and ready to go.
The girls hadn't pitched the tent yet...for Pete's sake it was still 90 degrees at 8:00 and I told them they'd die of heat stroke if they all squeezed into a tent before the sun went down. Instead I suggested we light the fire and do a little "Smoring."
I didn't have any kindling and Tim already had the fire pit full with the tree so I tried a piece of newspaper stuck in the middle. The dry leaves burned up quickly but the fire didn't catch.
The girls were sitting on the back deck at the patio table by the kitchen door unwinding coat hangers in anticipation of their "Smoresfest."
I went into the garage to see if I had any lighter fluid left (of course not) so chose instead about a cup of gasoline.
I guess by now you can see where this story is headed...
The girls were all far away from the fire pit...I was out in the middle of our huge back yard and kind of spread the gasoline around pretty evenly for an even burn.
I lit a piece of paper and stepped back as I tossed it into the middle of my fire pit.
The atom bomb that went off would have been impressive if it hadn't scared the living poop out of me and even made my hair blow back from my astonished face.
After checking to make sure I still had eye brows I turned to the girls who were all, for once quiet and speechless and said "I guess we have ignition."
I made a mental note to buy more lighter fluid and dragged the hose into the back yard.
I looked at the back kitchen door and saw my husband standing behind the glass shaking his head back and forth slowly as if to say "And you call ME stupid."
Once the fire died down the girls all came out into the yard with their marsh mellows on wires and I told them "They may taste a little unleaded but I don't think they will kill you."
When I went inside to change my underwear I asked my husband if he heard me light the fire pit... he said he not only heard it but it shook the house.
I guess I know now why gas is almost $3.00 a gallon. That's some powerful crap!
The girls all had a ball and enjoyed seeing me set off an atomic bomb they could admire from afar and I learned why I always kept kids FAR away from me while trying to light a fire.
The girls never even set foot in the tent...they would have died from heat exhaustion it was was so hot last night but opted for Rock Band in the living room til well after 2 in the morning after sending me on a midnight run to the convenience store for more Cokes, Skittles and Almond Joys.
So I AM a little stupid...but at least I know enough to keep every one else out of harm's way while I attempt to make my children Motherless.
Guess I didn't shine as a Camp Fire Girl last night but I was a hit as the entertainment and as a bonus discovered I may have Bladder control problems.
All's well that ends well...and the sleepover didn't end til 4:30 this afternoon.
How funny can things be to a group of 14 and 15 year old girls? By the sounds I heard until well after 3 in the morning...they must be pretty hilarious.
They all had fun and I dodged death.
I'd call that a successful evening.
Til next time..."The Flame Thrower."

No comments: