I know this should probably go in my "And who the fuck are you?" blogs, but I know they're long enough as is, so I will tell these lovely stories of pyromania here instead.

My brother and I have never really gotten along.  He's two and a half years older than me, but we have very similar personalities.  Usually, similar personalities are compatible, but in our case, we both wanted to NOT be like the other.  We wanted to be our own individual person even though we had the same likes and dislikes for the most part, similar talents and similar IQs (his is higher than mine, I admit, but he's also five points away from being considered a genius, while I have quite a few more than that). 

One of our similar loves is science.  And my brother enjoyed doing his own experiments in chemistry and physics...  in our home...  There was the time that he tried to make mustard gas using Clorox (chlorine bleach) and Windex (contains amonia).  And there was the time he decided to try to snowboard off the roof into a drift of snow...  But those are not my most memorable stories of mayhem...  Not even Rotten Fruit Golf can top the stories of Glen setting things on fire...

He once put a shaving cream can in the burn barrell with the rest of the trash just to see if the warning on the side was true when it came to heating the can to extreme temperatures.  It was.  That shaving cream can shot out the side of the steel burn barrell (it was rusted a bit, but it was still in decent shape until that point). 

Then there was the time that he told me (he never asked, just told) to help him film the end "credit" scene for his and his friends' version of the Blair Witch Project (it ended with them chasing cows that they called "witches" and then finding a WWII era bomb- the kind dropped from a plane).  He decided that his "costume" for this would be a hooded sweatshirt with the hood tightened Kenny style around his face, a pair of soccer shorts and a pair of cowboy boots.  He took a crane game stuffed animal, doused it with lighter fluid, then set it on fire.  Before it started to burn him, he dropped it to the ground and started do go all Michael Flatly on it, doing his own version of Riverdance.  What he didn't count on was some of the plasticky fluff inside the creature melting to his boot and then making the boot catch fire.  He didn't notice this until it started to singe his leg hair.  He then panicked a bit and immediately kicked the boot off, sending it flying over our roof and into the front yard.  It is at this point in time we hear my dad from inside the house:  "What the- GODDAMN IT!!!  GLEN'S SETTING SHIT ON FIRE AGAIN!!!"

That should give you some insight into how much of a pyro my brother was.

The summer before my brother graduated high school, he pulled me outside to video tape another one of his experiments.  My parents weren't home (some church function I believe), and my brother had found a chunk of PVC pipe about three inches in diameter and about three feet long.  He wanted to make a cannon out of it.

Now, before you tell me that this doesn't even sound like a smart thing to do, let me tell you that I KNEW this wasn't a good idea, but I knew it would be funny to see him fail.

So, there I sat on the hood of the car, while my brother set things up at the edge of the alfalfa field that we lived in front of, setting up the cannon stand (one of my dad's bluing stands) in waist high weeds, pointing out into the field.  He put the pipe on top of the stand, then shoved a paper Coke cup (like the kind you get at fast food restaurants or concession stands) in the back as his breech.  Yeah.  A paper cup.  He then drilled a small hole for the fuse in it, just before the breech.  He then proceded to dump a rather large amount of black powder (remember, my dad was a gunsmith, so we had access to all this shit) down the end of the pipe.  He packed it in (I don't remember what he rigged to do that, but it wasn't exactly the most important part of this story) and then shoved a croquet ball down the end as use as a canon ball.

Here's where it starts to get good.  He sticks a chunk of string down the hole and then lights his new fuse.  It begins to burn.  But when it hits the pipe, it fizzles out.  So, into the house he runs, telling me not to stop taping this all.  I'm making snide comments left and right on the tape.  He comes back out with a plastic straw, fills it with black powder, and shoves THAT into the fuse hole and lights it.  It fizzles out as soon as it hits the pipe.  Back into the house he runs.  This time he comes out with the barrell of a BIC pen.  He fills it with black powder, and is about to shove it into the fuse hole, but for some reason, decides against it, tosses the pen and...

Lights the paper cup breech on fire...

The cup burns down into the pipe somewhat slowly, but as soon as it hits the black powder, flames come shooting out the back, setting the waist high dry weeds around it on fire.

Needless to say, Glen freaks out.  He runs over to the spiget that has the hose attached to it so he can put out the fire quickly because it's spreading, and there is an old, rotting wood shed not too far away that will go up in flames in a matter of minutes if he doesn't hurry.  He throws the handle to the spiget up, sending the water out through the hose...

Which is still connected to the sprinkler that is hanging on the fence.

Instead of being smart and shutting off the water, unhooking the hose from the sprinkler, then turning the water back on, he decides to wrestle with the arms of the sprinkler to get the hose off, soaking himself in the process.

(By the way, I'm still sitting on the car taping this as opposed to helping him)

He finally gets the hose off and starts to put out the fire, soaking it down as much as he can.  I come over to see the carnage.  There is a circle of weeds burnt out at about a 6 foot diameter.  A couple more feet and it would've hit the shed.  The best part is that he decided to do all this right next to where my mom always parks her car. 

So, after making the burnt area into a muddy mess, he starts tossing boards on top of it, trying to cover it up so my parents won't notice.  Oddly, they never do.  They never had any idea any of this happened until the following year when my brother was working on a salmon boat in Alaska.  My mom was pissed.  I was amused.

That tape still exists somewhere.  I think my brother kept it so it couldn't be used against him.  Too bad for him I still love telling the story of his failure.

Uploaded 08/07/2008
  • 0 Favorites
  • Flag
  • Stumble
  • Pin It