How to Make A Guap: Fire


Today’s Music: Red Fang – Number Thirteen

An irregular series on some of the misadventures – the highs and lows along the way that made me who I am, in case you’d like to make your own.
As always, these stories are true, or at least as true as I remember them.

This story takes place somewhere around 1980. I was between nine and eleven, I guess.
It was summer – the very beginning.
School had just let out.

Such a beautiful day. What could possibly go wrong?

Such a beautiful day. What could possibly go wrong?


I remember it being an exceptionally beautiful day. It was warm, the sun was out. Birds were singing, and I had the whole summer to play.
But first, I had to tend to the end-of-school chores. All the notebooks, the handouts, the loose papers and tests all had to be put away, or my parents would get very upset, and I’d have to spend the summer cleaning my room.

So I gathered them all together and put them in a garbage bag.
A paper garbage bag.
And then decided (like the young miscreant I was) that instead of throwing everything out, I could just burn them.

Next thing I know, my bed was on fire.

So a few minutes later, my sister sees me running by with a full teapot in my hand, turning and rushing up the stairs.
“What are you doing?”
“FIRE!” I shouted, heading to the blaze.

It had grown beyond the capabilities of a teapot.

I just had to ask...

I just had to ask…


So my sister grabbed me (thank god one of us had brains) and got both of us out of the house. At this point, you could se the tower of smoke coming out of the back window of my room.
My sister left me on the front lawn and ran up to the corner where she pulled the handle of the fire callbox.
Our next door neighbor was on the sidewalk just before the trucks came, and heard the sirens and saw the smoke. He thought my sister had been smoking, and that’s what caused the fire.
I have no idea how she answered.
20 minutes later, I was lying on our neighbors couch where he’d given us shelter. The firemen were in the house doing what they do.
My neighbors daughters, about my age, were giving a running inventory of stuff being hurled out the window of my flaming room.
“There goes a bed.”
“Oh, and some blankets!”
“Are those books?”
“There’s a lot of stuff…”

I may have asked them to shut up.

Eventually, the fire went out, my parents came home, and we headed back.
Somehow, my parents were kind enough to let me live that I could tell this tale all these years later.

One final note – for all the kids reading this: If you do something like this (please don’t) and live through it (you won’t, at the time, feel good about that), if your mother tries to ease herself and your dad by saying “well, we needed to change the carpets anyway”, DO NOT(!!!!!) say, “Oh, so this was kind of a good thing!”.

Trust me on that.

Yeah, there are easier ways to get one.

Yeah, there are easier ways to get one.

Advertisements

86 responses to “How to Make A Guap: Fire

  1. Bahahaha! So funny! One time I lit a fire trying to cook pancakes in the backyard with a can of furniture polish and a lighter. The cop that attended now lives next door to me *shame*

    Like

  2. Oh, Jeesh I can’t believe you lit your bed on FIRE!!! You’re right…I am also amazed your parents allowed you to live to tell the tale. NEW CARPETS?!! Hahahaha….man if you were our kid….tsk, tsk, tsk.

    Like

  3. I’m so impressed that your parents let you live to tell this story! It’s a good one, and kind of makes me happy to have a girl. Haha!

    Like

    • My sister was incredibly smug after this.
      Between the fire and her knowing I’d driven my Dads car into the side of the house, I was very very scared of her.
      I’ll stick with boys. Much more straightforward!

      Like

  4. I’m glad nobody was hurt and you lived to tell the tale. That must have been scary as hell!!

    Like

    • Fire and drowning are the two ways of death that scare me most. but over the years, I’ve at least learned to understand fire and it doesn’t make me panic near as much as it used to.
      Learning it came from this.

      Like

  5. Wow, that is hilarious and frightening at the same time! And you’ve managed to make my kids look like perfect angels. So far no fires in the Rubin home, especially from old school supplies. Phew.

    Like

  6. Oh goodness thank you! I so love your adventures.. the way you tell them .. 1980 between 9 & 11
    Ya know I am givin this to my smallish childrem..a good lesson indeed..
    My mother said the samre thing about the carpet after my brother let loose a can of royal blue spray paint on tne living room light mint greem carpet.. and he learned when not to say a thing at that kind of statememt too..
    I totally picture you on the couch eating cheetos while the girls called out inventory..
    Great story Guap!!

    Like

  7. Made My Day maker…laughing…

    Like

  8. Whoa now …. your daredevil side started at a young age!

    Like

  9. Somehow this tale does not surprise me at all, Guap. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing – it’s just a thing. I have no sons and no brothers, so the concept of foolishness is a bit different for those of the female persuasion. ❤

    Like

  10. Poor Little Guap…he was just trying to get that satisfaction that ONLY comes with BURNING school papers, that does not come with burning ANYTHING ELSE!

    Like

  11. You also forget that you accomplished your goal and successfully rid yourself of your school supplies.

    Like

  12. Ay! That must have been terrifying. Not only to see your room on fire but waiting for your parents to come home not knowing what kind of trouble you would get in! Did you have fears of fires after that? My mom watched someone on fire and she was terrified after that and did not even light a match! Glad you are here to tell us about it.

    Like

    • I’ve never forgotten the rush of flames. fire still scares the hell out of me, but I learned to look at it objectively, and know to grab an extinguisher or get everyone out if needed.
      I was amazed the first time I dealt with it rationally and not panicky.

      Like

  13. I think you did the exact right thing. There was no point in bringing all that paper and stuff downstairs to get rid of. You were thinking outside the box (WAY outside). Also, good call on the teapot aka the ‘fireman’s best friend’. Many a lives have been saved by the teapot….

    Like

    • If I’d been a bit older, I would have filled that teapot with rum immediately after.
      then it would have been my best friend.
      (Especially once I passed out and didn’t have to think about it anymore.)

      Like

  14. Wow!
    Did your life flashed before your eyes?
    Or the only thing flashed were the lights of the firetruck?
    I would have died right there, or just pack, wait, would be nothing left to pack. But runaway would have been the best viable option for me.

    Like

  15. Oops. It could have been worse. You could have grabbed marshmallows instead of a teapot of water.

    Like

  16. Wow! How long were you grounded? (in another room since your bedroom was ruined)

    Like

  17. Hey, you once promised me to tell this and you did! Great story. I mean, now it is, but it must have been slightly uncomfortable back then! Good thing you survived. What would WordPress be without you and these stories of you?

    Like

  18. Nice mischief.
    For all the kids reading this I’d only add if you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. The nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. Hahahahaha!
    Very vivid and hot post! I love it!!

    Like

  19. LAUGH – OUT – LOUD. Oh, my gosh Guap, you just made my day! The whole week! Sorry to laugh at your childhood misfortune, but man, do you tell a good story… Love this. But those can’t be the actual photographs of your flaming room… can they?!

    Like

    • This was in teh pre-technology days. All the film would have melted if I tried to use it!
      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I don;t tell this story often at all.

      Like

  20. Oh my! Good your parents let you live to tell your tale. I guess they figured that being under the influence’ of your sister for life is punishment enough. 🙂 On a more serious note, it was good that all that the fire damaged were replaceable goods.

    Like

    • Seriously, it really was lucky. there was a lot of damage, but at no point was teh house uninhabitable.
      And after a thorough cleaning and airing out (good thing it was summer), the smell even faded faster than I’d have thought.

      Like

  21. Oh, Guaps – I am so glad I was not your mother! I would have had a heart attack before I was 30! 🙂

    Like

  22. whiteladyinthehood

    Oh Guapo, best laugh of the day. Loved the story. I just can’t believe you burned the stuff ON the bed…and gotta teapot of water? Thanks for the laugh and I AM glad that you or no one else got hurt.

    Like

  23. free penny press

    Wow.. and you did not get a whipping? My behind would have been as red as the fire..
    😉

    Like

  24. Talk about coincidences: Guess what year the Talking Heads song Burning Down The House came out? 1983! Coincidentally, that has nothing to do with your story! Amazing.

    Like

  25. They really need to start making larger teapots, don’t you?

    Wonderful memory to share, Guap. Glad neither your parents not the fire dampened your spark.

    Like

    • Instead of a teapot, maybe one of those coffepots hooked right into teh water line.
      that would have helped some!

      Like

      • You may have inspired me to tell my fire story. Stories. Three of them. Because threes are funny, right? Except when you tell it, though, fires aren’t funny.

        Like

        • Once watched a cook working for me overload a coal stove. He got it so hot, the iron grates of the grill buckled, and teh entire kitchen vent system caught fire.
          Blue flames shooting 5 feet from the grill to the vent.

          Afterwards, I asked him what he was thinking.
          His reaction was to look at me blank-faced and say “I…I didn’t think it would get that hot.”
          That was funny!

          Like

  26. SCARY! My mom set the kitchen on fire a couple of times. It’s insane how quickly we lose ability to control nature. At least the people were safe (although, at the time and before your parents came home, you might have wished for some injury so that your parent would be sympathetic).

    Like

  27. I can honestly say I am one member of the family that has not yet set fire to anything. It is scary stuff and I think I will stay away from that. I’m glad you made it through OK.

    Like

  28. Hilarious retelling of something that gives me great pause in leaving my kids home alone or telling them to clean their room. Thanks for the laugh.

    Like

    • Yes! I can do motivational speeches for parents who think their kids are terrible and want to see them in a better light!
      …or training seminars for kids…
      hehehe

      Like

  29. Whoops. Well, burning all that trash makes sense to me, but might have wanted to do it outside… lesson learned for next time.
    I never actually set the house on fire, but I was playing with fireworks one time (nowhere near July 4th or New Year’s Eve) and had to quickly hide the evidence before some neighbors ratted me out. Unfortunately the spent husks hadn’t quite cooled, and they ended up melting some carpet in the garage – my mom smelled the “burning” and I was busted anyway.
    Years later though my parents always looked forward to the great fireworks shows I’d put on in the street on the 4th and New Year’s Eve… so, I’m not sure what the lesson there is. 😛

    Like

  30. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…it’s possible that you are my brother’s twin….Glad you survived the whole thing!!! Both of my boys set things on fire in the house…ahhh…the good old days…NOTTTTTT!!

    Like

  31. Hahaha well I guess burning everything seemed like a good idea at the time!

    Like

  32. You were some BAD kid! l hope you got the shit thumped out of you! But no – your parents sound like the tolerant type..

    Like

  33. We all did stupid stuph… not that stupid… but…

    Like

Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s