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Writing My Name In Fire

Posted by LOTGK on October 10, 2007

Don’t play with me cause you’ll play with fire

This is a story of a childhood obsession that had gone terribly wrong.

It was summer. Roughly 1970. I was ten years old. (“Your ten years old again Pip, how can you be ten years old”…..An old classic Twilight Zone episode starring Jack Klugman and Billy Mumy) Anyway, there was a large playground behind my house where we all used to hang out. This playground was huge. It had four full size baseball fields, a football field, and the typical school yard rides like the merry go round, the slide, teeter totters, monkey bars, swings, and other assorted rides. So now you know the place was huge.

During the summer months, the school handyman would cut the field grass every other week or so using a big tractor which would leave in its wake dead cut grass, (This was the 60’s folks, there weren’t any grass catching tractors in those days) which would dry up to a fine straw in a couple of days. At this time, I and several other neighborhood kids would collect the dry grass, gather it up in a big pile, wait until nightfall, and then light it on fire and watch it burn.

The flames reached a good twenty feet as it quickly engulfed the dry grass and you could hear the crackling of the flame as it built to a wonderful pyre into the night sky. Several minutes later the fire would burn up all its fuel and extinguish itself leaving a immense black burn mark. But, as all things in nature, the burn mark would soon be covered by fresh grass and the process would then be repeated.

The local police also took notice of this pyro ritual and soon began to stake out the playground in hopes of catching us in the act. But there were several problems for the police.

One, they couldn’t figure out which nights we would be conducting the next pyro offering. Maybe they should have asked the handyman when he was going to cut the grass next. Then, stake out the next several nights.

Two, the field was so huge it would be almost impossible for the police to sneak up on us. And we made sue that they couldn’t use their police cars to chase us because we would close all the playground fence gates so only people could pass through. Cars wouldn’t fit. They would have to get out and chase us.

Third, escapability. If we did see anyone coming towards us, we would all scatter in many different directions confusing the pursuers allowing us all to escape with ease.

Sometimes, being members of the Daredevils Club, (A subject I will touch upon in latter Inner Sanctum stories) we would hide and evade the police without leaving the playground. We would select hiding places such as under the merry go round, lifting our feet up on the metal frame that held the ride together so when the police spotlight would shine over it, nothing could be seen. Or lying down on the sliding board keeping perfectly still hoping that the sides of the slide would allow enough cover to not be detected.

And if we were feeling really saucy, we would sometimes come out of our hiding spots and yell and then run like hell making the police pursue to no avail.

Over the years, none of us ever got caught. There were a few close calls, but no collars. It was only until one incident that stopped me from the pyro offerings. One day I decided to get really creative and write my name in gasoline and then ignite it so I could see my name lit up in fire. So I intricately spelled out my name, then took a match and lit it up. Man, that was cool. My name on fire. In a minute, the flame was out and so was the evidence. Or so I thought.

There before my eyes was my name burned into the ground. In my own back yard. And my parents were due home in an hour or so. I tried raking the grass out, even tried cutting the grass with the lawnmower. Nothing helped. That evening after my long talk with my parents, (You’re grounded for life, yada yada yada,) I decided to give up the playground pyro offering.

My brother George told me to cover up the evidence, I was to simply add more gas to the area where my name was and to scribble nonsense to hide the letters of my name. He told me about an hour to late.

But I was still in the daredevils club. Something had to give. A more daring stunt was needed. And we just the guys to do it…

But that is another story…

Another legend.

Back To Inner Sanctum Archives

LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL

20 Responses to “Writing My Name In Fire”

  1. Handyman in Jacksonville said

    Your post is very well crafted and I have learned. I’ve added your blog to my reading material. Thanks for the update!

  2. i want my name in fire………

  3. Ravi Prakask said

    Want my name by fire

  4. i want my name should be writeen in fire……… how can it is possible?

  5. by fire or i n fire

  6. i want my name in fire ‘ARSHDEEP SINGH’

  7. Janardhan.jani.96@facebook.com

  8. Anonymous said

    SUNIL JAISWAL

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