Friday, February 04, 2005
A Texas "Flashback"
About 3 weeks ago I posted THIS record of my traipsing about Texas with my friend Kyle.
Today I received the above photo from the groom of one of the weddings we attended. I had not really forgotten the circumstance of the photo, but not having a picture to commemorate it, I did not share it with you, as words just could not have done it justice. But now I have a picture, and can explain my severe, sometimes life threatening, stupidity.
The festivities were drawing to a close and the bridal party and some other friends (myself included) were trying to see the happy bride and groom off to their first night of marital bliss together. We loaded up the explorer with balloons, wrote on the car with show polish, and were dashing about trying to get as much done as possible before the newly married couple emerged from the hotel ballroom.
Some folks like to throw rice at this time, but this has become bad for the birds, as the rice expands in their stomachs and kills them (reminds me of alka-selzer rumors). Others use birdseed to alleviate this threat to the wildlife, and a still newer trend is blowing bubbles, which leaves no mess and is environmentally friendly. As this wedding took place at night, none of these solutions were viable, so they went with the most obvious choice for a night wedding - Sparklers!!!
(Now, as you may or may not know, sparklers are made from Potassium Nitrate or similar fuel. By itself, in the form of a sparkler, it tends to be fairly harmless, although it does burn quite hot, and can easily burn you if you are not careful.)
The couple was just about to run out, and we had not lit any of the sparklers yet!!!
and they are cumbersome and sometimes hard to light, so trying to help things along, I came up with what, at the moment, seemed like a very good idea. I grabbed about 20 sparklers with the intention of lighting them all at once and quickly handing them out to guests in order to have everyone ready for the exit of the honored coupled. Now, had I taken an extra 10 or 15 seconds to think about this, I would have anticipated what came next, as the photo clearly indicates...
I lit the lighter in my right hand and leaned it in to the waiting stack of sparklers in my left. The first one lit and began to burn...
but then without warning the rest of the sparklers began to light all at once from the heat of the first, and with each new lighting, the combined fire burned brighter and hotter. It was all over in less than 3 seconds, but I assure you, to me the process was nearly eternal. The spark built from a small flicker to a blazing birth of a flaming star right before my eyes. I might have been entranced much longer had the sensation in my left hand screamed in searing pain as its proximity to the burning Potassium Nitrate quickly snapped me out of my trance.
I of course threw the burning rods to the ground, screaming like a small child, dancing out of the way of the blazing inferno that nearly seared my very soul from my flesh... (slight hyperbole for effect)
We all had a very hardy laugh at the whole thing, no one more than me. My being one of the only 'yankees' in the vicinity, most people were very understanding.
I was unaware however, that the ruckus was caught on film. But I am grateful.
Feel free to inundate me with messages questioning my intelligence.. I deserve it.