Man, was that stupid…
OK, this story is about me… more or less. I started it, but my friends took it to the next level. Fortunately for all, no parents were around and the fire department was not involved. Got your attention yet? Good. This little adventure occurred when I was 19-20. I only told my mom about it two years ago (when I was 33).
There was the party, see? Alcohol was involved, but not in the manner you think. My friends and I hate alcohol. The smell of it makes me nauseated. A cap full of NyQuil will send one of my friends into a three day coma (where he erased a hard-drive, but that’s another story). Anyway, I was explaining to the group that anything more than 50% alcohol will, in fact, burn.
To prove my point, I dug a bottle of 70% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol out of my friends bathroom. I dumped a bit on the driveway and lit it. It was just turning twilight and the alcohol burned with a lovely blue-green flame. I should have noticed that evil gleam in Greg’s eyes. sigh.
Greg is/was a character. He had a chip on his shoulder about… well… everything. He lived in more homes while I knew him (while he was in high school) than I’ve lived in my entire life. I still don’t know why we were friends, but I’m glad we’re not now. Last I heard he was in jail in Florida for pedophilia. Yech. Anyway, back to the story.
Greg grabs a couple of guys and they jump in his POS station wagon and take off. They come back about 20 minutes later with 7 botttles of rubbing alchohol from the store. I can only imagine what the checkout clerk thought.
So we gather a crew, distribute the bottles with instructions, and tromp to the backyard. You see, Greg had this pool. A 4-foot, above ground pool. Now, above ground pools have a heavy plastic liner and there’s a rim that goes around the top wall of the pool to hold the liner in place. To hold the liner in place, this rim has a shallow depression… that runs the circumference of the pool… which we promptly filled with 70% Isopropyl alcohol… and set on fire.
I have never seen a prettier blue flame shoot 5 feet into the sky. It was a ring of cool fire. There were some neat alcohol slicks merrily burning away in the water. It was majestic, it was great… until Fat Freddy jumped through the fire and cannonballed into the pool. The tidal wave hit the rim… went into the rim… and pushed flaming alcohol all over the lawn. Cold fire is Good.
At that point, I decided that my time with these people was nearing an end. They were rather more impressed with me and I, rather less impressed with them.
Just remember kids, hang out with smart people, but be careful if they suggest you do something that “would be cool if”.