You truly cannot appreciate the number of near misses that I can attest
to in my portfolio of pyro. They range from the brutally obvious "
Saw that one coming a mile away." to the "Damn, I never thought
THAT could happen.", the serious "We really need to find that
bodypart fast!" to the ridiculous "Hair is highly over-rated
and besides it'll grow back in a few months." At any rate they're
always damned funny to read about.
Incident Report Number 1
Perhaps one of the funniest incident reports involved a home-made flame thrower of our own design. I know what you're thinking and you're right. A flame thrower is not a tool to be toyed with. It is a serious military weapon of indiscriminate and mass destruction. Fuck that. A flame thrower needs to be introduced to new and exciting environments: bring on the great indoors.
Its amazing how near sighted two pyros can be when testing new ideas. So much so that is seriously endangers their safety and quality of life, especially if parents ever found out. Surprisingly enough, a common Zippo lighter can be converted into a stellar short range flame thrower with the addition of a syringe. We will no go into a discussion of the acquisition of a glass syringe (and its needle) here. By the way, if any of you are wondering why those cheap-ass plastic syringes where not used, think about the basic thermodynamics of a hot metal needle and rejoin us once you've finished the math.
Lighter fluid, as is commonly known, tends to be pretty flammable stuff. Why
else would they load it into lighters right? So why not harness the
inherent volatility of lighter fluid with the hydrodynamics of syringe?
Such was the premise of an afternoon's work in Smoke's basement. After
loading a syringe with fluid we slid the needle into the protective
grill found atop a zippo lighter (right around the wick) and proceeded
to pump the lighter fluid into a high arch. The results: an arch of
flame which, fortunately for us, expired mere inches from the carpeted
floor. Good for us.
A second attempt with this basic design revealed the varied pressure on the piston of the syringe produced varied arches - the harder the push the higher the arch. Pretty basic stuff really. With more pressure, the arch was now very close to the ceiling and still very close to the floor when it expired. Hehe cool Beavis.
The third attempt yielded slightly less favorable results when the
arch made momentary contact with the basement ceiling and all hell broke
loose. Burning fluid splashed onto the ceiling plaster (incidentally
we where VERY lucky it wasn't a paneled ceiling) and begun to burn hot
and fast. The resulting few seconds where life shortening. A damp towel
was grabbed from an adjoining bathroom as the flames spread on the ceiling
and used to smother the smoky fire within about 10 to 15 seconds. As
we surveyed the damage, we quickly deduced that our lives where very
likely over. A very large burn pattern and smoke stains mottled the
ceiling. And one word crept into my mind as I looked at it. Oops.
Then, struck by what could only be described as divine inspiration,
Smoke ran upstairs and began to rummage through a box of Christmas decorations
until he found a can of window snow which we used cover the offending
marks. We covered up the majority of the damage and with a dark pair
of sunglasses on, the lights turned off, and distracted by a strobe
light, Smoke's parents might never notice. To this day it remains a
testament to our mutual stupidity.