Saturday Nights Alright… For Explosions

“Hey man, we’re all going to get together this Saturday. Spoonman is back from Hawaii. I have a week off between training in Arizona. You best make the drive and show up.”

This is how it started. An innocent phone call to initiate a get together of a group that had not all been present in over three years. I could almost hear “The Boys Are Back In Town” playing as I agreed to make the 2 hour drive home, filled with anticipation.

When Saturday night finally came, I eagerly drove to the Lieutenant’s house. I was greeted by his two ancient, decrepit black labs. He arrived shortly after. The evening started off mellow enough–grilling some veggies and steak along with a few beers and discussing future plans. He doesn’t have much choice–his ass belongs to the U.S. Government for at least 4 more years. One of his buddies from school, Larry and I had an extensive talk about grad schools, grad school funding and the overall sucking factor of the GREs. We ate and all was well.

A little later in the night, Spoonman showed up. Spoonman had been living in Hawaii for the past 3 years and finally moved back to the continental U.S. about 2 weeks ago. This was the first time I had seen him in about 2 years. This being the case, we continued to suck back some beer and played a major game of catch up. The same thing happened when the other two-Running Man and J.-showed up. Also, somewhere in this hour, the following happened:
1. Running Man, the kid who never drank a single drop of alcohol during our four years of partying in high school, decided tonight would be the night that he would only drink hard liquor and go shot for shot with any and every one. At one point, he was doing shots of scotch to match my shots of Peach Schnapps. Needless to say, in quite a short amount of time, he was blitzed out of his mind.
2. Spoonman managed to eat an entire 6 lb. watermelon.
3. We decided to go to the Lieutenant’s parents’ gun shop, located about 100 yards from his house.

I know what you are thinking–you were all drunk and decided to go play with guns?! Well, the answer is yes. This is pretty typical. When you grow up in the middle of nowhere, you get pretty good at handling shotguns while intoxicated. You see, the Lieutenant’s family are big hunters and, when someone thought they heard coyotes outside, he made the next logical jump for someone of his upbringing–lets see if we can call them in and kill one. They tried this. It failed. Partly because we were close to the house and they could probably see and smell us, but mostly because the howling everyone heard was just the neighbors dog. We then resorted to Plan B-we were going to blow something up. The Lieutenant had planned for this very event and, prior to the evening, had bought a propane tank that we all agreed before hand needed to be disposed of. I was a bit disappointed, though, because I had assumed he had gotten a grill sized propane tank. He didn’t. You see, since we were 14, we knew we wanted to blow up a propane tank. It was just that, at that age, we couldn’t really get away with it. Now, however, we can. None of us, though, knew what such an explosion would be like, so we wanted test it out with a smaller version. And it is a good thing that we did.

Right next to the gun shop there is a gun range, used primarily by all of the rugged outdoors men that come to buy firearms from his parents so that they can adequately test their discoveries before purchase. We decided that this would be the best place to conduct our test explosion. J., Spoonman and I walked to the 50 yard mark uprange and started building a fire. Shortly thereafter, with the flames a-roarin’, we threw in the propane tank and stumbled drunkenly through the woods, heading downrange, while the Lieutenant sat with his rifle pointed uprange, waiting for us to be in the clear before firing. Literally 2 seconds after we got out of the line of fire, there was a loud rifle crack followed by an explosion and a massive fireball.

And it was fucking awesome.

Somehow, even in our liquored up state, someone realized that it was a good idea to fill a few large buckets with water to put out the fire. It was a good thing we did, because the fireball had shot embers for 10 feet in every direction and caught the tree next to it on fire. We give the event the designation of “bad ass” and decided that, come Thanksgiving, we are going to try to detonate a full-sized propane tank. We just need an empty field with about 600 yards of nothing in all directions and a straight line of sight for about the same distance in order to do it. But, where there is a will, there is a way to make a huge explosion.

The next move was also pretty typical of us as a group and has become a tradition at the Lieutenant’s household any time we ingest any significant quantity of alcohol.  We like to play a game we sentimentally refer to as “Asshole Soccer.”  Heres how we play–first we trek up into the woods about a half mile from his house.  On this particular night, while double fisting my beers, I decided that I would race them up there.  The problem was that I was running up a rocky, hole ridden trail through the woods in the pitch black of night, and he was driving his sisters truck.  Needless to say, I lost.  Once we got to the campsite, we pulled out the necessary equipment–toilet paper, gasoline and a lighter.  Usually, you would then pour the gasoline on the toilet paper, light it aflame and proceed to play soccer, otherwise known as “try to hit your friends with a burning roll of toilet paper without catching yourself on fire.”  When you only pour the gas on the outside of the roll, it results in an initial inferno that dies down to just burning paper.  However, this being the night of firsts, the Lieutenant decided to improve upon this.  Along with the toilet paper and gas, he brought an empty coffee can.  And, instead of pouring gas onto the toilet paper, he poured it into the coffee can and let the toilet paper soak for a few minutes, ensuring that the entire thing was saturated throughout with gasoline.  The result–a constant inferno that, when kicked, exploded into flame and caught anything within 10 feet of it on fire, including the kicker.

It was epic.

Highlights of this game, which went on for 3 rolls, are as follows:
1. Running man, who was beyond functioning at this point, decided to sit down at the picnic table which is located midfield.  At one point, someone kicked the toilet paper roll in his direction and it rolled underneath the exact spot where he was sitting.  He remained sitting there for about 30 seconds with 4 foot tall flames licking around his body while we all yelled at him to move.  Finally one of us went over and pushed him off the bench and saved him from being roasted.  His reply?  “What the hell, man.  I was just sittin’ here.”
2. At the kickoff of our second roll, the Lieutenant took the honors and subsequently burst into flame.  Being the smart one of the group, he had decided to wear nylon running pants which have a habit of being very flammable and melting (we had talked about this earlier that night but he had apparently not made the connection).  So, when I noticed him rolling around on the ground trying to put his pants out, I ran over and saved him from 3rd degree burns.  Thats the kind of friend that I am.
3. J.’s shoes burned almost all the way through.  By the end of the night, he was out a pair of sneakers, a right sock and had some crispy toes.
4. Speaking of crispy toes, Spoonman, being the pseudo-hippie of the group, decided it would be okay to play in sandals.  And shirtless.  This kid has testosterone oozing out of his ears.
5. At one point, the fireball was kicked under the Lieutenants truck, close to the gasline.  Panic ensued.  Most of us dove under the truck to get the fireball away from the gas tank and curtail a possible explosion.  J. just ran away.
6. While putting the toilet paper in the coffee can to soak up more gas, J. decided to set my hand on fire.  In retribution, I grabbed the fireball and threw it at his face.  While I may be missing hair on my right hand, I think I won that battle as J. is missing the left half of his beard.

The night wound down after that with us returning to the Lieutenants house, deciding who was going to drive Running Man home after he informed us that he “drove so much beers tonight.”  After they took him home, I tried to watch Munich but to no avail.  I ended up passing out shortly thereafter.

Somewhere between waking up with Spoonman’s fist in my face and a cat crawling on me, I realized how nice it is when the crew gets back together.  It was just another night with the boys.  And Thanksgiving is only 2 months away.


~ by sisypheanfeat on 26 September, 2008.

2 Responses to “Saturday Nights Alright… For Explosions”

  1. … I love you and your friends so much. And I am seriously jealous of your flaming fun.

  2. Oh you boys and your fire.

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