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Playing with fire

It's become a cliche', the phrase "children with matches," but every now and then we get stories in the news that remind us why it's such a potent metaphor for trouble.

A while ago, a friend of mine told me about a camping trip he went on. One of the ladies present didn't approve of his Axe body spray, so while he was in the outhouse, she tossed it in a trash bag. A bit later, someone else decided to dispose of the trash by tossing it on the campfire.

One of the other guys present, nicknamed "Kenny" for his long history of getting injured in spectacular fashions, was standing near the fire at the time. Rumor has it that he's still missing at least one eyebrow.

But my friend's group got off lucky.

In Rochester, New Hampshire, a bunch of kids were having a gathering around an outdoor stove when a 15-year-old girl thought it might be helpful (or, perhaps, entertaining) to toss gasoline on the stove. A 17-year-old boy was standing nearby, and was promptly covered in flames. He saved himself by diving into an above-ground pool, but was burned over 90% of his body -- and half the burns are 3rd-degree.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, a 12-year-old boy has been arrested. It seems he likes setting fires -- especially in church. He's being charged with starting two fires there, as well as breaking off fingers from a statue of Mary and destroying a large crucifix.

Police say that there is no indication of a "grudge" against the church. Apparently it was just coincidence that he's apparently only started fires and committed vandalism in that one place.

Comments (24)

"...12-year-old boy has bee... (Below threshold)

"...12-year-old boy has been arrested. It seems he likes setting fires -- especially in church."

Hey, Trashy, why dincha burn down the SCHOOL?! What'd Old Lady Semple say when you burnt up her pension check?

Perhaps his mom was a teach... (Below threshold)

Perhaps his mom was a teacher and they do not like the competition provided by church schools.

Well, Bryan, Steve King is ... (Below threshold)

Well, Bryan, Steve King is from New England. Maybe his imagination is not as fertile as its reputation suggests :)

Two things: He has burns o... (Below threshold)

Two things: He has burns over 90% of his body and half of that is 3rd degree. If he survives that will be a miracle.


"Brittany was very shaken up and crying," the affidavit reads. "She was concerned that the police were going to take her away and put her in jail."

So she's concerned about her own hide and not the one she burned off her friend? Very nice. If she had a soul, her own fate would be the least of her worries.

I once saw a teacher start ... (Below threshold)

I once saw a teacher start a campfire with gasoline. I was in sixth grade, and I backed up to watch the show. Sure enough, there was an impressive fireball.

No one hurt, but it was close. Lesson learned for the teacher.

Duffy, people who are shake... (Below threshold)

Duffy, people who are shaken up don't always express themselves well. She might think that the police are going to put her in jail because she feels she did something bad enough to deserve it.

As for fires...

Our family is into bonfires. We tease my mom about building fires. A couple of years ago at a bonfire my mom comes out of the house with an old chair. It was a smallish one that she could carry easily with a wooden frame and padding on the seat and back. Why bring it to the dump? Here was a nice big fire and the chair would burn, so...

Scared the crap out of me. It didn't explode but the way it went up it could have been made of gasoline. All I could think of was a house fire. That chair times 100. It was an *old* chair and stuff these days is made out of fire retardant material. Now I know why. The flames must have gone 20 feet into the air.

We decided that we should burn a piece of furniture ever summer, but I don't think they have. It was impressive though. Wow.

And frightening, thinking of it burning inside a house.

All that is natures way of ... (Below threshold)

All that is natures way of cleansing the gene pool.

And I'm supposed to take th... (Below threshold)

And I'm supposed to take this site as a serious news forum?

God help us all...

No, it is a blog.... (Below threshold)

No, it is a blog.

Forgive me, but exactly wha... (Below threshold)

Forgive me, but exactly what kind of doofus packs Axe body spray on a frickin' camping trip????

"What kind of doofus packs ... (Below threshold)

"What kind of doofus packs axe body spray on a frickin camping trip????"

One with bad b.o.

"No, it is a blog."<p... (Below threshold)

"No, it is a blog."

LOL. It's too funny. Althouse gets similar sorts of comments. How dare she talk about inconsequential things!! Gasp! The horror!

How dare we be so frivolous when the world is on fire?

One who likes to impress th... (Below threshold)

One who likes to impress the ladies that are camping with him. (but obviously failing)

Kim, I don't suppose you no... (Below threshold)

Kim, I don't suppose you noticed that Sistani spoke out about reversing de-Baathification. meaning the Sunni's biggest complaint is being ignored by the Shia, which means they won't put down their arms, which means no national reconciliation, which most likely means that any shorterm success of the surge (if it is in fact working much data I have seen indicates otherwise) will fail in the long term. Shia religious clerics now control Iraq.

My bad. Wrong forum. Will r... (Below threshold)

My bad. Wrong forum. Will repost in the correct one.

"And I'm supposed to take t... (Below threshold)

"And I'm supposed to take this site as a serious news forum?"

Posted by: Bhakti at April 4, 2007 05:48 PM

As opposed to your far out astral plane site north of lower chakra?

In one of my first experien... (Below threshold)

In one of my first experiences as a "responsible adult" (I was 18), I took my girlfriend and her younger brother and his friend camping in the White Mountains. At the camp site, the friend knocked over a bottle of white gas while he was lighting matches and I swiped the bottle off the table as the spilled gas was about to ignite. Table was extinguished swiftly, but explosion was prevented, although supper was decidedly tense.

That friend is now a billionaire, and sadly, has no memory of my gallant rescue.

Pour gasoline on a fire? Th... (Below threshold)

Pour gasoline on a fire? That stuff is known as Boy Scout Water" back home (Florida) and is never to be used for any purpose other than starting the fire.


John--funny comment about m... (Below threshold)

John--funny comment about my blog, thank you.

I do apologize for the antagonistic comment I left above. I was in a bad mood--just came in from the cold after reading a Michelle Malkin article. And we wonder why there is chaos in the world...

Why is it so difficult to get along? You take my blog as being 'out there', yet it is nothing but an offering of peace for the upliftment of mankind (I have taken the vow of the Bodhisattva).

It was out of character for me to leave a snotty comment, and I apologized. Bad mood on my part. Let's move on.

Thank you.

SYNOVA-- Are you talking ab... (Below threshold)

SYNOVA-- Are you talking about Mike Althouse?? He's one of my best friends. Small world.

Bhakti, if I'm reading Syno... (Below threshold)

Bhakti, if I'm reading Synova correctly, she referred to her Althouse in the feminine form. Therefore, I suspect she was talking about Ann Althouse.


One of the multitude of car... (Below threshold)

One of the multitude of car magazines I subscribe to, I think it was Road & Track, had a story that futs here. Seems some teen was out of gas and out of money, so he decided to siphon some gas out of a car picked at random one night. He screwed it all up, and the gas was all over his clothes, the car, the street....just everywhere. So this Einstein decided to see how badly his clothes were soaked, and since it was night he needed a light source.

So the doofus used his lighter.


When I was a 'ute the local... (Below threshold)

When I was a 'ute the local ice cream man ran out of gas in front of my friends house. he had a gas can but no spout. In a fit of genius, he decided to pour the gas into a plastic bag and then pour it into the tank. The bag disintegrated in short order leaving gas on him, the ground, the side of the truck etc. My friends and I are marveling at this and laughing. He reaches into his truck and comes back with a lighter to check the gas levels. Before I could say a word, woosh! The whole thing goes up. The best part was watching him run around in a panic with flaming sneakers.

Although I'm sure Mike Alth... (Below threshold)

Although I'm sure Mike Althouse is a great guy, I was indeed refering to Ann.






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