|It's all in the wrist.|
He had every reason for that concern. You can't show a boy something as cool as that and not expect them to try to figure out how to do it. It was actually a pretty simple trick. It only required a standard lighter. We soon figured out how to do with our hands, as well as, with our mouths, on the kitchen table, in our pants pockets or under the shirt of an unsuspecting friend. It was one of the earliest things we learned about how much fun fire can be.
Kyle loved to set his hand on fire to
One Halloween, we decided to use this for a larger audience. A local Jaycees chapter had a Haunted Hayride and was taking volunteers to man the various scenes. Each group built their own scene and the tractor would pull a hay wagon full of screaming teenagers and families by for them to terrorize. Plus, as teenagers, it was an excuse to sit in the woods and drink beer all night.
The scene we came up with consisted of someone being burned at the stake. The wagon was far enough from the scene, we could put the person being burned behind the fire and make it appear that they were being burned alive. Once the people on the wagon could see us, we could start our scene and toss something in the fire to make the flames shoot up. Various people in our scene took turns being the one to get 'burned alive.' The crowd loved it, but we thought we would take it up a notch the next night.
|Stick men shouldn't try this.|
Wood burns too fast.
Once the fire jumped up, a flaming man would come running out of the fire toward the wagon and disappear into the woods. The part of the flaming man was played by my brother Trevor. He played that part dozens of times for the next two nights. However, just like many of our other ideas, this didn't always happen the way we planned.
Before starting that night, we experimented to get the perfect concoction of flammable material for the effect we wanted. After spraying our solution on his outer clothing, when he jumped through the wall of fire, he would ignite. The flames were big, but not so hot that he needed much extra protection. His head was exposed, so the crowd could see his face, but we had one problem. The fumes, flames and smoke made it impossible for him to see once he was lit.
Our solution? We discovered that about 30 feet past the wagon path was a creek. As long as Trevor ran straight, he would eventually fall into the creek, putting out the flames. From beginning to end, he would not be on fire for more than 8-10 seconds.
When the first wagon went through, we got exactly the reaction we wanted. People were so scared some of them tried to jump out of the wagon. It was a huge success. However, we had four more hours until the end of the night with a wagon coming every 10 minutes.
As the night wore on and our
We only had 10 minutes between wagons, so we had to move fast. We covered them both in solution and Trevor quickly reminded him that he would not be able to see once he ignited. "Run straight and you will be fine." He assured himself and us that he could do it.
When the next wagon came around, we started our scene. The stake was lit and the screaming started. The pit was ignited with the wall of flame and our two human torches ran toward it to jump through. At the last second, the new guy changed direction as he jumped because he was concerned he would hit the wagon when he ran out the other side. In doing so, he collided with Trevor, knocking him into the pit and directly onto the burning coals.
|As drunken teenagers,|
we weren't adequately prepared
Trevor, who got the worst of it, had fabric burned into his skin, lost a good portion of his hair and was already starting to blister on his forearms. For the rest of the night, he had to use long sleeves to prevent further burning. Plus, with the new bald patches, he was much more frightening.
We won the prize for scariest scene.