Each year as summer swings into full effect, weekends become rampant with the pungent smell of burning tree stuff.
Primarily comprised of leaves and appropriately shortened trunks, but the occaisional pine bough may find its way into the mix. Growing up we hosted a number of gatherings at my parents’ home. We called them “fires.”
Imagine you were to call your friends.
You: “Dude, I’m having people over tonight for a fire. Spread the word.”
Friend: “Sweet! Fires are awesome! I’m going to tell everyone I know. You’re a great person.”
That sounds like a humdinger of a good time if you ask me. But, imagine for a moment you are not having a fire. Let us pretend you just want to spend some time in the company of people you care about.
You: “Dude, I’m having people over. Spread the word.”
Friend: “What are we going to do?”
You: “We’re going to sit around in a circle outside and just talk and stuff.”
Friend: “That is probably the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Are you stupid? There is no way I’m telling anyone about that. I hate you.”
You are losing friends faster than you can say “smoke inhalation.” Also, it proves that your friends only care about you for your ability to ignite organic material at fashionably acceptable times.
It’s important to be able to recognize the two main types of campfires.
A good fire is big. The bigger the better, but still safe regardless of the setting.
A bad fire is any fire with a rapidly changing smoke pattern, rotating around the circle, burning the eyes and throats of the campfire patrons.
Tragically, ghost stories are a relic of a bygone era. It’s not possible to entertain friends with frightening tales the way the actors did on hit television show Are You Afraid of the Dark, but you can retell stories about episodes of the show with an air of nostalgia.
Our attraction to fire reflects our primitive ties to our cavemen predecessors. The fact is, people have been making fires for as long as there have been people.
It doesn’t matter that it serves little purpose besides the entertainment value and that it makes you smell bad and is potentially dangerous. It’s just supposed to be fun, despite the downfalls. Typically our society would shun something with such attributes, yet NASCAR remains.
So, as a review:
Circle of people talking = Strange, boring and borderline creepy
Circle of people talking + burning wood = FUN!