Monday, May 10, 2004

not very clever, part 2

Every small little boy loves fire. The adrenaline rush of watching something burn is the ultimate thrill for a 10 year old kid. Like every other guy, I was a pyromaniac when I was small. Like I always said, I was smarter than most kids. There were a few rules I set before playing with fire.

1) Always do it in the garden, near the neighbour's wall, so it won't burn down my house.
2) Always put a bucket of water nearby.
3) Wait till nobody is in so that I won't get scolding for it.

Now, there was always a can of petrol in the shed, my dad uses it to power up the lawnmower. Obviously I was smart enough to figure out that I could not use too much at a time and to replace it in the same spot I took it from.

Among the stuffs I did:

1) Carry the Olympic torch - I was wayyy impressed when I watched the Barcelona Olympic games. Those buggers were carrying a burning stick. So I took one of my old socks with holes and wrapped it around a stick. Then I dipped that in petrol, and burn it. I would then run around the garden like those people in the Olympics did. Needless to say, it got pretty darn boring after runnning two laps around my house.

2) Creating a fuse trail - This was inspired by watching on of the episodes of Zorro. The bugger made a trail of gunpowder, lit one end, and it just burned along the way, finally exploding at the end. Couldn't get my hands on gun powder, so the next best thing was matchsticks. I carefully cut out the black stuff from the wooden matchsticks. One whole box too. I arranged it into a long trail. Well, only 3 inches long. Lit one end. It started burning along the trail, but died midway. I reckon cause it couldn't light up the adjacent stuffs. I got fed-up, and placed the rest of the blackstuffs in sort of a test tube like container. Threw a match in, and watch it cackle and shoot out like fireworks. Woohoo!

3) Burning stuffs - Then I found a lighter somewhere. My new hobby was burning stuffs to see what happened to it. Learned at a tender young age that nothing happens when you burn glass, and metal gets really hot. Also learned, albeit the hard way that plastic melts into a hot goo when you burn it. You see, I tried burning a 10 inch long dental floss which I took from the bathroom cabinet. I held the lighter with my left hand. My right hand held the dental floss dangling over the lighter. Once I lit the lighter, the damn thing burned too darn fast, the flame burning upwards and reaching my fingers. Suddenly, a drop of hot goo dripped back down to the floor because of a stupid thing called gravity. That fucking hot goo dripped on my wrist. Just one drop of it was enough to teach me a new important lesson : never burn dental floss. Till this day, I have a small longish scar on my wrist from the burn. If I know you, you can ask me to show it to you the next time you see me. Hahaha.

4) Flamethrower - I used to wonder why the fuck manufacturers label air fresheners as explosive? There iss always a fire sign on the pressurised bottle. I thought, who would want to burn air freshener? And from previous experience of burning stuffs, I didn't know you could burn gaseous stuffs. So, one day I tried something cool. Lit a candle and placed it on the floor. And then sprayed the air freshener directly at the flame. Hohohoho....flamethrower! Later, I put objects behind the candle and my flamethrower would now burn stuffs in a much faster way!

5) Molotov cocktail - Movies are bad for kids. They teach you how to make Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs). It went to a point where I actually made one, with a glass bottle, petrol soaked rag and everything. As I lit the match to light the soaked rag, something in my head reminded me of what happened when Steven Seagal (or was it Stallone?) lit one and threw it at someone. Logic prevailed, and I never did use the Molotov cocktail. Very lucky that I was a smart kid. Honest.

6) Hot air balloon - You might say I was a bit like Dexter in the stupid cartoon (not as geeky, and MUCH cooler though). I liked to experiment with stuffs at home. I tried building a fucking miniature hot air balloon powered by a candle, and using plastic bags and newspaper as the balloon. Due to the good air circulation around the balloon, in addition to the UHU glue that I used, the frame and the balloon got burned to the ground less than 30 seconds after lighting the balloon. The sight of it burning was so damn fun! Like an infernal fireball, and I could imagine the mushroom cloud which it produced! It was actually more fun than seeing the balloon fly I reckon (not that it managed to fly though)

I know that the stuffs were dangerous. But I knew my limits. Like the Molotov cocktail. I also knew that petrol was explosive, but its alright if you use small quantities of it (well, I had to, so that my dad won't find out that I was using some of his petrol). Unlike some brainless kids that you read about in the papers, I never for once considered putting stuffs into a metal pipe and trying to explode it.

Oh, I just loved my "not very clever" childhood. If my kid in the future has just a quater of the fun I had doing dangerous stuffs behind my back, I would say he would have a happy childhood. Of course, the dangerous stuffs would have to be done behind my back, which parent would allow their kid to make an Olympic torch to run around the house, let alone a freaking petrol bomb?

PS : I made the petrol bomb in 5 minutes, when my mum went to my neighbour's house to borrow stuffs and for the neighbourhood gossip. So, another lesson. If you think your kid is an evil genius like me, keep him in a straightjacket, even if you leave him alone for 10 minutes.

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