Big Billy – Bonfire of insanities

No matter what Minnie tells ya, let me just say, it wasn’t my fault.

The way it started was, Minnie and Joan are finally talkin’ again. Now, in case you Big BIllylost track, what happened was, Cyril and Joan won some money on a ticket but they never let on about it for a few months and that got Minnie’s face all in a knot.

Of course, me and Cyril kept chewin’ the fat at Tim Horton’s every morning, shakin’ our heads and sayin’ “Women, eh?” So this went on for over a month – the two of them not really talkin’ and me and Cyril sorta takin’ information back and forth to them.

Anyways, thank frig the two of them bumped into each other down at LoFoods and after a few tears or whatever, I guess they gave each other a big hug right in front of the garlic pickles and that was the end of the great lottery fight.

Later that afternoon, Cyril and Joan stopped by for the first time in a long time with a great big feed of Kentucky Fried Chicken for everybody and we sat there and ate until we were so full I couldn’t swallow even one more shred of coleslaw.

Anyways, turns out they also brought in a big grocery bag filled with marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham wafer boxes.

We’ll have a big bonfire! Joan said. We’ll come back tonight with Cathy and Little Jim and you can round up Little Bill and Rosie and we’ll make smores and have a bonfire!

Now, I don’t even like smores to tell ya the truth. I’ll eat mitt-fulls of marshmallows and I’ll eat two or three bars, but I don’t like them all hot and melted together, even though everybody else does. But anyway, her and Minnie hugged again and off they went and the make-up was in full swing.

Now, the thing is, we got this kind of homemade fire pit out in the backyard that I made last summer. All I did was, I took the drum out of an old dryer, weighed it down with a cinder block and, voila – there’s yer fire pit.

Only trouble is, I can’t light a fire in the damn thing for the life of me. We used it twice last year and each time I’d spend about an hour tryin’ to get some newspaper or somethin’ lit and get it in under the scrap wood we were tryin’ to burn on top. The newspaper kept burnin’ out without settin’ the wood on fire. The first time, I had to get Cyril to do it for me, and the second time I just gave up and went inside for the night.

So I decided there’s no way I was gonna get shown up again in my own backyard at my own bonfire. I was determined I was gonna get that fire started right there in front of everybody.

The thing is, I fully realized that I didn’t develop any special fire-startin’ ability since last summer when I couldn’t light the damn thing. So I decided I’d just give myself a little bit of help, and who would have to know about it?

What I did was, before everybody came, I went out to the baby barn and got the gas can for the lawnmower. Then I found an old pop bottle and filled it right up with gas and then I hid the bottle of gas down under the scrap wood.

So that night, Cyril and Joan and Cathy and Little Jim show up (and Cathy’s fella, since they’re in one of their on-agains between off-agains), and Little Bill was there with his girlfriend Rita (because they’re stuck to each other like melted Smarties), and Rosie and her little friend whatshername that lives down the street.

Anyways, we’re all there and me and Cyril set up a bunch of plastic lawn chairs and folding chairs and stuff down by the fire pit and I tell everybody to stand back while I get the fire goin’. See, I was really just tryin’ to draw everybody’s attention to it, but I also didn’t want anybody to catch a glimpse of the pop bottle full of gas I hid at the bottom of the pile.

Watch this! I yelled to everybody. I’m gonna get it on the first try this year!

And I rolled up the sheet of old newspaper and flicked my lighter to it and shoved it way down in the bottom.

Nothin’ happened – just the little glow of the newspaper burnin’.

Just wait for it to catch! I yelled. She’ll go up pretty good I think!

That’s when Minnie realized I was up to no good. Just as she started to ask me what was goin’ on, I guess the flames must have got to the pop bottle and *WHOOSH* this huge ball of fire shot up out of the dryer drum and out in every direction. All the plastic chairs caught fire (thank frig we weren’t sittin’ in them).

I was shocked the damn thing went up so quick, and as I turned to explain myself to Minnie, that’s when we noticed the fire had spread to the hedge between our yard and Mrs. Fischer’s (the one we call Ol’ Fishcakes).

Anyways, we had to run to get the hose and spray down the whole damn thing so the fire wouldn’t spread to my baby barn, or Dave’s baby barn in the yard next door.

I can’t believe you, mister! Minnie yelled at me through her grinding teeth while we sprayed down the flames.

Don’t blame me, I said. I don’t even like smores.

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