February 07, 2005
I burned my arm the other day, and this is it. It looked worse yesterday, and it definitely still looks a lot worse than it feels. It did stink to high hell, though, from the burning hair. I had to remove my Livestrong bracelet, but it is not painful in any significant way. But it reminds me of a story. When I was 18 and just starting college, I helped out on one of those haunted hay rides, where a giant tractor pulls a hay cart full of people around the woods to a series of scary scenes/sites. I was supposed to help organize it and build some of the props, especially the fake guillotine. However, I also worked at said guillotine, usually as the executioner, once or twice as the victim. The whole thing moved like a read guillotine, and we had a bowling ball in a burlap sack which would roll down the hill as the head, and I would usually chase the wagon with the head, much to the horror of kids and the hilarity of adults. The first mis-hap was that I put my head too far forward once and got hit by the wooden blade, which cut me pretty badly but not as badly as the time I split my head open when I was 10. The second -- and much less painful -- mishap involved an old Boy Scout torch can. In the Boy Scouts, we would line trails leading to campfires with large coffee cans that had fire in them. We would soaks a rag in kerosene, paint the outside of the can black and light it up. It would burn constantly and in a totally controlled fashion. Most of us working on the hay ride knew each other from Boy Scouts, so of course we lit the scenes at the hay ride with these torches. One night, we were running low on fire at the guillotine, so I sent someone away for the kerosene can. This can was for the torches only, only for kerosene, and it even said "KEROSENE ONLY" on the side in large letters. Kerosene burns slowly, so one can merely pour some into/onto the already lit fire with minimal risk. So I did. Or so I thought. Low and behold, some idiot put gasoline for the tractor in the wrong can, and you can imagine what happens when you pour gasoline onto a small fire: it comes back up at the stream you're pouring. I jumped back and didn't get hurt at all, but almost all of the hair was burned off of my right arm. No pain, just stench. And no hair on one of my arms. It grew back, but to this day, the hair on my left arm is much thicker than the right, especially my lower right arm. Well, it's not that interesting, but there you go.