Writer’s Workshop: Stupid Guy Tricks

Every once in a while, I’ll be in my office, and will hear Mary laughing like a loony downstairs. If it’s something she found on Facebook, she’ll repost it and tag me. Well, the other day she started laughing, but wouldn’t repost what she found so funny, so we had to go looking for it. Naturally, I practically laughed myself to the point of incontinence when I saw what it was.

Why did I find this so funny? Because I was the kind of person who would be crazy enough to stick a fireworks fountain down his pants and the kind who would be unlucky enough to have something like this happen. And I knew guys who would do this, and some of them would probably still be crazy enough to try it and have the same thing happen.

You might call it The Darwin Award. I call it being a guy. It’s like the old joke: What words most often precede trips to the Emergency Room? “Hold my beer and watch THIS!” Most of the guys I know have tied a bath sheet around their neck and attempted to fly like Superman. I know I did.

In seventh grade, I learned that if you sprayed a lit candle with Lemon Pledge you could duplicate the effect of a flame thrower. I stopped doing it briefly when someone tattled on me and my mother just about had a stroke. After we moved to the suburbs, I had a metal container that was full of matchbooks. One day, when a couple of friends were over and Mom wasn’t home, we set the matchbooks on fire and sprayed the container with Lemon Pledge. The resulting fireball could no doubt be seen all over the neighborhood. I managed to get rid of the evidence before Mom got home.

When I was really young, there was a Chinese family who lived down the street who made their own fireworks in their basement. Now, from that description, you know that it was the guys in the family who came up with that idea. They would shoot off a bottle rocket every night, and one Fourth of July emptied their current inventory. Were fireworks illegal in Chicago? Yes. Did they (or for that matter anyone else) care? No, of course not!

One of my favorite parts of the drive from Atlanta to Chicago was passing the gas station on Interstate 24 in Tennessee that sold, according to their sign, gasoline, cigarettes, cold beer and fireworks. Talk about your recipe for destruction. What was worse was that this was up in the mountains, where an explosion of any size could cause a rock slide sufficient to close the Interstate for at least a day. Some guy came up with that bright idea, and no doubt some bureaucrat in Nashville approved it. Fortunately, nothing has happened… yet.


One of Mama Kat’s prompts for the week was “The last thing that made you laugh.”


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

18 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Stupid Guy Tricks”

  1. I am ever so grateful my son’s not a fire guy. lol
    I know that sign for fireworks etc in Tennessee. The sign looms over the road like a god, lol!


  2. Wasn’t there a TV show with guys doing really stupid things? I can’t remember the name of it but my son used to enjoy watching it. Like riding a bike off the roof of a house. Happy Thursday.


    1. I thought I was being helpful… we had just moved into the apartment on Magnolia, and I remembered that Mom used to burn old newspapers in Indianapolis. Soooo… I figured that was the logical thing to do. I was four at the time, and as I recall they enrolled me in preschool right after that….


      1. When the incident was over and your mother regained her sense of humor she used to do a great imitation of you coming into the living room after starting the fire and saying, ” say, do you think someone can help me put out this fire on the back porch?”


        1. Thing was, Mom wasn’t home. Jill lived with us at the time, and she was the one we asked for help. I guess she called Walkie and said,”know how I’m always complaining about no men in my life? The house is full of firemen.”


    1. It reminds me of the Facebook meme, where there’s the picture of a kid getting ready to stick a knife into an electrical outlet, and the caption “This kid is going places. Not college, but places.”


  3. Why are guys drawn to such tricks! I’m glad I’m not a guy then, although I have to admit when I was a youngster I, too, wanted to fly. I didn’t tie a sheet around my neck, but made wings from cardboard and jumped off the roof of our chicken coop hoping to soar like the eagles! Fun days… but I did outgrow it. Some guys never do, hugh??


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