How To Build A Fire

Step 1: Find some wood. Neatly pile that wood in a way that seems to resemble fires that you have previously seen in your life. Once the wood is piled, remember that you need something to start the fire, also known as “kindling.”

Step 2: Find some kindling. This can be pine needles or small pieces of dried bark. Odds are it will be paper, though. It can be any paper, from sensitive incriminating documents to leftover napkins from that Taco Bell by your home that thinks one Grilled Stuft Burrito will somehow cause a mess that requires 70 napkins.

Step 3: Place that kindling under the wood that you already stacked. Begin lighting the kindling with some sort of fire producing device.

Step 4: Your kindling all burned up but the wood did not start to burn. Add more kindling and try again.

Step 5: It has now been 20 minutes and your pile of wood is still just a pile of wood. The kindling is doing nothing but creating smoke and sending tiny pieces of flaming paper into the air. You would take the time to worry that these pieces of paper will land on something or someone and set that thing or person on fire, but you are far too busy lighting more kindling. Find a bottle of lighter fluid and squirt a generous amount directly on top of the pile of wood. Light the wood again.

Step 6: Add more lighter fluid and relight.

Step 7: Add a lot more lighter fluid and relight.

Step 8: Stand back staring at the pile of wood and burnt up paper wondering where you went wrong. Perhaps the wood was not stacked properly. Maybe the logs are wet so the moisture in the wood is preventing you from building a large inferno that is visible from space. Maybe the Taco Bell gave you faulty fireproof napkins. Mutter your doubts about the likelihood of this fire ever taking off, then feel a small amount of hope when you see that a tiny plume of smoke is coming out of the far side of your wood pile.

Step 9: Use the rest of the lighter fluid. Light the wood again.

Step 10: Pray to your respective deity that this time the fire will start. You do not know how much more fire building fun you can possibly stand, so you desperately need it to work this time.

Step 11: Notice a corner of one log has begun to smolder just a bit. Take care of that tiny flickering flame like it is the child you never had. Coddle it and say sweet things to it. Blow on it gently so the flame will begin to grow. Begin to add the last of your Taco Bell napkins nearby the flame.

Step 12: Tell all of your friends and family nearby that you “think it’s going to take off this time.”

Step 13: The fire has spread and the wood is now putting off a bit of heat. Relish in your success.

Step 14: It turns out the amount of time it takes to build a fire was far greater than expected. Now that it is finally going, everyone has to leave. Sit there for a second staring at your handiwork then begin sulking.

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8 thoughts on “How To Build A Fire

  1. How To Build a Fire
    Step 1: Grab the useless phone book you keep stuffed behind the car seat (and none of your friends know why.)
    Step 2: Rip out about a quarter inch of business listings, crinkle into a few fist-sized balls, and layer with small, dry twigs.
    Step 3: Light the paper and watch that thing go up like a mofo.
    Step 4. Now your friends know why.
    PS: Fuck the Taco Bell napkins. All you need are the Doritos taco shells:

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  2. I used to go through anything from four to ten fire starters (you know, those white waxy cubes that smell like compressed kerosene) to start my fires….. and a bunch of kindling… and anything that happened to be lying around that was flammable… well, maybe not ANYTHING. The dog managed to miss out on being thrown into the ambitious inferno on a number of occasions….

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