A Good Time, Spoiled By An Explosion

During the holidays, you are supposed to be reflecting on how your year has gone, for better or worse.  Then I suppose you make future plans based on that evaluation.  It’s like how it is at work for me, with my annual review being in December.  I don’t really have much to worry about in my professional life, and my personal life has been pretty good for a solid number of years.

The GF and I have pretty much been loners throughout our coupledom.  We share a friend here or there, but this year, we are both very grateful for new friendships.  Well, one is new this year, and one was budding almost a year ago.  It’s really weird to actually analyze how friendships form as adults, especially when you’re not really a person, you’re a collection of you and your partner.  But suffice to say, the GF and I have been very fortunate this year.

And, like so many of my posts, that’s not even what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about the time where there was a lot of promise and it just blew up in our faces.  Literally.  This couple was neighbors with the GF, and there was a huge falling out over an incident (not this incident) that is not my story to tell and these neighbors have since moved away, blah, blah, blah.

Now, it was a fall or winter evening, a cold night, and they had invited us over for a evening around a fire pit.  It’s an activity I never really understood – staring at a fire and getting smoke in your eyes – but I know people love doing it, so I’m not opposed.  And so we went over and hung out with them in their driveway, with what I assume was a brand new fire pit.

The pit was metal and round and was pretty ornate.  It sat on the ground and had the decorative cut outs in the upper portion of the flat-bottomed bowl.  The neighbors had built up a good fire by the time we got there and some drinking was involved.  It was cold enough for jackets, despite the fire.  (Another thing about fire hangouts – one side of you roasts and the other freezes.  Fun!)

The night wore on and nothing was terrible at all.  We got along pretty well.  But, without warning, the fire pit exploded.  Yeah, nothing more to say.  It just blew up.  The thing launched probably about 5 feet in the air and it began raining fire and ash down on all of us.  No big deal, really.  That doesn’t happen often to me, if ever, but in this specific case, my jacket bore the brunt of the cinders, melting holes in multiple places.  The GF took some cinders to the hair, which lit on fire.  It was fine, we got the hair put out without any disfiguration.  And after the panic subsided and some neighbors came out to find out who dropped a bomb on the area, we took note of the damage.

There is a lesson to be learned here, and that lesson is, don’t put a flat-bottomed fire pit on the ground and especially do not put it on a concrete surface, like a driveway.  Elevate that fucker.  I deduced what had happened pretty quickly and it was confirmed later.  The fire pit, resting flat on the concrete, heated up moisture and air that was trapped inside the concrete.  With nowhere for the heated pressure to escape, it eventually exploded like a cheap pressure cooker.  This is actually what launched the fire pit into the air.  And underneath, where the fire pit had been, was a substantial hole in the driveway.

Fortunately, we have had no explosions with our new friends and as for those old friends, it was probably prophetic as to how it would turn out in the long run.


  1. Should rename this post “A Sorta OK Time Made Post-Worthy By An Explosion”