Tag Archives: campfire

A Bad Beach Bonfire

My old roommate and his girlfriend invited me to a bonfire last week. There’s a popular San Francisco spot on Ocean Beach with a bunch of fire pits available to the public. My roommate works at Beach Chalet which overlooks the fire pits. Each night he works he looks out and sees all the fires glowing in the distance and it inspired him to have a bonfire of his own.

So he called me up, invited me out, and he swooped by and picked me up, and the three of us went out to the beach with a box of wood. We parked the car, got out, and went in search of a fire pit. It was around 7:00 PM and it was already dark but we could see four other fires burning in the area. We walked around looking for a pit using the flashlights on our phones but couldn’t find any and gave up after a few minutes. We dug our own pit in the sand, while commenting how weird it was because I just saw the fire pits when I was there a few weeks earlier. Oh well, whatever, let’s dig a hole.

It was pretty windy out, but we managed to get the fire going. We laid out on the sand, cracked open some beers and a bottle of wine, listened to classic acoustic hits on Pandora, and caught up with each other. It was cold and breezy but the good company and roaring fire was making it an enjoyable evening.

And then a man emerged from the darkness and approached us. He clicked on a flashlight as he got near, revealing himself to be a cop. He asked what we were doing and where we were from. We answered by saying that we were having a fire and that we were locals. He retorted with, “Well, if you’re locals how come you didn’t know that fire season is over? Didn’t you think it was weird that you couldn’t find any fire pits?”

Ugh. Damnit. We failed. The cop went on to lecture us for a while before giving us an ultimatum: either get a citation or go to jail. We chose the citation. We turned off the music, sadly poured our precious booze over our beautiful fire, covered the embers with sand, and slinked away.

We walked in darkness back to the car. We glanced back over our shoulders and saw the cop approaching another bonfire. Those flames slowly died out as another citation was given. Cars get broken into, houses get robbed, people get killed, but rest assured the police are making bonfires on the beach a top priority. Your tax dollars at work.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Campfire Smell

I went camping in Yosemite a week ago. It was a short trip, only three days and two nights in one of the most amazing places on Earth, but it was well worth it. I came back with dirt on my face and the lingering aroma of campfire on my clothes. It smelled smoky, musty, and real. I love that campfire smell. It’s a noseful of happy memories that cling to your clothes and hair. It’s very distinct and powerful. It’s not an odor for everyone. Some people hate that campfire smell. Those people are usually bitter and should leave the great outdoors for people who actually appreciate it. I don’t want to smell like campfire all the time. I want to smell like that when I’m camping or when I just came back from camping. Occasionally I will have a bonfire on the beach and go the bars after, sporting the campfire smell like a badge of honor. I’m not ashamed of reeking like a campfire. If I smell like a campfire, that means I was around a campfire. And I’d rather bask in the glow of a campfire than the glow of a TV. I’d rather live than merely exist I guess.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bonfire

It’s not officially summer yet, but I went to a bonfire the other day so it might as well be. Bonfires are one of my favorite things in the world. I love sitting around a fire talking and laughing with good friends, a cold beer in my hand and a joint in my mouth, watching the flames crackle and the wood burn for hours and hours. It’s better than any TV show or movie ever could be. Time slows down, conversations are more real, and the only responsibility you have is throwing the occasional log on the fire to keep it going. It’s impossible not to be content. I’ve never experienced a bad bonfire. Bonfires stay with you. They linger. Literally. The smoke clings to your clothes and they smell like a campfire until you wash them. I went to grab a slice of pizza after I left the bonfire the other day and everyone in the shop knew that I went to a bonfire. And they were jealous. And hopefully they were inspired to have a bonfire of their own. It’s subliminal advertising at its finest.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Fire

Man likey fire. Man likey fire for warmth. Man likey fire for light. Man likey fire for cook cook. Fire is like nature’s robot. Man wants to treat it like a tool. We think that we can harness it and control it, and then nature decides to show us up and release fire’s full power upon us from time to time. Fire is Skynet. Humans are ignorant and can pretend that we are in charge of fire, but then a wildfire will break out and destroy thousands of homes and displace thousands and thousands of people. That’s not a joke, it’s tragic when thousands of people are suddenly uprooted because of a natural disaster. We use water and fire everyday in our homes, but flashfloods and wildfires destroy lives. We can use nature to our benefit, but we are at its mercy.

Humans could not have advanced as far as we have without being able to create fire. But we will never be able to control it. We can practice fire safety and light fires in designated spots like in a fireplace or in a fire pit. Smokey the Bear can tell you to give a matchbook or a lighter to an adult. We can have fire extinguishers and alarm systems in place but if a fire breaks out that shit will spread like an STD from Lindsay Lohan (coincidently, she is a firecrotch).

Fire is comfort though. It’s seductive. There’s nothing like a romantic evening by the fire. The right usage of candles can get anyone laid. Some of my best memories are sitting around campfires or bonfires with a few close friends and a good girlfriend. Watching the flames sputter and crackle is hypnotic, therapeutic, and surprisingly entertaining.

Sitting by the fire will make you contemplate things… like is fire a solid or a liquid? It’s neither, it’s an endothermic reaction and I don’t need Wikipedia to tell me that. Sorry, I just wanted to show off my Cash Cab skills. I also know that lighters were invented before matches. That’s worth a few bonus points.

Fire is awesome. It is hot, dangerous, and unpredictable, just like me. It plays by its own rules, just like me. You have to respect fire or it will bitchslap you in the face, just like me. You have to love and hate it and embrace it and fear it simultaneously, just like Justin Beiber. Fire makes hot dogs taste better and keeps monsters away. Fire is essential and it affects us every day, for better or worse. Fire. Fire. Fire.

Critically Rated at 17/17

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