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November 18, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Going down in flames

Professional Fire Dancer (Flickr/SteFoul,Toronto)

I’m sure the Professional Fire Dancer said, “Do not try this at home…like anyone ever listens.” (Flickr/SteFoul,Toronto)

You think you have trouble. 

The kid behind us has taken up slinging fire around on a rope. 

A new hobby.

Look, he’s a teenage boy tryin’ hard to make it in the teen social scene – Do not yell “cultural appropriation” at him.

During the first shutdown when people could only go out to exercise, all the other kids were clustered up playing chase with each other on their parents’ golf carts. After a few weeks there were lots of my kids’ driving me crazy so I’ll buy anything to distract them and make them stop golf carts. Amazing how many totally cautious and obedient to the traffic laws kids you can stuff on one of those. 

Only he was stuck in his front yard alone kicking dirt clods. How to get an entry into cool? Yeah, flinging fire around on a rope. That should do it.

We feel a little sorry for him as they are renters and his aging parents have the place looking pretty much like a hoarder house.

There’s a pool – which I’m sure offered hope to him at first. (The pool pump can be fixed!!!) (Constantly)

Only his friends would have to navigate the patio/backyard…and notice his parents’ lack of concern about picking up stuff…and their joy of accumulating  recycling all sorts of clutter stuff. 

You know all those worn little gazebos with far too weathered canvas tops and curtains that people put on neighborhood websites hoping someone will haul them off? Yeah, there’s multiple ones of those…with the canvas even sadder with the rips from the vicious winds we’ve had. There’s a broken down Tiki Bar missing some imitation bamboo. 

Kid can’t get a break.

So he’s out front whirling and tossing and going down in flames.

The cuties in the golf cart with the loudest music hardly give him a glance.

We’re about to suggest he pitch the rope and go down and get the biggest boa constrictor he can find and drape it around his neck.

Worked for the boy about two blocks down a couple of summers ago.

Singed or scorched is not a good look.

He’s standing awfully close to those overgrown sappy pine trees…and the drought…

(Do they make fire resistant clothing for teenagers? Santa?)

Playing with fire, but hang in there, kid. Phoenix is thy name. 

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

This is what he wants…oh, probably the girl too. 


Leave a Comment
  1. easyweimaraner / Nov 18 2020 6:43 am

    my granny said those who play with fire will pee in their bed at night… I often feel sorry for this kinds of kids, it’s not easy to jump on the rolling be-cool-wagon (or golf cart)…

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 18 2020 10:36 am

      One is the loneliest number…especially at that age and especially during these weird times. How can these kids meet the others easily without school as usual?
      Open a golf cart wash and polish station with disco music?
      Train a squirrel to sit in the pathos an oncoming golf cart they dramatically rush out to save it in front of the girls? …girls like heroes or if the ungrateful squirrel draws blood they can stop and rescue him? …maybe a bunny would be better…not a boa in the road…they’d just squeal and run over it. Bump.
      No sure that fire is making him look hot, but someone pleeeease smile at him.
      Thanks for the playful giggle!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Nov 18 2020 6:55 am

    It’s so sad that parents are so oblivious of how their extreme actions affect their kids. Too bad he doesn’t have a good friend where he could spend his time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 18 2020 10:28 am

      They aren’t bad people, just oblivious it appears…think Cousin Eddie from Griswold Christmas Vacation movie…there’s a similar well seasoned motor home with their friends or family that arrives for week long stays…and indoor plumbing every month or so.
      We are hoping the kid will get together with the new kid a block away who is about the same age…and is also stuck in his driveway as he attempts to learn skateboard tricks (helmet, Santa, please – it’s getting hard to watch around here HAHA). A friend would be good for both of the late bloomer “new” guys.
      Thanks for the astute remarks

      Liked by 2 people

  3. sustainabilitea / Nov 18 2020 8:08 am

    I guess if things get out of control he can head for the pool rather than stopping, dropping, and rolling. The video is quite something but you have to wonder who decided, “Hey, I’ve got nothing better to do today. Maybe I’ll light something on fire and twirl it around.” Have you seen “Miss Congeniality?” There’s some flaming baton twirling in that as well as lots of laughs.


    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 18 2020 10:22 am

      Maybe having the lawn sprinkler system ready to go off would be more advisable rather than risking running the gauntlet of “can’t resist garage sale” items stacked everywhere?
      HaHA – back when beauty pageant “talent” segments were the real reason people tuned into watch. Heck then everyone wanted to be the baton twirlers – High Schools even had flaming baton twirlers – and guys twirled, too (some went on to become politicians…really…not sure what to think about that…)
      Thanks for warming up to the flames.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean / Nov 18 2020 1:17 pm

    That’s quite a story. I cannot imagine that this kid is going to get the attention he wants, but what do I know? Stay safe suddenly seems like good advice times two.


  5. shoreacres / Nov 18 2020 7:42 pm

    This is a perfect example of why kids need to be in school. However awkward and socially inept they are in the school setting, at least there’s some structure, and classmates around them. I sure hope we don’t end up with a burn ban! Some ‘helpful’ neighbor might turn the poor kid in to the fire marshal. And there’s always a concern that fire-play’s a sign of more than boredom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2020 9:34 am

      Some parents are managing with kids better than others. A few blocks over is a very tall tree with those long drapes for dancing in air …wish it wasn’t a flimsy pine tree branch, but so far so good. Usually a crowd of kids (with parents – it’s outside, come on) there working on circus acts as potential career.
      Isolation is especially hard on some age groups. Can breed resentment, anger, as well as violence agains self or others.
      He’s a nice kid – typical – skinny, awkward late bloomer. At least with school open he’s around others and there’s a group for each.
      Laughed at the fire burn concerns – we snapped to that, too. I think his family is really fans of the Renaissance Festival …maybe he’s going to apply for a role next year?
      Thanks for whirling a comment over this way


  6. aFrankAngle / Nov 19 2020 5:53 am

    The ways some of kept entertained during these times covers a wide range. Meanwhile, you have given me an idea for a future beach walk video. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Littlesundog / Nov 20 2020 6:29 am

    I was so intrigued with that video that I continued on to watch more rope dart techniques and dancing . It takes some talent, creativeness and physical stamina. That woman made it look effortless. I think I’d be scared to death to watch a novice blindly trying it. I’ve had enough close calls with fire at our burn pit that I totally respect the danger of fire. Maybe I could try some techniques with the water hose, to wow people – like I meant for that fire to get out of control and totally extinguish the flames with my water hose mastery. Video will be forthcoming…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 20 2020 8:26 am

      Fire dancing seems to be some universal attraction – to control it? To be one with the elements? To show bravery? Wishing for attention if injured HAHA? There’s quite a wide number of cultures where it appears. By an expert, quite beautiful….around sand and water…no overgrown trees and bushes…
      His interested may have started at the Renaissance Festival which normally runs in the fall and has limited engagement this year.
      I think you may be on to something with the water hose dancing…could be a new trend (not a cheap one with the cost of water around here…but parents are getting desperate to make their kids happy!)
      Thanks for firing up a comment to leave.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Littlesundog / Nov 20 2020 11:23 am

        Hey, we’re on well water. No charge on that yet. I’d better get after it while the going is good!


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