Man on Fire

Story Submitted by Kelly:

Ned styled himself an amateur magician, and at our first date dinner, he did a neat trick in which he put a penny in his hand, turned it into two pennies, then five, then a nickel.  It blew me away, and he wasn't done.  He covered his fork, knife, and spoon with a napkin, took it away, and they had all switched places.

I liked his tabletop magic and we had a good conversation about it.  "I've got a good one I can show you after dinner," he promised, and I looked forward to seeing it.

After the meal, we walked down the street and found a driveway between two sets of stores.  I followed him into the rear parking lot.  Once we were behind the building, he took off his jacket and pulled out a book of matches.  He said, "I hope this works," but I was pretty sure that it would, given his track record that evening.

He lit a match and set his flannel shirt sleeve on fire.  It was slow to catch but once it caught, it spread faster than I think he imagined it would.  I stepped back, surprised, and Ned waved his arm all around and shouted, "Fuck!  Oh shit!  Oh fuck!"

I looked around for a water source.  There was none.  He flapped his arms and I yelled, "Take the shirt off!  Stop, drop, and roll!"

He shrieked and I repeated, "Stop, drop, and roll!  Stop, drop, and roll!" like a sixth-grade science teacher.

He ripped the shirt off, stomped it onto the ground, and blew on his exposed arm repeatedly.  The fire in the shirt burned out, and the shirt, of course, was ruined.  He looked at me, and, thankful that he was all right I gave him a smile.

He yelled, "'Stop, drop, and roll?'  Why didn't you get me water?"

I said, "It spread so fast, by the time I came back, you think it would've done good?  And if you stopped, dropped, and rolled, it might've gone out sooner."

He said, "Okay, whatever," shouldered past me, and strode back up the driveway, toward the street.  I was still in a kind of deer-in-the-headlights mode, and so I didn't follow him.  By the time I went back up to the street, he was nowhere in sight.

I went back down to where the shirt was, threw it into a dumpster, then went home.


  1. The real trick was when Ned transformed into Rick, and no one seemed to notice.

  2. Nice spot there mnw. I did not see that.

  3. He was dumb to try something like that without making sure there was a water source present, especially since he clearly wasn't 100% certain it would work.

  4. For your sake, Kelly...I bet his best trick was his disappearing act at the end

  5. Even if it had worked, what was the point of that trick?

  6. This story seemed even funnier when I imagined that it was Gob from Arrested Development.

  7. "I've got a good one I can show you after dinner,"

    Normally leads to a different story

  8. Kiddala, I was expecting that too. I think this was better.


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