Bright Idea

(Beginnings and endings? The same? But how? Click here to find out on this week's Jared's Inkwell! -JMG)

Story Sent in by Kirsten:

I had been with Richard for a couple of months when a bunch of his friends rented a house up in the boonies. We went up with them in the middle of winter. There were about a dozen of us, total.

It was way too cold outside to do much there, so we wanted to light a fire in the living room fireplace. The trouble was that the fireplace was locked shut, due to some stipulation of the rental.

Not to be deterred, Richard had the bright idea to set down a bunch of ceramic plates and bowls, stack firewood and paper atop them, and make our own makeshift fire pit in the living room. I voted against the idea, but Richard claimed he had done it "loads of times," so I watched him and some of his friends set down a bunch of plates on the wooden floor and gather wood.

Once it was all set and lit, the fire went up immediately. In fact, it was so well made that the flames licked up much higher than I thought they would, and the room quickly filled with smoke. There were calls to open windows and doors and I was happy to oblige.

By the time I turned back to the fire, though, the catastrophe had already begun. The gaps between the plates, never too precise to begin with, had let some of the fire through to the floor and flames were very clearly reaching the wood boards.

There was pandemonium and screaming. Guys shrieked and ran for the doors. Women screamed and jumped on top of couches. I and Jacob, one of Richard's friends, ran for the kitchen, found a big pot, and filled it with water. We dumped it onto the flames and had to go back a few more times to completely drench it. Of course, there were scorch marks all over the floor and the whole room was filled with smoke, despite the cracked windows and doors.

"The floor!" Richard pointed when he was brave enough to approach the scene, "What'd you do to the floor?"

I said, "We put out the fire. Remember? That thing that was going to burn the house down?"

He said, "We had a security deposit! Now we're gonna be fined for water damage!"

I said, "It's far more likely that we'll be fined for, you know, lighting a fire inside the house. My guess, anyway."

Richard said, "I'm not taking responsibility for this. This is all on you."

"I'm not the moron who lit the fire!"

Richard was adamant, but his friends eventually helped him see reason. We all decided to split any fine and I decided to stop dating Richard after that incident. We slept in separate rooms for the remainder of the weekend and barely spoke to each other again.


  1. So things were heating up in the cabin and you just had to go and throw a bucket of cold water on the whole thing. Typical.

    All joking aside, that guy was a moron. You could have all been killed not to mention burning a cabin to the ground and starting a serious wild fire. I am assuming there was drinking involved, yes?

  2. So the rental agreement (and a physical barrier) prevents this guy from building a fire and his solution is to build a make-shift fire pit out of dishes on the wooden floor of a room and without provisions for ventilation. A dozen or so of his friends are standing around and nobody objects to this.

    Yea, go human race! Top of the food chain, baby!

    I'm sure the first caveman who discovered fire quickly figured out why he shouldn't bring it to the enclosed space of his cave. I'm glad we've evolved intelligence beyond that. Oh, wait. No.

  3. Part of me is amazed that only 2 people tried to put the fire out.

    Part of me is amazed that as many as 2 people knew how to put a fire out.


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