Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Definitions: Log Cabin Fire

This is the type of fire that uses layers of crisscrossed wood rising in a sort of stubby, flat-topped pyramid. It's good for making coals to cook over.

And funeral pyres. Almost forgot that.

Funeral pyres.

How To

(Just in case you're interested...)

Step One: Assemble wood.

Step Two: Go back to Step Zero, which is to go backpacking someplace where there is wood. You need wood to make a fire, so do that. After that then, proceed to Step One, and when you're tired of assembling wood, go to Step Three.

Because if you don't do that Step Zero thing, you'll keep hitting Step Two and getting bounced back to Step Zero and then you loop around through Step One and then Step Two and then Step Zero forever, or until someone finds you whirling in circles and swearing a lot, and decides to sit down and have lunch and watch while you amuse them, and then they'll go on their way, leaving you behind continuing to dizzy yourself like that, buzzing madly, endlessly cycling in an angry way, and who knows what could happen next? Just a word to the wise.

Step Three: I forgot what it was now.

OK, anyhow.

Subsequent Steps: Once you have the funeral pyre all stacked, and have placed the body on top, but before setting fire to the whole shebang, arrange your cooking pots and water supply in an orderly way, and get your food out and have it ready to go.

Note that this level of preparation is relatively more important if you are immolating something small, like an ant.

Better yet, a mosquito.

Mosquitoes kind of deserve it, don't you think? Anyway, small stuff incinerates fast, so you won't need such a largish fire, which means, conversely, that you gotta work fast and all that, before the fire goes out, which is why you need to have everything laid out and set to go and so on.

If you've got a water buffalo you're working on, then that's different.

Water buffaloes are bigger, doncha know? Than mosquitoes.

Technical types like to say things like orders of magnitude bigger, which to us ordinary people really just means extra bigger, but it sounds better when you have an engineering degree and frown and wave your eyebrows around while talking about concepts that are actually pretty simple, but you do have to earn your pay, so anyhow.

One way or another, try to get ready for what happens next. Which is setting fire to what you've got, so do that.

Now, if you're smart, if so, you've actually got a water buffalo up there, and lots of time on your hands, because here is how the smart guys do it, see.

You need to think ahead some, so you don't screw around toasting mice and sand fleas and crap like that, even if it's kinda satisfying to watch the little bastards go up in smoke, no, don't screw around. You don't want to starve out of spite.

What you want up there in the hot-seat is a large hunk of meat, which is your water buffalo or other beast which consists of many kilograms of nutriment, and then you roast the snot out of that, and then eat it (but none of the snot — you eat around that part).

You can say prayers and stuff too if you want, and have some kind of service in honor of the deceased but it isn't like you're flaming Uncle Albert all over again so that part is optional.

But it is true that when you go this route you're cooking supper and disposing of the evidence both, at one and the same time, which speeds things up considerable and reduces the need for any praying-type activities. And it cuts way down on court time and lawyer fees as well.

Now since it's a huge chunk of meat you got, and will take a while, and because a fire big enough to cook it all will be huge (HUGE!) you need to go and do something else for a while to kill time, which is why you need a hobby, or a bar of soap, either one.

Go play (hobby) or wash up (bar of soap) while you're waiting, but do it at a distance, and if you put up your tent during this period, do it upwind because sparks and such. Once you lose your tent to a pile of roasting meat sparks you've learned your lesson for life, and you can do that too if you really want to, like if you have a spare tent and can let the first one flame out on you. I have learned and/or done that twice now, so I know. (Slow learner? Yeah, maybe.)

But lesson learned, hey, finally.

And then eventually, after time goes by, you'll have a pile of steaming roast beast there, smoldering among the coals of the collapsed fire and then you eat.

Invite some friends.

Nothing says "Gorge until you puke and keep doing that as often as you want, etc." like a thousand pounds (500 kg or so) of smoking herbivore.

Which brings us back once again to the fire itself.

Since this type of fire architecture is ideal for generating mounds of hot coals, you might want to have something else to cook, like dessert — maybe a few dozen apple pies or so, for example, but after you've personally eaten your own weight in mammal meat, several times over (allowing for random purge-barfing and adjusting for nausea and smoke blindness), there isn't much else your heart desires, even apple pie.

Although if you've gotten someone to bring over a few cases of beer you can piss yourself silly putting out the fire once you're all done.

Which is generally satisfying and one of the most fun things you can do with your bladder any more, and it never gets old.