Thursday, October 14, 2010

Burning Man, Deming Edition

Gabriel and I go on twilight bike rides, cruising around the neighborhood and our tiny downtown. He sits in his bike seat close behind me, peering out from under his excellent-looking helmet, and often tells me about different things he sees. He especially enjoys looking at the sky.

Something else caught our eye last night. Coming down Hemlock Street towards home, we saw Chuck in his yard. Chuck is a lawyer with a beautiful little house that he has been renovating for many months. The yard has no grass, just mounds of dirt and some weeds. It is making a very slow transition from construction site to a home again, and the yard is moving more slowly than the rest of the property.

Across the street from him lives our city council woman. She and Chuck reportedly have some tit-for-tat neighborly feuds going. She calls to complain about something on his property, and he devises ways to get back at her for it. Meanwhile, the neighbors play good natured pranks on him. He has a large mound of dirt on the corner, and various flags have been hoisted there. I will admit, I've been looking for an Iranian flag to post there myself. It's all in good fun.

So last night we rode past and saw a few guys from the neighborhood hanging around and watching as Chuck did something very odd. He had arranged small piles of firewood and weeds all over his yard -- there were maybe ten of them in all. He had gotten his hands on a blowtorch and was setting fire to each of the piles, until he had a ring of fire in a semi circle around his house.

Gabriel enjoys fire and I enjoy weirdness, so we stopped and watched until Chuck had set the last of his fires, put down his torch, and watched them burn with satisfaction. One of the onlookers whispered, "He says he got permission from the fire marshal."

"Got a light?" I asked.

To all of us, Chuck said, "We'll see if she ever reports me for weeds again."

When Gabriel had had enough and I started making for home, I suggested this could become a seasonal event, and Chuck said, "Sure! I'm going to do this every time she calls the police."


Kelly said...

You happened by just at the right time!

Sabio/Jōsen said...

LOL, that is fantastic !!
That may wake her up.