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My Buddy Ward, Part 2...the fire extinguisher

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posted on Nov, 14 2015 @ 10:21 PM
So Ward, who lived down the road from me as a kid was bent on all things military. I think we were about 10. Every day with Ward was an adventure. We didn’t see each other every day, but when we did it was something to remember.

One day Ward shows up at my house with one of those old large silver water fire extinguishers (he stole it from behind the school). Well, you could unscrew the lid of those things and put water back in them, and they also had an air fitting like on a bicycle tire on the side to pressurize the tank. (you can probably tell where this story is going).

Anyway, we filled it up a few times (with water) and pressurized it with the air compressor. If you pressurized it to about 100psi (which was WAY more than rated), it would shoot water about 200 feet! That was fun, but got boring after a while. THEN, Ward, the knucklehead (I was actually thinking the same damn thing) comes up with the idea to make a flame thrower! Well, I was having NO part of that. I was already grounded for being 'at the scene' of a mysterious fire in my other friends barn (another story) which required fire Dept. intervention. (My buddy’s little 7 year old brother lit the hay bales on fire, I had nothing to do with it!! Errr…I might have provided the firecrackers and matches before leaving.)

The silence was always a dangerous thing with Ward “I know this will work”, Ward said. “But, we can’t light the end of the hose on fire…it’ll explode!” So we, uhh “he”, thought about it for a while and eventually came up with the idea to fashion a wire coat hanger onto the nozzle of the extinguisher nozzle with a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline and gasoline. The cotton ball was about 18” away from the nozzle. Then we filled the extinguisher up with kerosene from an old heater. A quick shot from the air chuck on the compressor and we were ready to go. Ward was geeked!!

"Not in OUR barn you're not, Ward!!!" I told him. Dejected, he threw the fire extinguisher in his homemade camouflage go kart and took off. About an hour later (while contemplating the boundaries of just how much trouble I could get in and not be grounded any longer), I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye.

"COOOOOOL" echoed down the road. Next thing you know, a stream of fire arced through the sky from the approximate location of Ward's house! Then another, quickly followed by a "WOOOOO HOOOOO". Grounded or not...I was definitely gonna’ have to go check this out! Violating my parole, I set off for Ward's house on foot.

I made it just about there when it happened...
"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEIIIIIAAAAA....OW, OW OW....I'M ON FIIIIIIIRRRRRRREEEE". I could see the flicker of the flames on the eve of his house. Then....BOOOM!! A Huge fireball erupted out of the trees, complete with this really cool looking jet black mushroom cloud! Ward was a pretty talented guy, but this was by far his best work yet!

I wasn't sure exactly how close to get, what with all the black smoke and flames, but clearly Ward had a working prototype...or "used to have". However, it appeared there had been a minor malfunction during testing. By now, most of the forest critters and local residents were headed the other way at warp speed. I forged ahead (kind of a low crawl).

As I got to his house it was clear there had been a serious malfunction. Most of the bushes along the driveway were glittering in flames or smoking. One of Ward's shoes was in the middle of the lawn...smoldering. I found Ward out behind the barn taking a nice cool shower under the well spigot.

There wasn't much time, I could hear the sirens coming. I had to get back, else risk grounded for life status. Couldn't get caught at the scene of yet another 'incident'! Anyway, turned out there was a minor problem during reloading. Seems Ward neglected to extinguish the cotton ball on the hanger before removing the lid, and the whole shootin' match went up in smoke.

As I look back on that day, it's a miracle he (us) wasn't killed...along with several other households. Then again, it's pretty amazing that any of us survived those crazy childhood days.

THEN...there was that one time with the shotgun shells...

Oh, nevermind.

edit on 11/14/2015 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 14 2015 @ 10:35 PM
Looking back, the irony of the "fire" extinguisher being turned into a flame thrower is pretty funny.

posted on Nov, 15 2015 @ 12:28 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
That was a great story. It was as good as I thought it would be when you mentioned it in the go kart story. I was laughing all the way through it. You really should write a book about the stuff you and Ward did.
Here's a song that came to mind when reading your story:

ETA: I just saw you mention shot gun shells. Oh, man. I bet that's a good story. Care to share?
edit on 15-11-2015 by Skid Mark because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 01:01 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
I just posted your Ward stories for someone in a thread because I knew he'd get a good laugh out of them. While doing so I laughed all over again as I read them. I'm still curious about the shotgun shells lol.

posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 11:46 PM
a reply to: Skid Mark

Not sure what the statute of limitations is. I'm pretty sure many/most of the Deputy Sheriffs who used to hunt us regularly have long since retired or passed away...but still. I think the shell story might be a little too much for this forum (or any forum for that matter). We were crazy by today's standards, but in reality we were also pretty careful about being crazy. That story is not one I'd ever want to hear about someone trying to replicate. We had lots of real estate to experiment in (lots and lots...100's of thousands of acres).

It was nearly 45 years ago now...and some of those times left a mark which can still be seen today.

Suffice it to say, we had some model rockets we used to launch in the desert. The contents of the rocket motors, when cut open, burned just like, well...gun powder. So, after disarming a number of shotgun shells, and removing the contents, we had enough for a very big rocket motor...or so we thought. The finer points of motor construction were unimportant to us then; more fuel...better launch, right? Well, not exactly.

Perhaps we created a time machine, because our model rocket (it looked like a crude space shuttle and actually took a bit of work to build) vanished instantly into another dimension (vaporized more likely). The shock wave alone kicked up dust in every direction for 40 yards or so.

"T-Minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2...................WARD!!! ARE YOU OKAY???? HOLY COW!!"

(Ward) "Why are you YELLING????"


(Ward) "Fix your hat, stupid, it's pulled down to your chin...and stop YELLING!!"

Well, you can imagine how the rest went.

posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 12:01 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
Oh wow! That's even better than I thought it would be. You are so lucky to be alive.


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