You know, I just don’t have fun like I used to. I’m not saying I never have fun. I do. I definitely do. I’m not some prude, you know. But I definitely don’t pull the shit I used to pull. And actually, in this story, it wasn’t even me who was the instigator. But oh, man. I’ll never forget this night.
It was 2002 (or something like that – I honestly can’t be entirely sure). Some friends and I went out to get some beers and wings at a local bar. It was me, my BFF, S, her boyfriend, A, and our other friend, T. T, at the time, had super long hair which she had pulled up on top of her head and was wearing a super fuzzy sweater that night (remember this fuzzy sweater thing).
Side note: Have you guys ever lit your socks on fire? Like if they’re a little fuzzy, and you just hold lighter near your heel and then your whole sock goes up in flames just for a second and then goes out? No? Well. My friends and I did. All the time. It was such common practice, in fact, that no one even lifted an eyebrow at it. And it was nothing to worry about because the fire was out in less than a second.
Anyway, like I said, we’re all sitting there at this table – I’m sitting directly across from A and T and S and sitting across from each other. We were a few beers deep each and having an awesome time. Laughing, getting buzzed up, you know, being young and hanging out.
S had been fidgeting with a lighter all night. Then (and I’ll never forget this – when I think of it now, it plays in my head in slow motion), for reasons still unknown, S reached across the table and lit the lighter under the sleeve of T’s sweater. Oh my god, you guys. It went up so fast. T’s eyes got huge as we watched the flames encircle her arm, travel up to her shoulder, and then travel around the front and back of her sweater AT THE SAME TIME.
T was standing at this point. And flipping the eff out. A girl from the table next to her gets up and starts hitting her over and over with her purse. S, A, and I, being the wonderful friends that we are, sat in utter amazement at the flames that briefly engulfed our friend entirely, wide-eyed and slack-jawed. This is, until the girl started hitting T. That was too much. All of us erupted in laughter. A and I were laughing so hard we were literally crying. The flames were long gone, mind you. The whole episode, up one arm, across her whole torso, then back down the other arm was probably over in five seconds or less. T started crying too. Although hers were not tears of joy. She ran off to the bathroom, stinking of burned wool and singed hair. S took off after her (it was her doing, after all).
A and I stayed at the table and continued to laugh, all the while getting the stink eye from the girl who tried to snuff out the flames with her purse. I guess we were jerks. I don’t care. I’ve never seen anything so funny. T and S came back, and T was pissed! She wanted to go. Now. But we still had pretty much full beers left! So we stayed to finish. And she was stuck there because she rode with me (I told you, we were kind of jerks – but really, how many 22-year-olds do you know who aren’t?).
We finally left and I took T home. She threw out the sweater. It stunk. Like burned hair. She stayed mad at S for a while after that. After it all blew over, I tried to nickname T “Michael Jackson” (MJ for short). She wasn’t having it. Such a shame. That really was a sweet nickname to go to waste like that.
Now, S and A and I really aren’t heartless buttholes. If T had actually gotten hurt, I would not be telling this story like this. Or probably at all. But like I said before, lighting our socks on fire was something we did all the time and we knew her sweater wasn’t going to catch on fire and stay on fire. And anyway, how many of you can say that you watched one of your friends light another friend on fire at a busy bar only to watch some random slap her around with her purse to try to extinguish the flames? Probably not very many. Like I said before, the fire was out in five seconds or less and no one was hurt except for maybe T’s ego. And holy crap, was it funny. Ah, the glory days. You can’t ever go back, you know.