In the beginning, early hominids huddled in dark seclusion deep inside caverns on the fringes of the world, scared of beasts and inclement weather threatening their existence from the wilds outside.
Then everything changed in the year of our lord 2001, when the blessed Kubrick himself delivered our ancestors a gift of blazing fire: Bright enough to stave off the darkness and hot enough to cook most anything.
Since then we have gone through hundreds of years of evolution to become the kings of the proverbial and literal food chains, shaping the world and even external worlds to our whims.
Yet one thing has not changed in all those decades.
That same sparked flame which bolstered our growth was and continues to be the perfect backdrop for gathering around and exhibiting our social capabilities, doing what we humans are arguably known for best:
After an especially windy day traveling around to do some chores, my family returned home and decided to whip up a fire for some extra help keeping warm.
Considering we’re positioned smack dab in the middle of Southern California, there’s not many chilly opportunities to necessitate a fire every year, so it’s a nice change of pace whenever we do light one.
Though my set-up might suggest there was a large storytelling element to this particular fire, I wouldn’t say there was in such a traditional sense.
The television is on right next to it, so that’s a pretty large story outlet right now.
Especially with someone like Alton Brown on. Can’t argue with re-runs of Good Eats.
However, something I’ll always link to a fire being set at the Rochlin household is the story that literally always gets told whenever we light one. Without fail.
It’s my parents’ story and I stake no real claim to it, but like I said it has become a significant part of the experience for me.
So I figure I’ll save it for posterity, if nothing else.
My parents moved to California not very long before I was born, having lived more or less their whole lives on the East Coast — New York in particular. My Dad had aspirations to be a famous actor and had long venerated the Golden State, though soon enough he had moved into more work behind the camera managing computer systems at companies like Disney.
Neither had ever owned a house with a fireplace before, so having one when they moved into this place was something special to try.
However, the first day they did try it out, the fire department showed up. Apparently they didn’t realize you needed to open up the flue, otherwise smoke would pour back into the house rather than out.
When they answered the door, somewhat confused by what had gone wrong, the official asked, “You guys just move in?”
Now that’s what I call a punchline.
Bit of a weirder post than usual tonight I know, but like I said I haven’t done too much besides chores and freeze to death in the windy tundra of SoCal.
Figured this small, fun subject would serve as a nice capstone for the end of Winter Break. Tomorrow I’m headed back to school for what looks to be my last semester of college.
Needless to say I’ll be looking to write as many fun, distraction-filled posts as possible over the next week or so to keep my mind occupied.