Brian and Dave, The Milestones

Raw and unedited excerpt from the upcoming book Viking Funeral, the celebration of Dave Linane’s life one ridiculous story at a time. If you are new to Dave, me, or need to catch up, click the links above to read ABOUT Dave or scroll down to the beginning of the book or wherever you may have left off. Thank you to everyone for your hilarious and thoughtful comments about Dave or your own loved ones. I love every word you share! XO M

Our parents loved the beach from their early high school days. My mom drove a car full of friends 75 plus miles from Redlands to Newport Beach the day she got her license. Our mom and dad honeymooned in Laguna Beach. When they reached a point in time when they could afford to make vacation plans, a beach house rental in Newport was always their favorite.

The last beach vacation rental we did was a beach house in Mexico not far below the border, maybe a three-hour drive from home. The adults enjoyed relaxing in the sun while we kids (including four cousins) spent days getting pummeled and worn out by the waves. A typical beach vacation. Dave had a job as a lifeguard that summer between his Junior and Senior year. He was scheduled to work that week and remained home to do so. He drove down to join us for a day or two on his two days off that week.

Having time and a big house to yourself while your parents are out of town during the summer is way too tempting to let go to waste. High school age, Dave definitely carped that Diem and planned a poker party. His friends came with cigars and booze. As I mentioned before, people in town knew our house. As I have written and shared parts of this story with the world, strangers have contacted me telling me they have always loved “that” house. Word got out that Dave’s parents were out of town. A simple card game grew into a very lively 3000 square foot house party in no time. I still cannot believe none of our many cranky old neighbors called the cops.

When we returned from our week away, my mom noticed a potted plant was missing from the front wall. It had been among a few other terracotta pots perched on the wall that enclosed our front and side porch. She assumed it had been stolen. A few days later, an acquaintance of hers commented on the impressive big party. My mom’s response revealed no knowledge of a party, adding that we had been out of town. The adult tattle-tale described driving by a scene straight out of a Hollywood teen movie, big house, cars parked everywhere, front and side doors open, kids spilling out open doors and windows, and every light in the house was on. The description may have been an exaggeration as some adults are wont to do. But, that potted plant had disappeared. Had it fallen victim to theft or worse, fallen to the ground broken in the midst of a raging house party? Dave didn’t exactly get in trouble for throwing a party because my parents were of the “boys will be boys” parenting response plan at that time, and one cannot exactly contain out of control gossip that turns into an enormous party at your house. Still, she was not happy, not fully knowing what happened to that plant. Dave may have never known. He certainly never said.

Brian remembers that night fondly. Besides having a great poker party gone wild situation, he conveyed that that night marked a significant milestone event in his life. And no, it is not what you are all thinking. It was the first time he ever witnessed anyone light a fart on fire! Ya, that milestone event!

He had never heard of such an extraordinary thing and described being stunned by the sequence of events as they quickly unfolded. Without warning, one of their friends who will forever remain anonymous, in a singular fluid motion, dropped his pants, threw himself over on his back with his legs up in the air, flicked a zippo lighter next to his exposed ass and ripped a fart.

The standard blappy fart sound accompanied by invisible methane fart gas combined with the tiny open flame of the zippo, thereby creating a swirling, glorious and ephemeral deep blue inferno of roiling hellfire and deflagrations that exploded from their buddy’s butthole. Brian laughed until he cried at this shocking and hilarious display of pyromania in our humble living room on Arrowhead Avenue. He gets hysterical with laughter, trying to tell this story to this day.

It makes me laugh hysterically too but also begs the questions, why take one’s pants off? Wouldn’t it work with pants ON? Maybe clothing diffuses the gas cloud? Is this how and where pyromaniacs come from? Wait, the first time? Just how flammable was our high-lo avocado green shag carpet? Was there another time or times? Oh, Yuk, God, I hope not. So many visuals and questions flood my head with this milestone event.

There were a handful of future Firemen present besides Brian, who I am sure rolled on more than one emergency call where idiot teenagers burned themselves attempting to light their farts on fire that did not end with people laughing hysterically. According to the now-defunct Fartcloud website, 1 in 4 people burn themselves trying to light their farts on fire. I am not sure if this is annually or a lifetime statistic. Clearly, my mom was lucky; she only lost a plant. There was supposedly a 25% chance the entire house could have burned to the ground, another potential near-death experience. Boys. Am I right?