Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mona Rope Swing on Fire

Let me start off by saying that I don't have a death wish and I am not trying to push the limits of survival. Let me also say that this is not a hobby of mine. It was a one time stunt and that is it for me; I'm not looking for the next big thing. I also don't recommend that anyone try lighting themself on fire.

That being said, here's how it all went down. Our plans for the weekend fell through, and I was talking with a friend about how we should do something crazy and make the weekend memorable. Somehow the idea of lighting myself on fire came up. It was more of a half-hearted comment that guys make sometimes when they get together to brainstorm crazy ideas. Then word got out and there were quite a few people who wanted to come watch. That put some pressure on me to actually go through with it, and those who know me know that I will never back down from a challenge. So I started thinking about how to do it safely.

Most boys who have gone through boy scouts have probably lit their hand on fire for fun with some kind of flammable substance. The substance itself will burn for a couple seconds before it actually starts to burn your skin and then you can put it out with no harm done. I just decided to apply that concept to my whole body. I knew that I needed to end up submerged in water to completely extinguish the flames so we decided on the Mona rope swings. We used gasoline because of how easily it lights. I didn't want to be on fire longer than two seconds so we decided that I would be doused in gasoline, start swinging, and then be ignited mid swing. We decided that a few people could throw flaming tennis balls at me from the shore to light me and then the tennis balls would fall safely into the water. After doing a few test runs, we figured out the timing and practiced hitting me with the tennis balls. I put on a swim cap and covered my face in vaseline for protection. I climbed up the tree, got set with the rope, and then had someone pour the gas on me from the waist down. The people with the tennis balls below lit them on fire and got ready to throw them. I counted down and started swinging. They hit me with the tennis balls and I ignited immediately. I didn't even feel the flames until halfway through my back flip and right as it started to burn, I hit the water.

Obviously this went as well as was possible. We planned it out, tested it out, and took the necessary precautions. Never attempt anything like this because if anything were to go wrong, you could get third degree burns all over your body, or die. All it takes is a few seconds.

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