Monthly Archives: February 2011

How To Emasculate A Fire

As an element you’d be pretty made up to be Fire.

‘Wind?’ you’d say, all a bit Jason Donovan (in the early years), ‘I’m Fire,’ before striding off like a cock-of-the-walk.

Bearing in mind that Wind was howling and you were glowing, it might think you were a bit of a tool for bringing it up, but you wouldn’t need to worry about that.

Happy that you’re Fire, you’d have to sit down and review your options.

You could go for the big and righteous gig on the 5th of November or choose enigmatic and lend yourself to a candle wick.

You could spark up wicked smokes behind the Science block then nip back in and be educational in the little buggers’ bunsen burners.

If you fancied being broad-chested and boring the arse off the proverbial grandchildren you could sit on the grate in a Wandsworth Victorian semi or be out-of-your mind crazy-wild and rip it up in an Ozzie suburb.

But let’s say you choose to be an emergency kind of flame. Maybe you like a little less conversation, a little more action. Maybe spontaneity is your thing.

Then we’re talking The Buildings Game and this is all about the element of surprise.

Doesn’t mean you’re a murdering son of a bitch who wants to rack up corpses but your people, your audience sure as eggs wouldn’t have brought along their marshmallows to toast.

Take Towering Inferno: it’s all ‘Ha ha ha’ and ‘He he he’ and ‘Nothin’s ever gonna whup this scraper’ until Woof!, up it all goes and Faye Dunaway’s dangling in a cage draped in evening wear.

Someone could have left the chip-pan unattended or fallen asleep clasping a Sobrani- hell, even you might not have decided yet- but the point is that one minute no-one’s even thinking of reaching for a woolly tank-top and the next there’s Heat.

So how invalidating, how utterly humiliating it would be to wake up one day and find the venue in which you’ve been biding your time- the place you plan to shock out of its smirks and banal daily chat with an unwelcome appearance, in an inappropriate setting, at the least expected moment- plastered with signs, saying ‘FIRE DRILL. Wednesday February 2nd 2pm.’

At which hour the sign-writers will actually make everyone stop whatever it is they are doing, for real- and put down their hot soup, get out of the pool dripping wet, pause a dumb-bell work-out- in order to go and practice what they would do if they weren’t all that surprised by the fire because of some whining little detector alarm warning them to leave by the safe exits and not to use the lifts.

And all anyone would be doing is preparing everyone for the faux panic in case a fire REALLY DID BREAK OUT and some people had thought it was a joke and it wasn’t.

As if it would be worth it to scare a few rubbish people who can’t follow instructions while all the meatier targets were lined up in a smug row on the lawn outside being ticked off on a rota and warming themselves in the shared camaraderie of an a-typical afternoon.

Well then, in such a circumstance, I think you’d feel emasculated.

And emasculated people- disenfranchised people, people (or elements) who feel that society is overlooking their worth- they take matters into their own hands and go balls-out ballistic.

So if you were Fire and in The Buildings Game you’d hope to God no-one sets about putting up those drill practice signs.

Or you might end up needing to cause the kind of damage that makes a guy with a large yellow hosepipe look seriously ill-equipped.

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