I heard my Dad use that cliché “put out fires,” referring to addressing or solving a problem because it prevents it from spreading while working at AIC. The cliché made sense because I put out multiple fires throughout my life, and something that I learned at a young age.
My God brother Jon, my bro Dave (Jon’s cousin from Stockton), and I spent a lot of time together during different points in our childhood. Dave was from Cali, so we only saw him a few times a year when we went to visit him or when he came down to the valley to visit us. But we always picked up where we left off playing basketball, fishing, or making fires.
We had a tradition of making fires in Dave’s front yard, and talking all night til the morning. Dave’s Dad, my Uncle Claudio (NDN way), worked a night shift that had him getting home around 4 or 5 am. We would still be out in the front yard with our fire talking. At other times, we would be at Jon’s house in the backyard with the fire roasting pecans that we took from the trees at the church, and/or burning green army men and listening to the wax whistle as it melted away.
One of the most memorable fires we had was in Jon’s backyard. We were out back like we always were, chillin’, talking, and roasting the stolen church pecans around the fire. That evening turned into early morning and we were tired. So, we decided to put out the fire and head to bed. Before we proceeded to put out the fire with water as we always did, we got a genius idea, “Let’s pee on the fire.” We all agreed and stood there, and almost in unison started to pee on the fire. Immediately following us peeing on the fire was a massive billow of smoke that shot back into our faces causing instant headaches. We jumped back from the fire, while trying to put ourselves together and peeing on each other in the now, dark of the night. Needless to say, we were sick for the rest of the night and next few days. The lesson I learned that day, only get close enough to the fire to put it out with water, because the closer you are to the fire the more likely it is going to make you sick…. Also, don’t pee of fires.