Sunday, February 23, 2014

Make a Molotov Cocktail

Fire is such a fascinating thing. Kids and rednecks just can't stay away from it. If there is fire, they will be there. It's definitely a guy thing.

That being said, I have always wanted to make a Molotov Cocktail. I remember being 10 years old and thinking how cool it would be to make one and throw it against something, just so I could watch that big ball of flames billow up into the air. This is why it made it onto my bucket list of things to do before I die. Hopefully, this goal wasn't going to be how I died. My wife was worried that this goal might be the last thing I do before I die.

I did this goal with my brother when he and I did our Death Valley adventure. I knew that I couldn't do it anywhere near where I lived. Making a Molotov Cocktail and smashing it against something would surely land me in jail. I think they consider the making and use of Molotov Cocktails a terrorist threat, but I can't say for sure. With all the sensitivity about terrorism it might land me in jail for a very long time. So, when Tom and I were in the desert I figured this was the perfect place to make and use a Molotov Cocktail.

I left our camp site early in the morning so I wouldn't bother anyone. There were several other campers near us including a group of boy scouts, so I wanted to make sure I hiked a good distance into the desert so I could be alone and not bother anyone (and not have anyone call the cops on me.)

When I found a good spot, I stopped and made my Molotov cocktail. It was an easy enough matter to make it. Within a few minutes it was assembled and I was ready to use it. The bottle was an old Coke bottle we found on the road side on our way to Death Valley. I wanted to use it because the glass was extra thick and I knew that when I was done, it would be easy to pick up the pieces. Yes, I was being very careful to clean up my mess and leave the desert as clean as it was when I first got there.

I thought this was going to be an easy 1, 2, 3 and it would be over. Not so. I tossed the cocktail against some rocks, only to have the bottle bounce and land in the sand unscathed. I picked it up again and put some force into the next throw. This time, it bounced three times and unexpectedly landed at the base of a large 7 foot bush. Only then did the bottle smash to pieces. Of course all the gas that made up the Molotov cocktail immediately engulfed the bush and set the lower section on fire. The bush  green and very much alive from the lower third of the bush up to the top so only the dead leaves of the bottom branches and the leaves that had dropped off the bush during the year caught fire but the entire bush was engulfed in flames.

The first thing I thought of was that this must have been what Moses was seeing when he saw the bush that was burning but was not being consumed on Mt. Sinai. It looked so cool. But then I realized that I had to do something fast or those boy scouts back at camp would see the big plume of smoke ascending up into the air and come looking to see what was happening. For moment I thought about how funny it might be if when the scout troop came, I was hidden in some nearby bushes and I spoke out in a deep majectic voice something like, "Stop and remove thy shoes for thou art on holy ground." Ah, that Moses gig always seem funny when I think about it. But it wasn't going to happen on this trip.

Eventually, the gas burned down and went out and the bush didn’t look too bad for what it had just gone through. I picked up the charred pieces of glass and put them into a bag and brought them back to camp with me. Things didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned but all in all, I was pleased with my experience making and tossing a Molotov cocktail. It was definitely worth having in my bucket list. 

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