Monday, August 21, 2006

Chili Can Kill You

I almost died Saturday.

Okay, so that's not so true, but did I get your attention? Awesome. Keep reading.

It's been raining in New Mexico lately. A lot. What was once a statewide drought has now turned into a flash flood warning everywhere. The town of Hatch has been flooded over, several streets around the Albuquerque area are a danger to drive when it pours down, but it does wonders for the scenery while driving around the state. What was once a desolate wasteland of a drive to Santa Fe has become actually kinda enjoyable.

Well, me and five others drove out to Jemez Springs this weekend to do some camping. Instead of staying down around the hot springs, we went to the top of the cliffs and camped there. The view was amazing, especially once sunset hit (sorry, pictures to come. Film=undeveloped).

The beer was flowing like wine. And while I could go into details of song and stories told around the campfire, the truly interesting event happened around midnight. All had gone to bed save for me and Eric. We were fairly drunk at the time, just lounging in front of the fire seeing how many pine needles we could burn, when the campfire exploded, sending embers everywhere. I jumped up and and brushed them out of my hair, slightly panicking like a little girl. Once we collected our thoughts, we looked around and saw the damage.

Everywhere around us, the ground was littered with little glowing embers, about 25 feet around. Quite a captivating sight. It was a moonless night, so it was pretty much pitch black except for these orange dots on the ground. We yelled for everyone to get up and start stomping them out before something went up in flames (rain aside, this is still New Mexico).

Once that crisis was averted, everyone went back to bed and Eric and I stayed up to drink more and think about what had happened. I had a truly Ubik moment, joking with him that right now we were being airlifted to the hospital after being covered in horrible burns, but we were both coexisting on this different dimensional plane, unaware of what was actually happening. I think I can safely say after 42 hours I was wrong, but at that time of drunken stupor, I wasn't sure.

The next morning, we found the culprit: a can of chili. Wolf brand chili (curse you, Lyman Davis!). Apparently, one of us had put the closed can near the fire, and it slowly began to work up pressure and heat until it finally exploded, taking half of the fire with it. The crazy thing, though, was that it was found 25 feet away from the campfire, having sailed over the tents and my friend's car. Inside the can, there was no trace of chili; it was perfectly clean. Not even a burn mark. Around the campfire, no chili. Freaked us out. There was nary a trace of bean nor meat anywhere.

There were, though, traces of the fire. All the chairs had holes in them from the embers, one tent got some holes, but nothing on me or Eric. I don't know, it was truly surreal, but I've rambled on far enough. Dinnertime.


Au$10 said...

Glad you didn't die, brotha man.

Grego said...

Thanks for the kind words. That makes two of us.

Katy said...

really and truly? that happened? I thought maybe You had burned the wrong kind of wood, but I would have never guess it was a can of chilli. I was sitting on the edge of my seat. glad you were once again able to out run the reaper.

Grego said...

Yes, I suppose there could be some forestry-related answer for this, such as the Peruvian Exploding Tree or the Kerosene Red Willow. But chili's more fun.

3kalb said...

Maybe the chilli become so hot in the can that when the can exploded every particle of once was chilli was immediately combusted from exposure to the air, and all the wonderment that you thought was the embers burning on the ground was actually chilli being hyper-cooked to perfection before your eyes.

Phoxx said...

Thats deep stuff. Same stuff happened to me except it sounded like a bomb :0 IMA FAYARIN MA LAYZAAA!!!!

Anonymous said...

we did that on a school trip and it sounded like a bomb exploding in our fire. I couldnt hear for hours. It was the loudest thing i ever heard. We got in a sh#t load of trouble and me and my two friends got sent home. we were only trying to heat up our can of chili for dinner. but we forgot about it. our friend almost died rofl