Okay. Um... I probably don't need to really tell you this, but I'm not exactly the Burning Man type of girl. Sure, lots of people are totally into it, and come from all over the world to burn the man, and that's great. But me? Nah. I'm not one for mud and grit. Or fire. Or camping. (So Accomplishment #46, Take a Camping Trip, is gonna be Real Fun for me.) Or seeing naked people on acid hugging one another. (Okay, sorry. That's Woodstock. I don't lament missing that, either.) So... this Accomplishment, I admit, I totally wussed out on. Now, if I were a true Accomplisher, I'd actually go to Burning Man and do it up 100%, but I don't think so. I'd be the one who'd die of dehydration or lose my teeth or something like that. I love you, Blog, but not enough to risk my life or teeth for you.
The book (97 Things...) tells you to experience a bonfire at least once in your teen life. I guess I did -- I went to the big campfire on the last night of junior high church camp, where all the girls loaded up on so much Kissing Potion their lips were cherry flavored reflectors as everyone sang Kum Ba Ya and felt, like, totally holy and sad because it was the last night we'd ever be together. Ever. But while I might have sung and exchanged addresses with bunkmates I'd never see again, I didn't have anything to do with building a bonfire. So I'm not sure if that counts. And I think I went to one at the beach and sat there, alone and miserable, while my friend Tammy made out with some guy. But then again, that could have been pretty much anywhere I ever went with my friend Tammy, so I'm not sure if a bonfire was even a setting. (I do know that happened on the bus a few times. Ugh.)
When I think of bonfires, I think of two things, other than Burning Man. (Or Guy Fawkes Day. Now, if I were a wealthy Accomplisher, I would have flown to England on November 5th to partake. I am a very poor Accomplisher, so therefore, I didn't.) One is the scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, where there's the Nazi's big book burning bonfire and Hitler signs Indiana Jones' dad's Holy Grail book.
Yes, that scene is AWESOME.
And secondly, the scene from the Great Movie Grease where it's the football game and Sandy's the cheerleader and Rizzo and the Pink Ladies push her into Danny Zuko and he acts all cool and... Whatever, here's the clip:
(With the fabulous slumber party scene for your added enjoyment!)
Our high school football games didn't have bonfires. I don't think, anyway. My friends and I didn't have what you'd exactly call school spirit, and since the jocks were the ones who were mean to us, we didn't exactly feel terribly supportive of their endeavors. But I went to some games my freshman year, and then sophomore year, my friend Andrea and I took Marching Band to get out of P.E. so we had to go. We couldn't even play instruments, and yet they let us in, and we were constantly in trouble. But the humiliation of wearing our polyester band uniforms in public was better than the humiliation of athletic excursion and ineptitude, even when a kid barfed all down my back at a game and we were asked not to come back in the spring. That one semester of band took care of all our PE requirements for the rest of high school, so yeah, it was definitely worth it. And you couldn't recognize us in the yearbook photo, so, well, you would never have known we were band geeks if I hadn't just confessed.
Anyhow, this past Thanksgiving we went to my sister's house in Sonoma. She and her husband live in a magical adobe house and they have miniature DONKEYS.
This has nothing to do with the bonfire. I just love this donkey.
And as an added bonus to the BBQed turkey and donkeys, there would be a bonfire. "Terrific!" I thought. "It's part of my blog!" The book even says that it's all part of spiritual yaddie yaddie (obviously my words there), and a way to celebrate holidays for many cultures. So what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with overindulging on food and flames? It was what the book said to do. An Accomplishment in a snap!
So we went to my sister's house, where I ate too much shrimp dip and turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and cake and wished that pants with elastic waistbands were more fashionable.
And yes, indeed there was a bonfire:
Come on, baby...
Except all I did was look at it for a few minutes, and then told the kids that they couldn't eat marshmallows because they'd already eaten a bunch of them and cake and they'd be bouncing off the walls and so I was the total killjoy and, well, that was about it. I didn't even throw a stick on there.
But I actually sat next to a bona fide bonfire. And being that this is not an every day occurrence (in my city, you don't really want to see a bonfire, trust me -- it would mean there something going on) I feel that this is a Bona Fide Accomplishment.
And I found that I am more of a hanging with the donkeys type of girl anyway, so that counts for something.
The Donkey Whisperer
Twenty-two down, 75 to go.