Growing up, one of my best friends is Nick, that lived right next door. We usually played outdoors, but one day we played inside his fathers house. His father was a smoker at the time, so there were always books of matches lying around the house. I had no idea how to use matches, but Nick did. We were playing “house” and we were behind the bar pretending to serve soda to our imaginary guests. When one of them wanted a light for his cigarette. Nick lit the match and dropped it right on the rug. We noticed a soot mark on the light blue rug. We thought that was pretty awesome, I don’t know why. 

Nick decided that all our imaginary guests needed help lighting their cigarettes. So he quickly lit up some more matches and let them drop to the floor. I decided to give it a try, but I struggled to get them to light. I may have managed to get one or two lit, but Nick was definitely way more successful than I at helping our guests out. Making soot marks on the rug started to get old so we decided to take our soot party outside! Nick stuffed a bunch of matches under his shirt and went outside to sneak past his mom. At this point, I was beginning to feel guilty, since Smokey the Bear said only “I” could prevent forest fires, I’m sure the same rule applies to house fires.

So I randomly decided to tell his mom that Smokey the Bear told us that matches and fires are bad. At this random statement, his mother was becoming a bit suspicious. Nick had just come outside and was walking a bit funny so the books of matches wouldn’t fall from under his shirt. His mother immediately asked him what he was hiding. She uncovered the matches and started to yell at him and told me to go home. I remember I could hear his parents yelling from my house. I don’t think I got into trouble, as they didn’t tell my parents. They likely placed all the blame on Nick since he was a couple years older than me. I still feel horrible for getting him into trouble. His dad said later, he was glad he got the fire-proof carpeting when they built the house! 


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