If you love somebody, better set them on fire. Oh. Wait. No.


Y'know, I had a perfectly good post brewing earlier about how remarkable it is that Megatokyo's been picked up by DC's CMX imprint. I was totally going to go on about how this is their first OEL manga, and spout about the weirdnesses of the OEL market and how Megatokyo seems to be exempt to some extent, and then spout some more about whether this would help erase the vestiges of CMX's Tenjho Tenge mess, and so on.

Of course, that was before the fire.

I was headed back to Ascot's train station from another round of medication paperwork bingo this morning. Between the racing grounds and the station is a long stretch of beautiful wooded pedway. "Surely," I thought to myself, "over the years, countless drunken sots have vomited copiously along this gorgeous pedway. It's amazing how very well it's kept -- is that meant to be burning?"

Someone had thrown their ex-cigarette into the leaves and grass, near a tree. The weather had been dry enough that flames were spreading rapidly. I got to call emergency services, wait around for the firemen so that I could direct them down into the right place, warn pedestrians with little kids that, um, there's a fire down there... that sort of thing. By the time the firetruck came, a fair stretch of small hill had been taken out; luckily, it hadn't gotten to that tree, or to the ones around it.

You know, it wouldn't have bugged me if someone walking ten feet ahead of me had been smoking. I don't mind being around cigarette smoke on an intermittent basis, so long as it's not blowing straight into my face or saturating the entrance to a non-smoking building. I put up with the people who smoke outside my building so long as they don't do it outside my window, especially when it's open. That sort of thing. Non-smokers can be pretty big dicks about smoking too; I don't really care so much what people do in this respect, just so long as they're not being dicks.

Not extinguishing your burning object before you dispose of it, carelessly or otherwise? That's pretty far up there on the dick meter.

The worst part is, this is the second time I've had to summon the fire truck because of unextinguished cigarette ends. The first time, someone chose to wedge a burning butt behind one of the doorway's outside lights, next to my bedroom. Right against a wooden entryway frame, to boot. Presumably, they thought they would come back in a moment for the rest, and then took up bowling. In Guam.

I caught the smoke once the light's electrical cable had been partly eroded. Household fire extinguishers? Very good ideas.

Did I mention that I was a good and sweet little girl when someone managed to pitch a lit cigarette end through my window a couple of years before that? What the hell? How tumescent of a dick can you be? Is it that some folks genuinely believe that the passing breeze from dropping the remnant will kill the ember? Or are there actually people in this world who are so desperate for the insurance that they'd burn down someone else's apartment?

(Don't answer that last one.)

So, in short: I'd really like to know what possesses people to fling things that are on fire at things which could catch fire, and how I manage to keep finding the things that have been set on fire, please.

Also, I'd like to know if Megatokyo is likely to outperform Gals! or From Eroica With Love. But, with that one, it might well be too soon.


how tumescent. I love it.
priapic smokers beware. wednesday has you in her sights.

At least these are (presumably) accidental events or stupidity. Somebody once dumped their garbage in the leaf-filled ditch near my home in an incredibly dry summer and SET IT ON FIRE. On purpose. Mind, we lived 5 miles from town and another 5 would have taken them to the city dump. I don't understand some people.

They do it because they are jealous of how much more money you have. Seriously, I've had smokers whine because they didn't save as much money in high school as I did. They insist I must have gotten spoiled by my parents. Because obviously it wasn't that I don't waste money on tobacco and alcohol.

Also, who cares about Mega Tokyo being picked up? TACHIBANA KAIMU'S WORKS are being translated by CMX!! Life is good. Right now it's just Pieces of a Spiral (Rasen no Kakera), but maybe someday we can get Shinesman and Komish! (And would an English version of Try AGain kill ya? I never did learn enough Japanese to read my copy. :P)

(Also, gimmie a special limited edition run of Laim Company #1, her first dojinshi. I could never find that one.)

(Yes, I have 30 out of 31 issues of a magazine printed by college students in Japan from 15 years ago. My collection is better than yours.)

Huh? In your window? Where do you live that this happens??? OMG!

Oh, on CMX and the Tenjho Tenge mess. According to Cortana, over on forums.megatokyo.com, the decision to market Tenjho Tenge with a T rating was made by Jump/Viz, the company who owns the work. CMX didn't have a choice but to cut it to fit. Take that with a grain of salt, since DC/CMX isn't talking about squat, and Cortana's source is an insider who no longer works for CMX.

You can see the discussion thread here. There's some back and forth between Cortana and some dude that takes a while to sort out of the other stuff in the thread.


Every smoker is at times going to be somewhere where there are no ash trays. Eventually, the nicotine craving will hit at that inconvinient time. Nicotine cravings are not to be denied, so you light up.

After the first few drags of that sweet poison your cigarette has a not insignificant clump of ash precariously perched on the tip. But cigarette ash can be deposited just about anywhere outdoors with no ill effects.

Finally satiated, but now you are holding a cigarette butt. Sure, you're been flicking ash on the ground for the past quarter-hour but this thing has substance.

Maybe the first time your fifth grade eco-training/brainwashing kicked in and you carried this piece of garbage for the fifteen, twenty, or thirty minutes needed to find a suitable place to dispose of it.

But the second, or third, or tenth time this happened, your patience is wearing thin. Maybe you need both hands to carry something, or to help two old ladies cross the street.

For whatever reason, this time you just toss it. Consequently, all of creation comes tumbling down down around you. Actually, no, there are no ill effects at all. Next time, still feeling a little guilty, but not wanting to carry that damn thing around anymore you do it again.

Finally, you're just throwing your cigarette butts wherever you please. A bit of carelessness caused you to throw a still smoldering butt onto a dirt field, but once you saw that it wasn't going to burn down the orphanage you let it go. Now you don't even bother to make sure they are extinguished anymore.

On Monday, you burned down Wednesday's apartment. You don't even look where you throw your cigarette butts anymore, so you never knew what happened.

On Monday, you burned down Wednesday's apartment. You don't even look where you throw your cigarette butts anymore, so you never knew what happened.

And on Thursday, you burned down Friday's apartment, so Teausday kicked you into next Sunday.

Okay, Tuesday was spelled corectly when I first wrote it. I'm not sure how it mysteriously changed.

I blame Megatokyo

Most of the time, cigarette butts just lack the energy to set things on fire. MOST of the time. But when you have conditions like those obtaining in Kansas right now (20% humidity, hasn't had significant precip in months, gonna hit nearly 30C tomorrow), just looking at grass funny will set it on fire. So we're getting a LOT of "please don't be an asshole with your cigs" stuff on the news.

On Monday, you burned down Wednesday's apartment. You don't even look where you throw your cigarette butts anymore, so you never knew what happened.

And on Thursday, you burned down Friday's apartment, so Teausday kicked you into next Sunday.

And now "Lady Madonna" by the Beatles is stuck in my head. Thank you *EVER* so much.

Huh? In your window? Where do you live that this happens???

My bedroom window is right next to the building's entryway.

Alternatively, the answer is "in a complex that can never decide if it's slightly chavvy or not." You get nice peaceful quiet place for weeks, then there's screaming fights in the parking lot and smoke in the hall.

So, in short: I'd really like to know what possesses people to fling things that are on fire at things which could catch fire, and how I manage to keep finding the things that have been set on fire, please. 1. After making sure the smokers are downwind, take a slow deep breath and say "Humans are stupid" as many times as it takes to sink in.2. Just lucky, I guess. Douglas Adams had a character in "The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul" who was, unbeknownst to him, a rain god. Maybe you're secretly a fire deity. (Chex certainly thinks you're a hot goddess!)

I have never smoked, but those friends I've had who smoked were generally pretty good about discarding the cigarette butts. Almost all of them "field-dressed" it, grinding out the tip in the pavement, before tossing it in a trash can or putting it away in the baggie in their purse. Considering a fair amount of those smoked furtively because their parents didn't approve and they were too young to buy cigarettes, I think they were pretty conscientious in that regard. *sigh* Brings back a lot of happy high school memories it does. While those clove cigarettes didn't taste nearly as nice as they smelled, their scent on the breath of a girl you're kissing is quite breathtaking, no pun intended.

Yeah, the vast majority of smokers I know are sane about the extinguishment thing. This is probably why it baffles me that there are people who throw fire!

Yeah, the vast majority of smokers I know are sane about the extinguishment thing. This is probably why it baffles me that there are people who throw fire!

Super Mario Brothers is to blame.

Last night, at the university I work at, a student accidentally set all his roommate's belongings on fire via a candle or a cigerette, or something like that. Being a brilliant and educated American adult, he tried to put it out.

With a can of air freshener.

Inferno. The entire building had to be evacuated. The entire floor's sprinklers went off. I think that person will not be referred to as the Idiot or the Asshat for the rest of his university career.

A few weeks ago I went to Chuck E. Cheese's with a group of friends to celebrate someone's birthday. For the uninitiated, Chuck E. Cheese's is a pizza parlor/arcade/party place for kids (complete with animatronic puppets that look completely stoned); they won't kick you out if you don't have any urchins with you, but they sure will give you funny looks. On this occasion there was a nigh-constant stream of parent-attended little children going in and out of the place.

And on the sidewalk out front, less than three feet from the well-trafficked front door, some thoughtful soul had left a burning cigarette.

One of our number took great pleasure in grinding it to dust beneath her shoe.

Week and a half ago some drunk lit a piece of paper taped to somebodies door on fire, and then someone else seeing it pulled the alarm. No damage was done at all, but it happened at 3 in the morning, and I was quite happily asleep at the time. Second time this semester too.

Also, Pat Man, you seem to pointing a lot of fingers. Maybe you're to blame, and you're just trying to throw us all off the scent.

My ex-housemate (not for any bad reasons, the lease was up) attended an East Coast state university's film school when he was much younger. While there, the introductory production class required him to shoot something that illustrated the concept of "heat." Most people took this as an invitation to go forth with their hand-cranked 16mm Bolex and shoot melting pavement, thermometers, sweating children cracking open fire hydrants, etc.

Not my housemate. Oh no. He was having a Moment. He was more Avant-Garde than THAT. So, on the weekend, he set up the Bolex in his apartment's bathroom, filled the tub, stripped off, set the camera rolling, got into the tub, and flailed about wildly for a chunk of the roll.

Then came the science. In order to get a really *good,* *dramatic* shot of a Man Flailing About In A Bathtub Full of Flame, you see, you have to have a Bathtub Full of Flame. He'd already procured a shotglass and some gasoline for this *very purpose,* he'd wound the camera back over his previous exposure and set it rolling, and all he had to do was toss the gas into the water in the tub and drop the match...

...thus igniting the living fuck out of the fiberglass tub and enclosure, the one thing he hadn't reckoned with. Burnt down the bathroom and trashed the Bolex, pissed off his parents' renter's insurance, pissed off the film school, etc. No one was injured, but that was that for *that* project.

He now works in special effects. Of the digital kind. I cannot imagine why. ;)

Psuedowolf: I would have gone with Eight Days a Week myself.

Out in the Western part of the United States, one of the biggest problems right now is a drought so dry any kind of half-lit cigarette butt could start a wildfire of Hellish proportions. Parts of Oklahoma and Northern Texas has had wildfire fires in January. While some flash fires are started by lightning strikes, the most start with someone forgetting to smoulder their campfires or cig butts in dry areas.

Speaking of Super Mario Bros., they've come out with a new game for the DS called Super Princess Peach, where the touch pad part of the DS is used for you to adjust her mood swings. If only PMS could work this way.

Also, Pat Man, you seem to pointing a lot of fingers. Maybe you're to blame, and you're just trying to throw us all off the scent.

Nonsense. Utter rubbish.

Now if you're done making baseless assinuations, I need to go box up my flowers. My perfectly normal, non-fireball-granting flowers.


Earlier today, the elder of the famous Mario brothers, Mario, was discovered to be growing illegal psychotropic drugs. Police apprehended some of the regular consumers of his "fire flowers", which led them back to the plumber himself.
"They make fire come out of your hands!" One toad said.
Mario is also suspected of dealing mushrooms and dried leaves of an unknown plant, as well as a new drug called "stars". His elusive brother, Luigi, is still on the loose.

Then came the science. In order to get a really *good,* *dramatic* shot of a Man Flailing About In A Bathtub Full of Flame, you see, you have to have a Bathtub Full of Flame.

Sadly enough, this entire experiment sounds remarkably like something my friend and I did for a movie we made this spring at college. Thankfully, we were far more safety-conscious (partly on the advice of my mom), and managed to burn nothing but the rubbing alcohol that was supposed to burn. We even went so far as to get the permission and help of an engineering department chair - which was a big step up from the original plan to put the rubbing alcohol on the tiles in the co-ed bathroom and then light it. What we did was make it look like we were in a room full of flames by placing a bit of alcohol on alumninum foil on fire very near the camera. We then did our acting much further away, to make the perspective correct. It came out pretty neat.

ah, the fires I have known.

The 30 foot pillar of flame in Design School, my shredded jeans my roommate would lit on the dance floor, the Doc Martens covered in rubber cement, the microwave my coworker found in a ditch and decided to use, the bathtub my uncle managed to set on fire, the roman candle wars in Suede's apartment (leather skirts are mostly fireproof, BTW)...

good times.

I've been witness to Roman candle wars as well, except ours were outside. And I thought my friends were being crazy!

Oh my god, Ray totally SET THAT GUY'S FACE ON FIRE!

I could tell stories about the unextinguished cigarettes of my relatives, but I'm feeling benevolent, so I won't.

You know, none of my relatives have ever set anything on fire with their smokes. Of course, given that most of the relatives I have that do smoke would be arrested if they were caught, they're really cautious about such things.

And as much as I would love to discuss OEL manga, I oddly can't. I actually know more people that make the stuff than actual OEL manga. And I really don't want them to get pissed at me for not reading their stuff (though, to be frank, none of them read my stuff).

Oh man, I totally hate the fact that "OEL manga" has apparently become the official term. I say bring back the old school AMERIMANGA!!! Even though most people hate that one, and it doesn't really apply to manga influenced comics made by English speaking people outside of the Americas . . .

Either way, the new term seems so cumbersome to say, even when you just say the initials . . .

One of my sisters got hit by a roman candle that had fallen over. Burned through two layers of skirt and left her with a foot-long scar on her thigh. It's a good thing there was an off-duty nurse on the scene.

Apparently the flaming chunks of phosphorus were burning at about 1000 F when they hit her. Owfuck.

Don't fuck around with fireworks, kids. If you're not careful, you'll burn your goddamn skin off.

Fucking around with fireworks and only getting your skin burned off in a relatively small area sounds pretty damn lucky to me.

I like burning things. I like lighting them. I like watching them. I like putting them out. I like the smoke. I like the heat. I like the curling, gradual destruction of the oxidation feedback loop.

But I'm always quite careful with fire. Sure, there was this one time when the titanium shavings in the cannon round started a grass fire, and I was up to my chest in licking flames getting the thing put out, but we GOT it put out. That's what the shovels, the dirt pile, and the buckets of water were on hand for, after all.

I drop matches in a glass of water after I blow them out. I pinch birthday candles after blown in order to make sure they don't come back to life on the counter.

Were I a smoker, I'd sooner extinguish my butts on the heel of my hand than throw them idly away.

My dad was a volunteer fireman for 30 years, almost, and was an instructor at the annual Firefighter School at Texas A&M every year even after he "retired" from firefighting.

The stories he can tell of stupid ways for fires to get started... cigarettes, as you may guess, are way up on the list. Thing is, Dad was a smoker for much of that time, but was hella scrupulous about making sure there were no incidents from it.

As you can imagine, my sisters and I have had FIRE SAFETY pounded into our heads from day one; just as having a chemical dependency counselor of a mother pounded DRUGS BAD practically into our genetic matter. So.. er.. I guess what I'm tryin' to say here is that I'm with Wednesday on this one.

People who throw fire carelessly like that are buttheads. Literally.

OK, I was going to let this pass, but then Larksilver had to go and say that.

Beavis & Butthead voice:
Hehe, FIRE! Yeah, Fire! Fire Rules!

That reminds me, didn't they redo that Texas A&M tradition of a bonfire before every football home game after several people got toppled while trying to build the pyre?

The Texas A&M Bonfire was only done once a year, on the weekend before the football game against the University of Texas. Since the collapse of the stack that killed twelve students, Texas A&M has not held Bonfire.

Oh, and the accident occured when the bonfire stack was being built, not when Bonfire was lit.

I thought that they did hold Bonfire last year, but they've restricted its size and complexity back to a reasonable amount. From what I recall, the darn thing had just grown all outside the bounds of sanity, and the sheer size of the darn thing is what caused the collapse when they tried to add more to it.

Maybe they held it off of campus grounds or something...

Like Larksilver, I was raised by a fireman (my dad was a volunteer). So we have fire extinguishers on every floor (new, charged ones), as well as smoke alarms. I also clear paths to the door every time I enter a room and discover laundry, books, chairs etc. are even slightly in the way. Drives my husband batty.

My brother's a volunteer fireman now, and I think he might be a fire god. He wakes up five minutes before the tones drop. Two different times that we got together to go walking we've had to dump our water bottles on very tiny field fires caused by cigarettes along the side of the road. If a pile of mulch on a garden is going to self-ignite, it'll do it when he's around.

Either that, or he just notices this stuff before it gets out of hand. Still.... I'd believe that Wednesday's a fire god (goddess?) too.

Smokers are an odd breed sometimes...
I had a friend in high school who, when he needed to put out a butt, would do so ON HIS TONGUE! It freaked me out until I realized he was just letting a puddle of saliva collect on his tongue and using that to put out the butt, but I bet it still tasted all sorts of nasty.

I remember the A&M bonfire, it was because the stack was unstable, and people were climbing on it, and the bands they had used to wrap the bottom of the stack gave way. (It was a bunch of logs of uniform length and girth, all standing on end and strapped together, with a smaller bundle standing upright on top of it.) I had thought that they did continue the bonfires after the next year, but that may have been an off-campus thing, or just my imagination.

I was sitting on a bench in Cambridge, MA, a few blocks out of Harvard one weekend morning, waiting for work to start, when a woman and her young daughter came walking up the street. The daughter was wearing rubber gloves and holding a plastic bag. Every few inches, she would stop and pick up all of the discarded cigarette butts littered on the ground and put them into the bag. The bag was filling quickly. Musta been one hell of a science fair project.

I don't know what's more frightening - that the streets of Boston are so covered with tobacco trails, or that we don't even notice just how many of them there are anymore.

A friend of mine used to make fireballs with his stove. He'd put a glass bowl upside-down over a burner and turn on the gas. He'd wait until the flame went out from lack of oxygen, then shut off the heat. Then, he'd yank the bowl away and turn the gas back on, igniting the gas that had gathered and making an impressive FWOOMPH of fire. He was lucky he never burned down his house.

He also made a pickle briefly incandescent, using household current.

dreamshade, I notice all the time. The huge quantity of butts on the ground is one of the things (other than having to walk through clouds of smoke on my way into and out of my office building) that feeds into my overall negative impression of the average smoker - not only inconsiderate enough to not care that other people need to use the air that they're polluting with carcinogens, and not only unable or unwilling to stop doing something that they have to be aware has a high chance of leading to a painful, early death, but also serial litterers, and occasionally irresponsible fire-starters.

gwalla, my mathematics competition team used to plug a pickle into the wall the night before the competition each year, for good luck. Then we'd dare people from other teams to eat it.

Here's a hint, everyone - if a pickle is leaking black fluid, it's probably going to taste bad.

And of course, Howard's post reminds us all that it's okay to be a pyromaniac, as long as you're a responsible pyromaniac. It's the irresponsible pyromaniacs that give the rest of us a bad name.

(I was briefly tempted to bring up gun control, there. Time to end the post!)

Mmm...Electrifried Green Pickles.

Gwalla, that sounds awfully like my brother. It's electrical engineers that end up doing stuff like that. Of course, he has no interest in anything else besides fire and electricity.

I think part of the problem with cigarette butt litter is that, well, they're so small. Cigarette butts are what pile up because that's, like, 90% of the pie chart for "Tiny Litter Items". Gum wrappers can barely stay solvent.

Robert: You're probably right. Smokers who think about it no doubt think to themselves "it's just a tiny little butt. What harm will it do?"

I'm sure the thought of just how quickly an ash tray fills up at a party never translates into what happens when you turn the street into an ash tray...

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