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but in the form of a rickety old freestanding stove, with no wood in sight. I went search- ing for some, and came across a man with a wheelbarrow full of soaking wet kindling. He worked at the hotel, and one of his job titles was "Official Fire Starter." With the speed of a sloth he meandered to the first room and went to work building a fire. My room was at the opposite end of the hall. Damn. This was going to take forever. Freezing, impatient and undeterred, I


decided to build my OWN fire. I had been a Boy Scout after all (though not much of one). I grabbed some paper and wood scraps, stealing away to my room and set- ting to work. I found a lighter, set the blaze and… Fizzle. My fire burned out no sooner than it was lit. DAMN. I was still cold. And desperate. I grabbed a soda can and sliced the lid off, then went and grabbed some fuel. Now I know what you're thinking. "This


dude's crazy." Maybe that's true, but these were desperate times. I know a thing or two about gasoline fires. For example, I have learned that when lit, fuel can be rather explosive. I also knew that fire tends to burn off the fuel quickly, oftentimes too quickly to set ablaze whatever the fuel was lying on, so I formulated a plan. I took a long, rough plank from the wood pile and stuck one end in the fireplace. Then prop- ping the plank up at an angle, I poured gasoline on the other end. My thinking was that the fuel would soak into the plank after a time, making the wood more likely to stay aflame after the fuel burned off, and any unspent fuel would trickle into the empty fireplace, where it would help with ignition. Flawless logic! Except... I had forgotten about my original failed


fire, which had left a few hot embers hidden from view. When the trickling fuel touched the embers, it sparked, sending a


fast-moving string of murderous fire onto my plank, up to my fingers, and into my can of fuel. I screamed and tossed the can, spraying


my entire room with flaming droplets of fuel. Now I had 37 fires to keep me warm. "WhoaDudeDammit!" I yelled, and went to work stomping out fires. This took a bit of triage. Do I put out the


bedspread first? Or my riding gear? Does shag carpet burn faster than drapery? I cursed and stomped, running from fire


to fire. My commotion must have been pretty loud, as it was enough to attract the attention of the man tasked with lighting fires. He appeared in the doorway to find me, hopping and yelling to extinguish the last of my pyrotechnics. He mumbled something about “gringos” and left. Soon all the fires were out, including the


only one I had INTENDED to make. Some- how though, I wasn’t cold anymore!


March 2016 BMW OWNERS NEWS 63


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