In 1985 Bruce Springsteen wrote a song called I’m On Fire. I looked at a picture of Bruce, and while he’s not the handsomest man alive he doesn’t look as though he has had third degree burns all over his body. Therefore, we must conclude he was speaking figuratively as opposed to literally. I don’t want to dwell on this for very long but my conclusion comes from the fact he says, “Oooh ooh ooh oh, I’m on fire”, and not, “AHHHHH, PUT IT OUT, PUT IT OUT, I’M ON FIRE!! AHHHHH!” This leads me to believe he’s not actually on fire. Of course, drugs could be involved, but this is my reasonable conclusion. Moving on.
What I do believe is that he’d seen a beautiful woman, fallen into lust, and his loins are burning with the desire that comes from such things. Also, the fact that desire and fire are rhyming words, tells me that there is probably some poetic license going on, but I really don’t want to talk about this anymore. Guys experience this sort of thing a lot. Having never been a woman, I don’t know what they feel. So there. If you need this explained then you have bigger issues than the meaning a Bruce Springsteen song. Crap, I said I wasn’t going to mention that again.
I’m surprised that Bruce could even tell us he was on fire. The reason is simple, when a man’s hormones rave like that, babbling is usually all he can muster. Here’s an example from I was in eighth grade and working in a theatre production. The lead girl, Nancy Flipshire ran up to me and thanked me with a kiss on the mouth. By high school standards Nancy was a goddess. Well, my loins figuratively burst into flames. My brain short-circuited, reduced in size ten-fold and rolled out my left ear.
You must understand, until that moment there was virtually zero contact between us. The thought of us in the same room together was worthy of international news. Yet here we were, lip-locked, behind the curtain, in the dark, for what seemed to me like three days. Of course, she let me go, and took off for the dressing room. I on the other hand was frozen to the spot. This is quite odd considering the fiery loins. Thus, proving once again that Bruce’s song was… Wait a minute, I’m not talking about that.
Just then Mrs. Tackitch, the teacher director, came around the corner and asked me why I wasn’t setting up the stage for act two. I tried to tell her about flaming loins and frozen feet, but the lack of brains wouldn’t allow it. Well, after a second or two, I bent over and searched the floor for my brains, shoved what I could back into my left ear, and got busy with what I needed to do.
The politics of eight grade were quite explicit on matters such as these. We had discovered that girls no longer had diseases boys are actively trying to avoid, but it is uncouth to just walk up to the opposite sex and speak to them. It had to be done through a mutual friend. Why? I don’t know. It would’ve been much easier if it wasn’t. Therein lies the rub. Nancy and I had no mutual friends, so I never spoke to her or anyone else about my still smoldering loins.
As my life progressed my loins have been on fire, smoldering, luke warm, chilly, stone cold, and frozen over the years. Different women created different impressions. When I met my wife for example my loins ignited my whole body, my brain exploded, my sneakers melted, and smoke detectors went off all the way down the block. I guess you could say it was right. You’re probably saying, good for me and other non-committal stuff, and wondering when I’m going to get to the point.
The point, and I do have one, is that after years of marital bliss I would like to say that I am immune to being on fire as it were. I would also like to say that I invented the Left-Handed-Widget and made thirty billion dollars. The thing is, I can’t. I, like Bruce, see a very pretty girl and, “Oooh ooh ooh oh, I’m on fire”. Arggg, why do I keep mentioning him? I want to be good. But for some unknown reason my brain seems to like dripping out my left ear as mush. My wife laughs at me, and you just can’t be a manly man while saying, “DAYA GAAALA TATATA FLAP”. I will say that I now recover much faster and sometimes I’m even able to apologize to my wife and say something stupid like I was looking at her open-toed shoes, and I’m very concerned about what seems to be toenail fungus. I’m not sure she buys it, but at least I feel better in my mind.
Then the worst thing of all happened. My lovely wife and I went to my twenty-year class reunion. I went for one reason only. To laugh at the idiocy at my classmates, and turn that idiocy into superb blog posts. Yes, I paid forty bucks a person, bought a corsage, got all dressed up and even took a shower, all for you all, and not one person has said, “Thanks”. That’s it. You’re all off my Christmas card list. Of course, I haven’t sent out cards in ten years or so, but it sounded impressive.
Anyway, there I was and my lovely wife asked for a drink. I went to the bar, got the drinks and when I came back, she was sitting with my fantasy girl. Nancy Flipshire, was seated next to my wife, and they were talking. Also, let’s just say that the years had been good to Nancy. So, the scene is, two beauties are talking and all the eighth-grade fantasies came flooding back into my brain. “Oooh ooh ooh oh, I’m on fire” No that’s not right, it was more like, “Oooh ooh ooh oh, my head just exploded like a volcano, with hormones flowing like lava all over my body, collecting at my loins, which melted like butter in a blast furnace. Try putting that one in a song, Bruce.
My brains not only flew out my ears, they packed an overnight case and went to their mothers’ house for the weekend. How was I going to explain to my wife all those latent feelings about the woman she was sitting next to. I put down the drinks and my wife made introductions. Sweat was shooting out of my neck. Nancy informed us that she had made a million as a stock broker, and was still single. I felt myself slowly melting into a puddle.
Then they continued laughing, and my wife looked at Nancy and asked her to repeat the story, where she made fifty bucks in eighth-grade by kissing the biggest loser backstage during a performance. The ladies laughed at the silly guy and what he must have thought.
“Oooh ooh ooh oh, Fire’s out”
Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer
Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On