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59 Responses

  1. Stacey
    Stacey November 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm | | Reply

    I’d like to win tickets to this. My fire story? My school almost burned down when I was in kindergarten, so I prefer to avoid the flame. This dinner sounds like an excellent way to conquer that fear.

  2. Abby Rubin
    Abby Rubin November 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm | | Reply

    The fire I will discuss is the “FIRE” of the Chinese Chili Pepper. When I was a kid (a budding FOODIE Personified), my Stepfather and I had a competitive relationship. And he used to brag and brag about how he could eat any Chili Pepper I gave him whole… with no effects. So, I began the practice of wrapping up chilies in my napkin for my Stepfather’s consumption. Week after week he endured the torture of chili after chili, until the fateful Chinese (some-thing or other) chili…it was AWESOME. He took a bite, his face was crimson and his ears were smokin’….and now to this day, he will not eat hot peppers in any form!

  3. Allison
    Allison November 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm | | Reply

    I would love tickets!! Pop-up restaurants are the best, and one that mixes fire and smoke in the forest, and plenty great in my books. My fire story goes something like this.

    Labour day weekend when I was a kid – going away on the boat down which is moored in False Creek – the gas dock explodes causing a fireball to shoot up in the air that envelopes the Burrard Street bridge. The heat coming off that fire was so intense it caused a delay in our weekend getaway, as we could not go down the ramp to load the boat.

    Two things that are neat with this story. 1) This is one of my very few memories I have of when I was a kid – it is so vivid, that I can still feel the heat, remember the ringing in my ears from the how loud the explosion was, and hear the firetrucks as they raced through the Planetarium parking lot, and 2) If you ever wondered why there wasn’t a gas dock in False Creek, this is the reason.

    Pick me, pick me! – I have an intense fascination with smoke and fire. Oh, and of course with good food!

  4. Louise Salitra
    Louise Salitra November 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm | | Reply

    Smoke and Fire; who knew that these two would save my family… Year 2000, July I’m driving down the same street i have driven done so many times before. On my way home after work – 17 years old, the road is blocked off and the street is filled with fire trucks, ambulance and spectators in pajamas. I see my home being swallowed by a blazing beast of flame and smoke. My eyes desperately look for my family members, sister-found, father (in a dripping towel) found – mother – screaming but found… family dog, Rocky… no found. I embrace my family and begin to weep for my sweet cocker spaniel…how could this happen – why?? When through the smoke, in slow motion – a silhouette of a strong fireman comes towards us and in his arms carries a scared and drenched dog to us. Blackened with smoke, shaking with fear. We huddled together as we watch our entire life burn away. We are homeless. No baby pictures – no items that remind us of good times. All gone.
    When i look back on that day – i don’t feel upset or angry, but blessed and thankful. I have a family that i love – and who is safe. I was able to learn at a young age – what is truly important in life. Good food – good friends – and love.
    This is how fire and smoke saved our family

    I would love to win tickets to your dinner to enjoy a quite evening with my husband and a room full of hungry people!

  5. Gaby Eirew
    Gaby Eirew November 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm | | Reply

    Fire around house in bushes. Eleven. Dad lay outside looking at sky once too tired, Winds circling fire around us.
    Eleven but could lift a huge trash can full of water the way one can only in emergency. Powered form within.
    Wind that came with fire, left with fire and we all lay on the grass looking at the stars; grateful.

  6. Carie-Ann
    Carie-Ann November 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm | | Reply

    I was camping once with friends, and we all shared gear. Being a camping geek, I decided to light my friend’s white gas Coleman stove while he collected water. When he came back, we started making dinner. While sauteeing some delicious food, suddenly a loud bang occurred and the stove went out. Turns out his family leave lighters in the base of the stove for easy lighting. The lighter BLEW UP as we were cooking from the heat of the flames on the stove. Luckily no one was hurt and no fires were started but we had quite the scare.

  7. Lauren Flanagan
    Lauren Flanagan November 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm | | Reply

    My favorite place to start a fire is on the beach. Every February my husband and I round up the kids and drag them to Maui (school be damned) to watch the baby whales. Sunsets (their own magical fire) are so beautiful..that as all the restaurant loving sunburned snowbirds flee to their showers, I dig my feet in. Its my favorite time of day..I’m not leaving. And on comes my husband and three kids carrying MaiTais and a small BBQ. We’ll have set some local fish marinating in the afternoon. As the sun disappears, we start the fire..we feel a little guilty as the smoke billows into a nearby fancy restaurant..but it doesnt last long. We eat to our messy hearts desire..and finish off with Smores (plus a little sand). By the end of the night, atleast one person will walk by and say that we’ve got the right idea or that while they sat in that fancy restaurant: they kinda wished they were sitting with us. Often that bbq fires coals keep us warm til we watch the stars.

  8. laurie skinner
    laurie skinner November 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm | | Reply

    Not that long ago, The weather was keeping many of us inside….although we were hoping to enjoy a large bon-fire out of doors….It was not to be…SO, we lit a match stocked the firebit’s belly and began out indoor bon fire— a delightful main course of Euro-weiners roasted on spears til golden burnt in colour and waiting to be devoured! Of course a bonfire is never complete without the decadent dessert of SMORE’S !
    Due to our OFF GRID location, we were able to build a very substantial fire inside in the woodburner’s belly and enjoy our smokey roasted weinies and smores! YUM! Even though the skies inevitably opened up pouring buckets outside…our tummies were blessed with the famous campfire traditional menu!
    Fun was had by all! (Help us share the memories..)

  9. Neil
    Neil November 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm | | Reply

    When I think of fire I think of getting burned in more ways than one… I was 13yrs old and in the wintertime and I felt like capturing the awesomeness of summer campfires by roasting marshmallows over the fire in our living room. I had the perfect bubbly-ooee-gooey-brown roast to my marshmallow when all of a sudden a flame burst up over it. Not wanting to lose my perfect roasted marshmallow I flipped up the sweet treat to blow out the flame and instead flipped the sizzling hot marshmallow onto my cheek.

    Yeah it hurt. But not as much as what happened next… I raced into the kitchen picking chunks of hot sticky marshmallow from my cheek and quickly put cold water on it. It stung like hell but the next morning it wasn’t too bad except for the giant 2″ wide scabby burn I had on my cheek the next morning. Off I went to school and of course, everyone wanted to know what the hell happened to me and me being a decent, honest and completely naive kid, I told them the truth – “I was burnt by a marshmallow”. Needless to say, there was no sympathy or pity for me. Only derision and laughter… Which lasted several semesters and was made worse by the fact that “Ghostbusters” had recently been released in theaters inspiring my new moniker… “Marshmallow Man”!

    To this day I’m very careful around campfires and especially careful of roasted marshmallows. If there’s any marshmallow roasting going on in the forest at the dinner with the wild things I’ll be sure to leave such dangerous work to the professionals! 🙂

  10. Greg Ambrose
    Greg Ambrose November 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm | | Reply


    First off, let me start by saying – hands down “The Wild Things” was my favourite book as a kid.

    So, my fire story goes a little something like this.

    Going back a few years, probably to about grade 1 or 2 and we had just finished being taught about 911 and the police, fire and ambulance at school.

    While on the walk home from school, I confided in my best friend, that I didn’t really think is was possible to summons one of those big shiny fire trucks with all its lights and sirens just by dialing 911.

    So, when we got to my house, we retreated to the basement where we usually played with lego or some other toy of the time. I picked up the phone, dialed 911 and politely told the operator that there was a fire at 266-9X56. You see, I was old enough to know my phone number, but not my address. We hung up the phone and quickly got distracted with our toys.

    We had all but pretty much forgotten we had even made the call when we heard the sirens coming up the street. The babysitter / nanny upstairs went to the front door to see what the commotion was all about only to be confronted by a fire fighter charging towards the door, axe over his shoulder ready to knock the door down.

    Needless to say, it didn’t take them long to figure out who made the anonymous call to the fire department. My punishment included a firm scolding from a police officer, followed by a ride in the police car…sirens and lights included. He even showed us his gun. This was followed by an even firmer talking to by my parents and a 2 week ban from using the phone…not a bid deal when you are only 6 years old.

    It is the only time I have ever had to call 911 and I hope it will be my last.

    This looks like a great evening and I hope to be in attendance.

  11. Nils Hognestad
    Nils Hognestad November 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm | | Reply

    Growing up in a household with a mother who has an excellent palate, love for food, and excellent cooking ability, I have been spoiled with the food that I was served. When I moved away from home and was studying, I figured the best way to get a good meal would be to work at a restaurant in order to get a good free meal. Easier said than done… I held several serving jobs, but none that I could actually hold on to. I was FIREd from every single serving job purely because I just don’t have the natural ability. Some people are good at it, others, like me, will pour anything they’re carrying on customers. Beer, wine, fish sauce, hot sauce, Tikka Masala- you name it. I’m so talented at being an untalented server that I even have gone as far as to set FIRE to a couple’s table when serving a big ‘ole bowl of oil fondue. Thank god for my charm. Without it, I’m sure that I’d not only be never able to serve again, but probably have a good handful of lawsuits on my hands, as well…

    I would adore to win tickets to attend Dinner With The Wild Things. I may even come dressed in my Max costume that I made this year for Halloween…;) (I may not be adept at serving, but I sure can work my way around a sewing machine…)

    xNils Hognestad

  12. Mark Moraes
    Mark Moraes November 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm | | Reply

    I remember having a sing-along with some friends at a campsite. There was the classic 60s singalongs, but then we really rocked out the 90’s dance hits: Mr. Vain, All That She Wants, etc. Although we laugh, dance, drank and sang alot, the party the previous night was not forgotten, for the smell of cedar smoke was all over our clothes. It was a comforting smell.

  13. Karyn Huenemann
    Karyn Huenemann November 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm | | Reply

    Back in the mists of time, when I was an undergraduate, my roommate had a toaster that didn’t pop. You can see where this is going. It invariably took about three pieces of bread to produce on piece of toast, as I would go back into my room, get reading, and forget (I still do). One day, I was so immersed in my novel that one of the men in the next quad (student apartments at UBC) actually came over and pulled the toast out with kitchen tongs and brought it to me: it was glowing red in the middle, black char around the edges. Almost artistic in the burn and charcoal pattern … The other student–still a great friend of my husband–never lets me forget… TOAST has become a catch-word for “set the timer, goofus!”

  14. Sarah
    Sarah November 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm | | Reply

    I haven’t had the chance to attend a swallow tail event as of yet and would love the opportunity! My campfire story involves a bunch of friends relaxing around the fire drinking beer when my wonderfully intoxicated friend jumps up and decides she needs to dance. Not only that but others should dance with her. Instead of joining in we watched my friend “drop it like it’s hot” infront of the fire singing “Filipino girls rule! Filipino girls rule!” pretty hilarious site 🙂

  15. April McLean
    April McLean November 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm | | Reply

    I grew up in a very rural setting in the Cariboo Central Interior of BC. In behind our house was a beautifully lush, dark, and tantalizing forest. My sister and I were attracted to this place of hidden secrets and wild animals on a daily basis despite the weather. It was a place to escape from the stresses of everyday reality (which, for me, were more than a normal child experienced). We would romp through the misty (er, let’s say “smokey”) forest searching for tree fairies and strange animals to invite to tea parties. We spent hours building tree houses and decorating them with “hand-crafted” furniture made out of moss, leaves, rocks and sticks in hopes of attracting a bear, a deer, or some other magical creature who wouldn’t be able to resist the comfy cozy appeal of our little forest abode. We would leave offerings of fresh water from hidden streams we’d discovered and little piles of berries for snacks. For me,the time spent in the forest was entrancing and took me on wild, fantastical adventures which allowed me to hang onto my childhood innocence for a while longer and forget some of the hard realities of life. Although the time in the forest was thoroughly enjoyed, we instantly ran home when the sun started to set and the shadows of the forest began to morph into unsavory beings. We would arrive home to a roaring bonfire near the lake and a feast fit for kings, queens, and of course, princesses. We would spin tales of our travels to faraway lands while roasting hot dog after hot dog over the undulating flames. I would go to bed smelling like a smokey forest and when I awoke the next morning and smelled last night’s campfire in my hair I would be instantly transported back to my sanctuary amongst the trees.

  16. Cindy tran
    Cindy tran November 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm | | Reply

    I would love to win these free tickets as its around my mom birthday (dec2) so how awesome to take her.

    My smoke and fire story: I love to cook with wild an risky techniques, which means my fire alarm hates me and the building I live in knows me all to well as a “fire hazard”. I learned to home smoke a trout in my dimsum steamer and although it was the most amazing flavour and technique I have tried, our place was very smokey and smelled that way for weeks. Then when I sautéed mushrooms and add alcohol to burn off and get extra earthy flavoura released, of course flambee style will get my kitchen ablazed and fiery bright, not a fan of with my neighbors. All for the pursuit of good food.

  17. Michelle
    Michelle November 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm | | Reply

    I love smoke! I make Japanese style smoked eggs, one of my favourite red wines is from Hillside Winery in Penticton, and it’s so smokey, it reminds me of a bbq! YUM

  18. Tyrone
    Tyrone November 16, 2012 at 11:33 pm | | Reply

    I have a friend that used to DJ for parties. Whenever I tag along, I play with the smoke machine. I played with it so much that people gave me the nickname “smoke”.

  19. Alice Bacon
    Alice Bacon November 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm | | Reply

    Our neighbours had a house fire when I was a kid (in the 70s). the fire department came, but our senior citizen neighbour didn’t want to let them into the attic where the fire originated, because it was where all his pot plants were growing.

  20. An-Magritt
    An-Magritt November 17, 2012 at 12:10 am | | Reply

    I have never been to a Pop-up Party before, and dinner in the forest sounds amazing, so would love to win tickets for this.

    My story is about smoke, and happened as my holiday in Tanzania was to come to an end. This was my first time in Africa, and my three friends and I had been working our way round most of the island of Zansibar, eating good food, drinking lots of local beer, and basically just chilling. Two days before our flight back home, the news about the volcano eruption on Island reached us. Almost all air traffic over Europe was closed, because of all the smoke and ashes in the air, so all planes going to Europe was cancelled. We made our way back to the mainland and found a tour operators office, where they helped us rebook our flights two days after our original flight. Of course this one also got cancelled, and the next one. I think we went to the tourist office every day for a week to check what was going on, and when the flights would start up again. In the end our holiday was prolonged with 9 days, but I must say, it wasn´t the worst place to be “ash trapped” as it soon would be called back home. We were accommodated in a five star hotel with swimming pool and the most amazing breakfast and dinner buffets I have ever seen. So we were all happy, even if our employers were not.

  21. Jezebel Pimentel
    Jezebel Pimentel November 17, 2012 at 1:11 am | | Reply

    Ok, I’ll share my story for the sake of winning free tickets to what sounds to be the “BEST NIGHT EVER!”

    My best story about both smoke and fire was also my worst.

    During my first road trip as a child, we drove my father’s smoking-hot, fire- red, turbocharged 4-cylinder Merkur XR4Ti; a short-lived US/CAN-market version of the European Ford Sierra XR4i which sold between 1985 to 1989. Side Note: I’m a 30yr old female who, although loves cars I rarely remember a car’s make. I only remember this one mainly because of this unforgettable story.

    K, back on track here, my parents, my 2 older sisters, myself and a week’s worth of vacationing luggage were sardined into my dad’s new prize possession as we headed from Vancouver to Nelson to visit family. Blasting the AC in the sweltering hot summer sun, we cruised up and around the winding road along the extreme West Arm of Kootenay Lake in BC’s southern Interior in this manual 5-speed compact car. Interrupting the chatter of my teenage sisters talks of shopping and the gossiping of friends was my dad’s perforated driving gloved hand’s quick turn of the leather covered steering wheel. Pulling off to the side of the I-90 E he directed everyone to “get out of the car!”

    Smoke pouring out from under the hood, my sisters and I sat wide-eyed as the smoke gradually turned into fire. Slowly being engulfed by flames, my dad’s little red sports car was literally on FIRE! Not quite yet into Nelson, we patiently waited for the brave members of the Tarry’s Volunteer Fire Department, fighting through the bumper to bumper traffic, to our rescue. One by one we’d hear a big BOOM as my sister’s counted down their cans of hairspray, “there goes one,” “oh and there’s another”. By the time the fire trucks arrived, our car had burnt through the leather and upholstery straight to the metal frame.

    Talk about traumatizing! To this day, I won’t ever blast AC continuously for over 30 minutes while driving in the summer heat. All I remember in addition to the smoke & flame was the courtesy ride in a cop car, another first, and the stack of vacation money my parents gave me that was literally IN MY HANDS, which I ditched, when scrambling out of the car!

    1. Phyllis
      Phyllis November 21, 2012 at 2:52 am | | Reply

      You deserve to win!

    2. Taslim
      Taslim November 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm | | Reply

      Oh my goodness!! I totally felt like I was right there with you guys in the car! What a crazy story and brilliantly written! I gasped when you talked about the hairspray cans going “boom!” Wow, I don’t blame you for being traumatized. I hope you’re compensated so many years later by a win in this contest!

    3. Susie Nam
      Susie Nam November 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm | | Reply

      “Oh there goes another one!” lol sorry I know it was traumatizing… but it was also funny – knowing how much spray cans they must have used back in the day. Great story!!

  22. Heather
    Heather November 17, 2012 at 1:36 am | | Reply

    This is my story about fire or smoke that will hopefully earn me two free tickets to the Where the Wild Things Are dinner.

    When I was in undergrad I got a crazy summer job doing inventories of ducks on lakes in northern Alberta. This was before there were any developments up there, and I was pretty much alone in the woods and responsible for getting to 10 lakes on a rotational basis every 3 days. I was given an ATV and a tent. Well, soon into this experience a black bear started coming around quite frequently to sniff everything. I got to a hill about 5 miles away where my satellite phone actually worked, and I called the head people coordinating this study. They said they would send parts for me to build a bear proof fence with my next food drop.

    So, a week later there I am with posts, wire, and a solar panel and generator that are somehow supposed to produce enough electricity to flow through this fence and electrocute the curious tongue of any problem bear. Well, it took me about 5 days to get the thing up. I wasn’t really good at building fences, and so it was a bit wobbly, but it stood. I built a gate to this bear fence by making a square out of 4 logs with wire mesh in the middle. This square was attached by wire loops to the post and rest of the fence on one side. I would swing it open and then fasten it over a nail on the other log as I came and went. I had grabbed the wire by mistake a few times with one hand, and didn’t get a shock at all. So I decided I had failed at the electrical portion of this project, and the fence would just hopefully help deter bears that were lazy and didn’t want to climb it.

    Well, fast forward… it was time for me to have a rain shower. Living in the middle of nowhere as I was, I showered using a bag with holes in it that you filled with water and dangled from a tree. One night I left my fenced area, and had the fastest rain shower of my life because I was being absolutely attacked by mosquitos. I ran back towards my fence mostly naked in gum boots and grabbed at the gate to get inside and into my tent. I was pretty surprised when I grabbed the fenced with both hands and got the most severe shock of my life.

    Apparently the electricity aspect of the fence did work – very well – it just needed a full circuit (being grabbed with 2 hands) to flow through a human body. So it threw me back and through the air. I felt like a greek god had thrown a lightening bolt at me. I lost a few seconds of my life as I tried to reconcile what just happened. I was thrown about 7 m backwards and was lying on my back being attacked by mosquitos when I woke up to find the bottoms of both of my rubber boots were smoking and melted. My feet were on fire. Apparently the bit of water that made it into the base of my rubber boots had acted as the most excellent conduit for electrical conduction. My feet and my body smoked for a few hours that day. My hair was staticky. Nothing was ever quite the same….. I am still quite odd, and I wonder how much of it has to do with the day I was smoking….

  23. Dianne Chow
    Dianne Chow November 17, 2012 at 3:03 am | | Reply

    My story is about how I almost become a human match. when I was in my early 20’s I loved to tease my hair and make it big. But to maintain the volume, one needed at least 10 layers of hair spray. One Saturday night, I went to pick up my girlfriend at her father’s restaurant. I sat on a barstool between two guys. One of them who sat on the left of me took out a cigarette and gave one to his friend who sat on the right of me. Then he took his lighter and proceeded to light his friend’s cigarette. The next time you know, I felt the breathe leave my body as one of the guys proceeded to whack me across the back as apparently, my hair caught on fire when he leaned over to light his friend’s cigarette. So now whether I hear the song, “Come on Baby light my fire”, I literally cringe!

  24. Melissa
    Melissa November 17, 2012 at 3:30 am | | Reply

    The sun is setting. The air’s still warm tonight, but there’s a breeze tossing the leaves and my hair. Someone’s barbequing down the street; the air smells of campfire.

    I can close my eyes and be at the campfire. We’re far enough from the light pollution to really see the stars, far and cold. The lake is on one side, the tents and cabins on the other. By the light of the fire, all that’s visible are the first two rings of log benches circling the fire pit.

    There are about a dozen drummers. They aren’t all very good, but the ones who are pull the others along. I’m sitting three rows back from the fire, wrapped in my black cloak and my anonymity. The drummers aren’t all great, but the ones who are pull at me, make me need to move. The drums are like another heartbeat. I wait as others get up and start swaying. Finally, I drop my self-consciousness and my cloak and I move to the edge of the fire. The flames are on one side, the drums on the other. I look at the stars.

    I dance first for the stars, because they don’t care. I reach for them and sway.

    Around the fire, other dancers shimmy their hips. They bend and twist. Their long skirts and scarves flicker like another circle of flames.

    The fire makes us all too hot, and we begin to remove clothing. It isn’t a striptease – we shed shirts like dead petals.

    My hips circle to the rhythm effortlessly, mindlessly. The world is reduced to the fire and the drums and the dancers. We are all entranced together.

    The natural flow of the dancing takes me around to the other side of the fire. The lake is on one side, the fire and drums on the other. There’s only the dark water, the fire, and the beat in my hips and hands.

    The drummers falter, and my body slows as they work to bring the beat back together. I look up at the stars. All the dancers and drummers together are still only a tiny spark in the night.

  25. benry
    benry November 17, 2012 at 6:39 am | | Reply

    I believe my fire story tops them all:

    After a long few years, this dinner would be a welcome retreat for my wife and I.

  26. Katherine
    Katherine November 17, 2012 at 6:54 am | | Reply

    Fire reminds me of campfires.
    That takes me back to summer memories of being at the lake and having bonfires.
    Campfires provide all kinds of adventures and activities for imaginative kids. Through the day, with great anticipation of evening, we would hunt for logs and wood that can be burned. And possible more importantly, we would have to find an appropriate branch that can be used to roast hot dogs and even better marshmallows.
    As dusk falls, we harassed our parents to light the fire… We would poke and prod the logs to coax the embers to fall in the right place to make the perfect bed that will enable us to toast that ultimate marshmallow… a tanned, crisp shell with a molten oowey gooey center.. there is nothing like that perfect marshmallow.

  27. Rebecca
    Rebecca November 17, 2012 at 11:20 am | | Reply

    To be honest, I do not have a dramatic story about smoke or fire. However, fire once taught me an important lesson. I grew up with a mother who cooked like Julia Child. She made everything from scratch and was not a fan of microwaves. When I got married, my husband brought his enormous microwave into our house. I really had no idea how to use it. Thus, my husband went into one of his now trademark elaborate descriptions that I only ever half-listen to. Anyway, when he was done, I went merrily along heating things up and defrosting other things and I thought the microwave was pretty cool. That was until the day I put a metal measuring cup filled with butter inside. I put it in, hit 30 seconds, and walked away. I returned about 20 seconds later to see the microwave filled with flames and sparks flying off the measuring cup. I somehow put the fire out and tried to ignore the blackness of the microwave’s interior. I remember some head-shaking and a, “Don’t you listen to me?” from my husband, but then life went back to normal. That was until the day I put in a frozen bread bun to defrost, in a plastic bag, with a twist tie. That day, the microwave taught me that some twist ties contain metal. I also learned that if you put enough metal objects in a microwave, you destroy it and your husband buys a brand-new one. So, I guess I learned three lessons: no metal in the microwave, some twist ties contain metal, and it’s okay if you destroy something you wanted replaced anyway.

  28. Steph
    Steph November 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm | | Reply

    My favorite campfire memory is pretty simple, as a kid (and actually now as a adult), I love sitting around a campfire telling stories, and making s’mores. I used to do a lot of camping as a kid, and it reminds me of those happy memories.

  29. Kaedra
    Kaedra November 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm | | Reply

    I would love to win tickets to this!

    My story about smoke and fire also involves a semi wild thing: my cat! She loves to jump up on my dresser and weave her way around the lamp, jewelry box, lotion bottles, and other bits and bobs that I keep up there. She never disturbs anything, just seems to enjoy seeing if anything has moved since the last time she was up there.

    A few years ago, I also used to keep candles up there, and would light them every so often in the evenings and turn off the other lights to enjoy a nice candle-lit glow, reflecting from the dresser mirror. One evening, when I had the candles lit, the cat decided to jump up and weave her way around again. I didn’t think anything of it, until I caught a whiff of… you guessed it… burning hair. I turned around, and at that exact moment, the cat jumped off the dresser and started licking her backside perplexedly. She had singed her “tail feathers”, and now had a black mark to prove it! Needless to say, I moved the candles that night, and she hasn’t gone near a flame since.

    I now make jokes about her being my Icarus-cat and flying too close to the sun. I’m not sure she finds it as amusing as I do! 😀

  30. todd graham
    todd graham November 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm | | Reply

    so my story about fire and smoke is from a few years ago, i was living in this house with a friend (who’s 40th bday is on dec 1 weirdly enough…) We had rented a house in fairly upscale area. we were the only rental space on the street. Needless to say the neighbors where not super into these weird hippish punks taking up all the grass (i mean all of it) to plant gardens and running a breakfast place in the back yard. We would often smoke fish and bbq in the yard in a weird smoker that we built. Every time we would fire it up the neighbors would call the fire department. The funny part of where the house was that it was on the end of a dead end street that was to hard for the fire truck to turn around so they had to back all the way out (very long street) this happened about 5 times, and every time the fire guys would show up and see us smoking a fish or bbqing and say have a good meal and leave. Became a fun routine, they would leave the truck at the end of the street and walk down. The neighbors stopped calling when they looked out the window one time and the fire fighters where sitting eating a hotdog. We had a good summer of smoking fish and gardening .

  31. Leah
    Leah November 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm | | Reply


    SO, I don’t have a really amazing smoke or fire story. I was thinking of making one up, but that would be wrong, so instead, I will tell you why I’m terrified of house fires.

    Remember how crazy educational films used to be before shit got super politically correct? Seriously, the difference between education films then and now are staggering. I remember a traumatic Health class watching a full-on pregnancy video where the fetus looked like some Ridley Scott alien spawn. And a weird animated movie about how babies are made which showed cartoon Mom and Dad having a bath together, then cut to a bunch of smiling sperms wearing swim trunks swimming down an Olympic sized pool and when the best sperm won, it had a monocle and a waistcoat and did a tap dance. Weird stuff.

    ANYWAY, that’s off topic. In first year Girl Guides, we watched a fire safety video. Looking back, the director of this video probably had aspirations to make arty 80’s slashers, because the bulk of the video was a slow tracking show through a dimly lit house, like the beginning of Halloween, only darker and moodier. And as it steadicam-ed up the stairs, a man’s deep monotone voice described what had happened.. it was something to the effect of… “A man is smoking in bed… he tires… leaves his cigarette on his wooden bedside table… ” And then a second voice, a child’s voice low down the in sound mix cried out “CLOSE THE DOOR!” And then the man’s voice.. “A fire starts, the blaze engulfing the bedside table..” and then the child’s voice “CLOSE THE DOOR!”

    And so the video continued. Monotone man described how the fire burned the bed smoker to a crisp and the children’s screams got louder, and then Monotone man disclosed to a terrified audience of little Girl Guides in blue dresses how closing the door could stop a fire by point-zero-whatever seconds and because the doors weren’t closed lilkely the fire would take the lives of the whole family and apparently it could’ve been prevented by closing the door.

    This horrible video, incidentally, actually worked on me. I went home and interrogated my parents about home insurance and tried to enforce that every person in the house close their doors when they slept, as if this would’ve helped the fictional family in the Fire Safety video.

    To this day, I’m scared of house fires, and I sleep with my door closed.

    (But I would love, love, LOVE to win tickets to this dinner.)

  32. Degan Walters
    Degan Walters November 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm | | Reply

    The most recent and powerfully memorable experience I had was while we were motorcycling through Spain this summer. I always tell people that motorcycles are the best way to travel because you are so connected to the land – the terrain, the climate, the smells – and travelling from Barcelona through Madrid and then Andalusia we passed through the countryside experiencing the things that we would eat at the next town; fields of garlic, olive orchards, etc. Some of these things weren’t pleasant (the pig farms in particular) but when we crested a hill in Valencia and saw a fire filling the sky with black smoke, we prepared to ride fast through it and hold our breaths against the acridness. When we got closer, though, it turned out to be a fire in an orange grove and it was the smell of smoky perfume, pot pourri, paellas cooking on open fires of orange wood…If it weren’t for the emergency vehicles we may have turned around and rode through it again.

  33. Laura FitzGerald
    Laura FitzGerald November 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm | | Reply

    This night sounds magical!

    My fire story goes back to when I was 13 and living in Ireland. My parents had just moved our family back to Ireland and we had newly settled into an old village called Enniskerry. For the first few weeks I remember sleepless nights as I reminisced about what I was missing in Vancouver- my beloved radio station Zed 95.3, high school crushes left behind and of course sushi.

    On one particular night I remember hearing a snap, crackle, pop racket coming from outside that quickly led to billowing clouds of smoke and a detestable burning smell. I stuck my head out my window and zut alor! The garden studio in our neighbours rambling garden had caught aflame. I bolted to my parents room as I didn’t trust that Ireland followed the same 911 alert and the necessary calls were made. The fire squad from the village hurried as fast as they could to quench the fire. I remember watching in my pj’s and boots from our driveway fascinated by the weaving colours of yellow and orange with flickers of blue. The heat was palpable. My curiosity trumped the burning rubber smell that was taking over our little village. When the fire was squashed all that remained was the ash that plumed around the sad looking charred structure and a very distraught old man. I found out the next day that little studio was home to our neighbours blue prints that he had worked on all his life as an architect. The fascination of the fire was tainted by this sad news and I couldn’t help but want to give this old man a big hug.

    A vivid childhood memory that has left a dent in my senses.

  34. Ryan Cousineau
    Ryan Cousineau November 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm | | Reply

    Every time I smell firewood smoke, it brings back sudden, visceral memories of family camping trips. Five of us went all over the place in a very rustic tent trailer, and inevitably once we set up camp, we’d get a fire going, and hot dogs or s’mores would follow soon after.

  35. Teresa
    Teresa November 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm | | Reply

    What a great theme for a dinner party, I’d love to win tickets. The fire story that always come to mind first is my brother almost burning his eyebrows off – we were kids and for some reason we were out in the fields playing in the ditches and we gathered swamp gas in a jar and were lighting it on fire with a great pouff! but than one wasn’t lighting well, and more gas escaped than should and the big pouff happened in front of my brothers face and singed his eyebrows. We stopped after that one.

  36. Tamara Schebel
    Tamara Schebel November 20, 2012 at 4:27 am | | Reply

    Dec. 1st is my husband’s birthday, and he’s the most impossible person in the world to buy for! Now this would be a birthday celebration he could get into.

    The only fire story I can think of happened on the night of my 13th birthday party. I had 20 school friends sleepover, broke out into chicken pox by 8pm, and my school burnt down by morning… No connection to the party, but it will always stick in my mind as the worst birthday ever!

  37. CMD
    CMD November 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm | | Reply

    I was just a boy when it happened. My friends and I, coming home from school one crisp, cool fall afternoon with pocketfuls of newly acquired bottle rockets and fire-crackers. At only 10 years old, this was one of our first chances to get into some serious trouble, not just with our parents, but with anyone who saw or heard us. My backyard was closest to the school and with a densely wooded park backing onto it, it was the perfect place to do it. Since it was my house, I got first honours.
    As the fuse sizzled down towards the red, cylindrical mini-explosives in my hand, I remember thinking how awesome this was going to be. I felt as though I had begun to understand what it meant to be responsible for my own safety and the safety of others. And so, for the safety of all, I threw the chain of fire-crackers as far as I could into the park and plugged my ears. The fire-crackers must have landed in a pile of dry leaves because next thing I know, a pile of leaves is bursting into the air in every direction, each loud bang cracking through the trees and sparking the fallen leaves into the air and all around.
    The enjoyment of this rebellious act was short-lived however as soon after the explosives stopped exploding, the faint smell of burning leaves could be detected in the air. Soon smoke was visible rising out of the scattered pile of leaves. My friends, giddy in their excitement, ran over to see the results of our first experiment with fireworks. Just as I came up to see, they all started running away. The smokey smell of burning leaves had, inevitably, given evolved into a thick black smoke whose odour was indistinguishable and unpleasant. The leaves had caught fire.
    If it weren’t for my mom’s quick reaction to running, yelling children in our backyard, she might not have gotten to the burning pile with the fire-extinguisher we kept under the sink as quickly as she did. As I spent the next two weekends grounded in my basement, I realized that maybe I had a little more to learn about responsibility. And I certainly had a lot more respect and understanding for smoke and fire.

  38. Natalie
    Natalie November 21, 2012 at 3:54 am | | Reply

    Well, my smoke/fire story comes from when I was baby-sitting some of the neighbours kids. I had just put them to bed and went downstairs to lounge on the couch to read before their parents came home. As I was sitting there, getting really into my book, I start smelling smoke. I began looking around, trying to find the source. Finally, I see it. These neighbours were hoarders of newspapers, it seemed. They had this massive stack on their side table that reached almost to the lamp – which was on and hot. Luckily I caught it before the entire thing went up in flames! But these papers were seriously smoking. Wouldn’t that have been something to explain to the homeowners – “um, while I was babysitting.. your house burnt down”.

  39. Teresa
    Teresa November 21, 2012 at 3:56 am | | Reply

    My story is about a lack of fire. When I was in Girl Guides, we used to have regional camps with up to a hundred girls at Camp Olave on the Sunshine Coast. One year, the leaders decided they could feed us and teach us about solar energy at the same time by having us make and use solar ovens. They were cardboard and tin foil affairs that might have been quite effective in a sunnier climate. Unfortunately, we had typically rainy BC weather that day and the leaders had no back up plan. After about an hour, they started trying to light fires and it took several more hours for all of us to finally eat.

  40. Live Vancouver
    Live Vancouver November 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm | | Reply

    When I was young, I was at another boy’s birthday party. The candles were lit. We sang. And nobody explained to me that I wasn’t the one who was supposed to blow out the candles. So I did. They relit the candles while they took me away. Okay, out of blowing distance.

    Best fire story, probably not. Funny to me now, yes. Funny to the other kid then, not so much.

  41. Alice H.
    Alice H. November 22, 2012 at 6:28 am | | Reply

    I’ve been trying to get rid of a mole in my backyard. It’s been an absolute nuisance. One of the tips I read on the internet (because everything on the internet is true…hee hee) is to use fire to burn out the moles. It doesn’t hurt them. But it does suck out the oxygen from the hole forcing them to go somewhere else.

    I have to admit that I did feel a bit like a female Rambo if there was ever such a thing. Had my gas, lighter and paper to light up. Literally screaming “fire in the hole” before dropping the fire bomb into the hole. Half of my backyard was lit up as there were that many holes to put fires into.

  42. Jenny
    Jenny November 22, 2012 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

    When I was younger, my uncle made a bon fire so that we could make some smores. But the logs were wet or something so this huge blume of smoke surrounded us instead. All the kids screamed like crazy ran inside to escape. Eventually the smoked cleared and we were able to enjoy some delicious smores.

  43. Erin
    Erin November 23, 2012 at 3:57 am | | Reply

    My favourite fire story is taking my two year old to the firehall to see the firemen and fire trucks.

  44. Terra Bell
    Terra Bell November 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm | | Reply

    I want to win a dinner for 2 to your fabulous event!

    My favorite activity is glamping (glamorous camping) in the forest. Bring great food, wine and clothes…get creative and have fun in our beautiful BC settings.
    At the end, you smell like the warmth of the fire, smoke and fun you have created.

  45. Greg Ambrose
    Greg Ambrose November 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm | | Reply

    Do we know who wrote the winning story?

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