Good food, great bands, fire hazard?

Over the weekend, I attended “Light the Night,” an event involving music, s’mores and other foods on the quad. Truly, I enjoyed the event. The catering from Bacio’s was delicious (who could say no to pasta?), and the bands that I saw (before I promptly left to do my homework because I’m a nerd) were quite good, especially considering how cold it was and how the band members’ fingers should have become icicles. But there was one glaring issue: fire.

Now, about a week before the event, I noticed something quite mysterious on the quad: stacks of wood. As any normal person would, I immediately thought, “Hmm. Witch burning?” But then I realized that was just not realistic. Though an internet blog I read before I came here argued that Cushing was Hogwarts-esque, it isn’t actually a magical place with witches and warlocks. Rather than seeing a witch soaring on a broom, the only flying creatures I’ve seen in Cushing were a bunch of bats. This school doesn’t need a witch burning. What this school really needs are ghostbusters. Between all of the creaks and croaks in my dorm, I’m starting to get really jumpy, and the only thing that can soothe me is Bill Murray, his glorified vacuum and low technology special effects. But that’s a problem for another day, because there’s a more immediate threat at hand: fire. Upon attending Light the Night, I discovered that those Salem witch trial-esque stacks of wood were indeed built for burning, but in a haphazard-could-burn-down-the-campus way, rather than a keeping-women-from-having-rights way.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bonfire or barbecue, even if it does occasionally malfunction and wipe your eyebrows off. The problem with this ignited setup was that there was no division whatsoever between the fire area and the non-fire area. It was like a flex workspace, where no one has an office and everyone gets to hear the sound of their annoying coworker mouth breathing at nine in the morning. Although mouth breathing often ruins your patience and can leave you scrunching your nose so aggressively that your face actually gets stuck that way, fire causes much worse damage than something as superficial as a reverse nose job; it ruins buildings and campuses. It’s highly dangerous. The logs had no stones or gate around them and just sat burning in the grass. That’s like unleashing a polar bear at a children’s birthday party and just letting it roam. I’m sure the polar bear will just cautiously walk around, won’t be aggressive at all and won’t sumo wrestle a child’s dad while licking Red 40 off its nose. While it’s at it, maybe it will perform a little ballet because polar bears are very gentle creatures.

Whenever the fires would slow down and I was able to take a breath and calm down, someone would come and pour lighter fuel directly into the wood in the direction of people. How is that safe? Did someone miss Camping 101? I personally learned a lot in that class: how to make a tent, how to obtain the perfect golden marshmallow and how to not put kindling literally everywhere. Also, embers would literally fly off onto people, and I’d pray that Vassar wouldn’t become the site of the next forest fire. I mean, a s’mores event is a less embarrassing way to start a forest fire than a gender reveal, but it’s not worth decimating Vassar’s arboretum. If Vassar burns down and starts smoking like a factory, how will we ever reach carbon neutrality?

Maybe this was actually just an elaborate plan by PB to start renovating. It would certainly be overdue. And I’m pretty sure I heard on that all good campus renovations start with arson and a side dish of student bands. Now that I think about it, it might have actually been an anarchist website. That could explain the virus I got and the large satanic symbol between every paragraph. Well, I hope the FBI doesn’t check my search history. I can’t afford to be questioned by the police again.

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