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October 12, 2005

The Crematorium

It was the winter of 1970 when Bruce, one of my Michelson House suite-mates brought home a pet land crab. He fed it bits of food salvaged from the Commons, and it provided a bit of comic diversion while it resided in our living room. When the crab finally passed away, Bruce thought his companion deserved a send-off fitting for a Viking. He put the crab in a coffee can filled with kerosene, took it out to the ledge behind the dorm, bordering the parking lot, and set it ablaze.

None of us expected the inferno that ensued, shooting a plume of flame 12 feet high into the murky Cleveland night sky. From the safety of our suite, we watched as the furnace fumed for over an hour, and was eventually consumed, along with the remains of Bruce's crab.

We were graced by the fact that this ill-conceived prank did not result in any damage or injury, not to mention arrest or expulsion. But that flame burned an indelible image on the collective cortexes of those who saw it, as a lasting testament to the folly of youth.

Posted by rhu at October 12, 2005 08:24 PM

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