I went down to the farm where I grew up to do some shooting last weekend, and since a friend of mine had given me some illegal fireworks he’d brought back from South Carolina, I also shot a few of those off. As I was launching a few rockets from an old burned tree stump, I couldn’t help but reminisce about how that tree stump got burned all those years ago.

When I was a kid, I loved to burn shit and/or blow it up. This was before the Internet, but a friend of mine described how to make bathtub napalm, and that sounded like just the project for me.

Basically, you’re supposed to boil pots of water and keep putting them under a pot of gasoline until it gets hot enough to dissolve bars of soap you’ve shaved into it. Since that was too slow for me, I just used a hot plate. After a few hours of miraculously avoiding death, I was rewarded with a flammable material I could smear over stuff and then ignite.

When it was all said and done, burning the tree stump was satisfying, but without the boom, it was underwhelming. I then smeared the rest of the napalm sludge over a full gas can and lit that. That, my friends, was not underwhelming.

God I miss setting random shit on fire.