A Post By: Michael Sapenoff
Last night, I saw the critically-acclaimed and financially successful film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Some backstory: I’m a pyro. I have been forever. In fact, I’m required to tell my neighbors about a few “incidents” from my past, and to also stay more than 100 ft. away from flame-inducing materials at all times.
So it was with some hesitation that I decided to take part in a literal celebration of the film with a rousing and emotionally moving performance art piece. I was going to buy a flame-retardant nightgown from Amazon, put a layer of clothing over the nightgown, soak myself in gasoline, and then light myself on fire during the opening credits of the film. At this point, I would then scream something to the effect of “who’s catching fire now!?” and then run down the stairs where I would put myself out in the urinals just across the hall.
My plan was foiled almost before it began.
First, I signed up for Amazon Prime so that I could get my flame-retardant nightgown before the showing last night, and not pay for shipping. This worked out alright, but the preview picture did not show it being floral print. Which it was. That seems deceptive. Also, the description online was “new”, but this flame retardant nightgown was DEFINITELY gently used. It was clear someone had already been set on fire in this nightgown. Against my better judgement, I moved forward with the plan.
Before the show, I decided to get Panda Express with some friends. Before I went in, I soaked myself with the gasoline in the parking lot. This got me some weird looks, but people need to learn to mind their own business. In the “restaurant”, several people asked my why I reeked like gasoline. I ignored them, but eventually a manager came over and asked that I leave. I didn’t even get to finish my orange chicken! I’m never going back.
Next, en route to the theater, I passed out in the car because of the gasoline fumes. I put my car into a light pole, but I was determined to carry out this hilarious and inspirational performance art, so I got out and walked.
I stumbled into the theater 15 minutes late, and found a seat near the stairs while the previews were still going. That’s when I made my tragic mistake. I was sitting there drooling onto my gasoline soaked clothing, when the gentleman next to me pulled out a cigarette. I had completely forgotten that I was in Missouri. Missourians smoke everywhere! Desperate, I tried moaning to tell him not to light it.
He sparked his Bic, and I went up like Tesla Model S in traffic. Engulfed in flames, I jumped up and hopped the railing. I could tell the nightgown was doing very little. In this moment of panic, I could not remember Amazon’s return policy.
After soaking myself in toilet water, I put my melted iPhone into the trashcan and left the theater dejected and defeated. I never even got to see the film, so I can’t review it. Whatever. I don’t even know why I bother.