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  • I should have been preparing my speech. I hated Speech Class.

    I went to see some Cowboys with my Girl instead.
    These weren't ordinary Cowboys, they wore helmets, played on fake grass, in a concrete stadium with a hole in the roof.
    It was colder than snow, so we wore our new bright red puffy ski parkas, perfect for concealing the Jack and Coke.
    It was Halloween and everyone was dresses in bright and scary attire. This was gonna be fun.

    In them days, one could buy some end zone seats for a days worth of work at the Burger King.
    Thats where I met Karen, my Burger Queen.
    We huddled under blankets, kissing, sipping Turkey, searching for no-show seats with binoculars.
    At halftime we skee-daddled on over to some choice seats, not far from Staubachs' bench.
    We were surrounded by Frankensteins and Ghosts. A Snowman was sitting right in front of me.

    "Hot Dogs" "Hot Dogs" she barked.
    Hot Dog Girl was dancing down the icy steps, with a large metal oven strapped around her neck.
    She kept her hands warm with sterno, flaming cans that made the dogs Hot.
    "No Thanks" Karen replied, we had burgers from work.
    "Hot Dogs" "Hot Dawwwwww" she screamed, as she slipped and fell.
    Wieners, buns and the cans of liquid fire rained on the stands below.
    The Snowman's costume and the sterno made a terrifying mix.
    He seemed to explode in a deafening silence.
    Time stopped.

    I watched everything in slow motion, nobody moved, their mouths and eyes, wide open, frozen.
    I remembered hearing about this in Lifeguard training at the pool that summer.
    When people are scared, they ether run, or stand and stare.
    The Life Guards' job, was to suppress panic and take action.

    Then everything sped up.
    Iceman was burning and screaming. SCREAMING!
    Fans fled, leaving their thermoses and blankets behind.
    He ran in burning circles...Screaming.
    "Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher" I yelled at Karen, she took off in search.
    I almost grabbed my bottle of whisky to spray it on him, almost.
    I chased him with my Coke and someones' thermos, I heard someone yelling "Drop and Roll", "Drop and Roll"
    "Drop and Roll""Drop and Roll" the audience chanted.
    To no avail, he kept screaming and flailing...the running fireball was running right toward me.
    It seemed we were the only two left in the stands. I was scared stiff.

    She was a small elderly lady, dressed to the nines, rhinestones and western jeans. She ran right between us and punched him in the carrot.
    He fell flat on his back. She yelled at me "Blankets" "Blankets". I stood there dumbfounded for a second. "BlanketsGodDammit" she cried.
    We buried him in blankets. As the sterno fire fought for air, I tried to put out his burning head with the Coke, His hair melted into my hands.
    He and the fire finally grew silent. This all happened in less than 20 seconds...The game was still in play.

    "I'm a Doctor", the man in the Indian costume said as he relieved us, along with a few policemen.
    The Game was halted for a few minutes, they went to commercial.
    The Game Paramedics had no way into the stands, so they climbed on top of their ambulance and over the rail.
    I was then taken into an office and interviewed, by an Officer named Dixon. It was here that I found a shaking, trembling Karen.
    She cried there were no fire extinguishers to be found. We cried together.
    Officer Dixon said with frustration that they didn't think they needed extinguishers, "it's a concrete stadium".
    Snowman survived and retired with his burns and settlements. They put extinguishers all over stadiums now.
    Costumes are supposed to be fire retardent.
    One cameraman caught the action, they ran it on the news, all week.
    Every once in a while, you might still catch, the replay, of a kid in a red parka chasing a Burning Snowman.

    The next day I went to Speech Class, unprepared. Didn't even know what the homework was, didn't care.
    Ms. Jones asked me to give my "Most interesting thing that has ever happened to me" speech...
    I made an "A"
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