A place to indulge my narcissism... and write stuff...

Spitting the Bit

Back in High School, an amusing little trick I’d do to entertain friends was fire-breathing in the grand tradition of KISS’ Gene Simmons. Toward the end of “Firehouse” from the classic “KISS Alive” record (8-Track in this case), I’d fill my mouth with the butane from a Bic lighter until just before the point in the song when Gino would let fly. I’d then hold a lit flame aloft for dramatic effect, and just at the right moment when the fire-engine sirens were blaring, puff the butane out to achieve a glorious plume of flame about oh, three inches long. Oh yeah, that kept us entertained many a night back in the um, day. Of course, the key to Gene’s technique was achieving a fine mist of propellant in order to produce a crowd-pleasing flame, but I never actually tried it with kerosene…

Forward some 30 years to this past Thursday night when I was in Hartford for a meeting and dinner. We went to the VP of Worldwide Services house for some apps and drinks before dinner. Now Joe (my bosses bosses boss) is very cool, as is his wife who I’d met once before at a holiday party… On the way there, my friend Barb says something to the effect of this being an opportunity for me to make an impression… So, I’m mingling and at one point was facing Joe’s wife and a woman from one of our field offices. As I take a sip of Chardonnay, suddenly a nagging cough hits me and transforms me back into Gene as I spray “a fine mist of propellant” all over the two of them. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Barb meant about making an impression…


  1. Anonymous

    Hmmmm – can’t imagine this helped make Hartford anymore desirable….at least it wasn’t a red. -M.

  2. Clifton Williamson

    Clif Williamson here form Amarillo, Texas
    I Breath fire while DJaying the dance(Flashpoint DJ Service) at my Barber family reunion in Logan, New Mexico. If there is any of my cousins out there who have this on video please send me a copy or put ion the web.

    I am 48 and have been breathing fire since I was in the 7th grade (self tought of course) Like Gene says don’t try it and don’t do it. but if you are stupid like me you will any way. Here is how I perfected the art.First understanding the flash point. if your chosen liquid has feums that ignite then this is not what you want to use. Gather all videos of Gene simmons and Kiss, put the video or dvd into slow motion and watch and study every move Gene does paying great attention to the torch and his mouth on how he spews the lamp oil. The finer the mist the better. First practice spitting water out onto your torch and when you can without putting out the torch you are ready for the lamp oil. Karosene tastes bad and lamp oil if it says it suit free and pure liquid parafen it has no taste and no smell. I buy mine at Wal-mart.

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