Something’s Burning

February 13, 2010
I read an article yesterday about a man from Outagamie County who died in a burning car. The article didn’t say where Outagamie County is, but after a little Googling I found that Outagamie County is the home of Appleton, Wisconsin, which is close to Green Bay (Go Packers!). So now you know. Anyway, the car was parked in front of a house, the owners of which apparently knew nothing about the car or the man who burned there. Imagine, looking out your front window and seeing a burning late-model Dodge K-car parked in your driveway, a strange man sitting inside. I don’t care who you are, this will certainly make for an awkward moment at your next PTA meeting or neighborhood garage sale.

Another story read that US Marshals (this was a good movie) saved three people from a burning car in Ohio. And last summer, several strangers and one off-duty firemen rescued a mother and her two children in Milwaukee. But sadly, there was also a recent story about a man from Gary, and another from Chicago, and even one man in Australia, all of whom were found dead in burning cars. Apparently, it’s not safe to be a young man in a car (unless you’re Asbestos Man), and I for one plan to buy a fire extinguisher for my car, just to be safe.

And here’s a new trend – people who torch their cars in order to get out of paying that pesky car payment every month. This is the automotive version of walking away from your mortgage when your home value is less than what you paid for it, even though bank managers and congressmen are still getting their annual bonuses. I even found a how-to site with the helpful advice “how-to-burn-a-car-without-being-caught” along with other free tutorials like “how to re-gift without getting caught this Christmas” and “grab a burning hot cigarette between your fingers” (maybe this last one helps to explain all the dead guys in the burning cars). Maybe the site should offer advice on “how-to-escape-a-burning-vehicle-when-parked-in-front-of-a-suburban-Wisconsin-home.”

Drive safely, and if you can, take the bus. It’s safer.

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