SHOULD YOU TAKE THE FIRE CHALLENGE?
Montreal’s nightlife community is in the grip of pyromania as countless teenagers set themselves on fire for the amusement of strangers over the internet. “I don’t know why people started setting themselves on fire for fun,” says 18 year old high school student Eric Bornival, “and I don’t care. Sometimes, life doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to be awesome, and there’s nothing quite as awesome as dousing yourself in oil and getting your flame on.”
Eric is just one of many teenagers taking the fire challenge. “It’s a lot older than the ice bucket challenge,” says fire challenger Gregory McCool. “It’s been going on for at least a year now, and there are at least hundreds of videos of teenagers lighting themselves on fire on youtube. It’s the new planking.”
Montreal’s clubs are getting in on the act, with at least six of them offering discounts and free alcohol to customers who agree to be lit on fire by their bartenders. “I love spraying my customers with vodka before lighting them with a match,” says 29 year old mixologist Edna Ebeneizer. “I hope the fire challenge never goes away, because the highlight of my night is seeing my customers roll around on the floor as flames eat away at their flesh. It’s mesmerizing.”
Professional anti-fun warriors think the challenge is too extreme for Canada, and that the government needs to step in and put a stop to it. “I don’t care if lighting yourself on fire is dangerous,” says 45 year old accountant Rachel Valois, “but I find it very bothersome that so many people seem to enjoy it. Taking the fire challenge poses a threat to our society’s wellbeing. Teenagers shouldn’t be having so much fun. There’s no place for pleasure in Canada and it’s important that the government take a stand against this latest hobby before it’s too late. If we don’t stop teenagers from having fun now, they’ll turn into adults who think that having fun is a human right. It isn’t. We need to make sure people understand that. Life isn’t about being happy, it’s about being miserable. People shouldn’t be lighting themselves on fire for fun, they should be doing it because they deserve to suffer.”
Eric doesn’t see it that way. “I don’t think i’d ever set myself on fire again if it stopped being fun,” says Eric. “I hope that i’ll still be dousing myself in gasoline when i’m a cranky old man with white hair. I want to spend my life doing what I love and I encourage everyone else to follow my example. All you need is some gasoline, some matches, and a hunger for happiness.”