My Ducati Zippo

I have a zippo because they’re cool and I’m cool. 
I’m particularly cool because I have a Ducati zippo to commemorate my love for my Ducati(s). 
This morning I yelled across the house to my firstborn “ARWEN!! WHAT SHOULD I WRITE ABOUT??”
She came into my home office where I was sitting in my worn captain’s chair recently relocated from the living room, sat down at my desk like my psychologist, picked up my Ducati lighter, pursed her lips and said “You could write about how alarming it is that you play with THIS all the time?”
She’s not wrong. I’ve always had a thing with fire. I’m thinking about taking up smoking just to use my lighter more, and for its obvious health benefits. 
My wife and I were driving past a high school years ago where teenage girls were smoking outside and I looked over at Erin “I think I’ll take up smoking now that I can afford it! It just looks so cool!”.
I can’t write what she said next because she’s a pastor’s wife now, but it was something along the lines of “You’re an _____, ______ idiot”. 
Now, because your minds are in the gutter you probably filled the spaces with swear words, but Erin just paused twice for effect before calling me an idiot. 
Very disrespectful if you ask me. 
I’ve always had a thing with fire though. We had a foster boy in our home when I was young that I blame for getting me into playing with matches (mostly because he’s not here to defend himself), and let’s just say I probably didn’t need a leg up into the world of pyro.
Fire is fascinating to me. 
One time as a boy when we lived in LA during a seven year drought in which the whole city could’ve gone up in smoke, I piled some dry leaves into a pile beside the house, poured some gas on them and dropped the match. 
One millisecond too late my brain shouted:
“YOU IDIOT! WHAT YOU ARE DOING??” as I feverishly dance/stomped my way to fame in LA in the 80’s (put the fire out before it could take off and kill us all).
I did what stupid boys do and blocked that moment out of my memory completely, that’s why I wasn’t worried in the least when dad and I were in the yard a couple weeks later and he said “Hey, come over here, there’s something I want to show you” and walked around the corner of the house. 
All was fine and dandy until I saw the pile of leaves with burnt edges sticking out, cue giant breath intake and mental preparation to dig a hole in the backyard roughly 4’8″ long at the time and 6″ deep (general rule of thumb) to save dad a little time. 
Too his credit he didn’t kill me, which he definitely had legal and familial responsibility to do, but he said some things forever etched into my memory because of the terrifyingly quiet and self controlled way he enunciated his words.
My dad was always calm, which made his promises prophecy with 100% fulfilment. 
“Corey, if I ever catch you playing with fire again, I’ll _____.”
Was he kidding? We’ll never know because that was the last time I played with fire. Dad put a stop to “expressing myself” by burning LA to the ground. 
My mom is Irish and would get a little more worked up with her threats, but we were pretty sure she wasn’t going to “break both of our legs” if we didn’t clean our room by dinner. (I just made that up).
When dad / Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets of stone carved by the hand of God, there was no escaping one’s destiny. 
My dad put the fear of God in me that day in one sentence. I watch dads today and think they need a lesson in quiet, loving menace sometimes. 
Dad spoke once and you’d better get movin’.
Twice and you’d better run. 
There was no strike three, but in his defence he turned out two healthy boys who contribute to society with their families today. 
He was consistent and an amazing dad. I feel like I’m more the dad who walks in to the locker room, kicks a trash can across the floor, yells something incoherent, gets distracted by something shiny then has to ask his wife the next day what it was I threatened the girls with to make sure I actually do it. 
Maybe it’s not that bad around here, but I’m missing the drop dead quiet come-to-Jesus moments dad was so good at. 
By the time he walked up to my room after letting me sweat for a half hour I was in full repentance mode. Lie to my dad to escape blame? NEVER. Man up, own up, take what’s coming and get back to your life. 
He taught me the fear of God about playing with fire in so many different areas of my life.
But now that I’m an adult I can play with actual fire as much as I want thanks to my Ducati zippo:)

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