leather jackets and other strange tales

27 April 1999

So I have this friend, Jared, who is always regaling us with strange and oddly interesting stories of his misspent youth. The boy is somewhat of a pyromaniac, and thusly has a... history... with fire. He also has a weather- beaten leather jacket that he's had for over a decade. A couple of days ago, while we were sitting in his apartment, smoking and trying to outdo each other's stories of our antics, he came up with a true gem. The conversation went something like this:

"Oh yeah, I got this jacket about twelve years ago at Wilson's. It's been through a lot of shit with me. One time it spontaneously combusted. That was cool."

"It spontaneously combusted?"

"Sure did. Just, foom! Caught right on fire."

"What was up with that?"

"Well, I'm not sure. Actually, it wasn't the jacket that caught fire; it was the carpet I was sitting on. I was riding in a hearse --"

"A hearse."

"Yeah. Okay, see, I'd always wanted a hearse, and this chick I knew who had a crush on me bought one for me. What a crazy, psychotic bitch she was. Her dad was rich or something. She was always pulling crazy shit like that. Anyway, she bought this hearse, and me and my buddy were riding in the back of it, just for shits and grins, you know, having a good ol' time. And all of a sudden, I feel my leg getting warm. I'm all like, 'What the fuck?' So I look down and, holy shit, the carpet had just caught flame. Just went up. And my leg was on fire, and so was my jacket! I'm all thrashin' around, trying to put the fire out. It was weird."

*waves of disbelieving laughter*

"No shit, man. Me and this jacket have been through some shit." *takes a drag and exhales, nodding solemnly*