A recent wedding at a local golf resort was the latest wedding to provide me with some gut wrenching laughter. The wedding ceremony was to take place in a beautiful breezeway between the pro-shop and the bar/reception area. All across the back of the resort was a beautiful intricate verde green wrought iron rail that separated the back porch of the resort from the golf course below. Attached to this railing were bamboo tiki torches; spaced about every four or five feet across the back.In Central Florida there are a few laws of nature that hold true almost all the time; one of which is that there is always a breeze mid afternoon and early evening. Flames that are fed by a liquid fuel source do no blow out from these afternoon breezes, but flames actually “bend” as the air blows across them.
When the bridesmaids started making their way down the aisle, the wind whipped up, and two of the bamboo tiki torches actually caught on fire. The bartender in the club house saw the tikis on fire and ran out to douse them with a pitcher of water. Well, water and oil do not mix and a fire fueled with oil with only spread with the addition of water.
I motioned to the bartender as he came close and whispered “use a fire extinguisher. It will spread with water.” As the bartender ran back in the club house two of the tiki torches finally succumb to the flames and the canisters fell out of the charred remains of the bamboo tikis. By this time two more tiki torches were fully engulfed in flames.
Finally the bartender arrived back to put out the flames with the fire extinguisher and as he did, a huge cloud of billowing white extinguisher smoke floated through and enveloped the last bridesmaid and the guests.
All this before the bride walked down the aisles and she never saw a thing.