Friday, January 2, 2009

Gingerbread Inferno!


and after:

For the second year now, Paul and I have spent part
of New Year's Eve afternoon witnessing one of the
year's truly great spectacles, at an undisclosed
location in West Seattle. (I've learned that this
is what glass artists do with their blow torches
when they're not creating objets.)

The artists begin assembling their
candy cache after Halloween, scouting grocery
outlets and Asian food markets, for the most
unusual candies possible. The actual construction
takes place over a period of weeks. The architecture
contained several non-candy components, my favorite
being sunflowers seeds (used on the roof) which,
according to the packaging, were coated in saccharine,
salt, and MSG. Who wouldn't want to burn these?!
Last year's "house" was a re-creation of Machu Picchu,
and I recall some red vines that withstood long blasts
from the blowtorch with nary a trickle of melting sugar.
(Haven't eaten a red vine since.) The giant jaw breakers
really steal the show as they drip away in colorful layer
upon layer. And the fireworks hidden inside! Sparklers!

For a firsthand look at the extravaganza,
check out the video below. (My apologies for the sideways
camera angle which cuts in halfway through. My fault.
But the footsteps up the center of the screen
make up for it, I think. I'm a poet, not a filmmaker.)


  1. We Who Love To Play Dangerously think this is terrific. The Surfer wanted to know if a Gingerbread Man was inside.

    ps. Holy Crap! They're finally getting our garbage!

  2. OMG this was hilarious.
    I love it when the kid says, "Can I use it?" Referring, of course, to THE BLOWTORCH! :~)

  3. We are delighted to discover so many other gingerbread house arsonists in the wonderful world of Youtube. WE ARE NOT ALONE!!!!! (And yeah, the kid is a pro with a blowtorch. "Raise 'em up right" is my motto.)

  4. I absolutely LOVE this! ha, ha,ha...........

  5. Another triumph for performance art.

  6. This is awesome! I have a feeling that next year on New Year's Eve I will be driving around West Seattle searching for the smell of singed gingerbread.

  7. As I kicked a clump of ice into the inferno, I longed for my college days when I could recite this poem by heart:

    Fire and Ice

    Some say the world will end in fire;
    Some say in ice.
    From what I've tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    --Robert Frost

  8. This is a project -- celebration of destruction -- that clearly brings joy to all present.

    Burning Down The House!

    Love, C.