Welcome to the first (and possibly last, depending on how many threats of disownment I get) version of Philippe's Crazy-Ass Family Tree!
Today I salute you, Great Uncle Jake! (RIP)
You were the only one in the family that was fine with my smoking. As such, you gave me a first-edition Zippo that you took with you to Korea and, as you so eloquently put it, ermm...burned down a Gook vilage...with it.
Regardless of my lack of words and horror at that, you caused one lasting memory inside of me.
In a bold, intellectual move, you decided to build a jet engine out of tin in your garage. A miniature version of one, but you didn't care. It was a great accomplishment. Wanting to see if you really were the super genius you thought you were, you decided to test the engine (knowing that it could only run once due to the weakness of tin).
Not wanting to hurt anybody, you made damn sure that the engine was well-bolted to your huge work bench and, with a deft flip of your wrist, you fired that bitch up.
It was at this point that things went a little wrong.
The jet engine had no chance of escaping the workbench, so it merely took the thing along for the ride. Across the street and into the extremely dry hay field, that is. A flight of 120 feet (the Wright brothers would have been proud).
Unfortunately, the jet engine caught on fire both the field and the barn which housed the cows.
Cows roasting alive sound like lions roaring across the plains of Kenya. I can still hear them, despite it being 20 years ago, on hot nights sleeping and having nightmares of that fire and the sound of the animals burning. The smell it produced and the screams...shudder...
So here's to you, Great Uncle Jacob! You will be missed by all.
Except the cows and the nation of Korea.