Searching for the Fun and the Hot Bolt

James Anthony Ellis
Legacy Editor

My best friend growing up was Jamie, and we did the normal routine of silly and goofy things, pretty much planned out by us. Good times:

  • Running and jumping and diving into the mud puddles after the field got a good soaking from the rain.
  • Putting on a play in the backyard – complete with whip cream pies in the face.
  • Laughing our heads off in the dentist office, where the waiting room was all quiet and somber, and visitors had to overhear Jamie in the adjacent bathroom making these loud mock barfing sounds.

Yet the memory that still keeps me smiling is the one that recalls a Halloween when were age 10.

Me and my best friend went to a neighborhood haunted house. It was pretty detailed. The father of the house had it all set up. Me and Jamie were part of a group that was sitting at a table watching on as the “mad scientist” dad was using a hot flare to heat up a large bolt. He next said he was going to pass that hot bolt under the table to one of the kids, and that kid was to continue passing that bolt from one person to the next.

Oh no! That bolt looks red hot. I made sure to put on the rubber hands that came with my monster mask costume. I didn’t want to get burned!

Well, the hand was so flimsy that I couldn’t feel Jamie clearly pass over the hot bolt. The quizzical look on his face was pretty funny, as he supposedly passed that bolt along. Wearing such a flimsy glove hand, I knew whatever he was handing me was now on the ground under the table. So I looked under the table. But I didn’t see a bolt there. I looked and looked. I only was able to find about 10 ice cubes under there.


Once again, there was a completely confused look on both of our faces! Why are there so many ice cubes under this table? Where is the bolt?

Looking back, I recall the fun encountered when two boys took on the world together. Looking back, I still laugh imagining those quizzical faces. And looking back, I do indeed realize that the whole idea was to fool and scare the kids who wouldn’t know that heat and cold were identical to the human touch when initially encountered.

And that was part of the trick, on this trick or treat night.

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