Otherwise known as a pyromaniac wannabe.
Both parents, but especially my father – the renown Chemist B.B. Harris and to a slightly lesser extent the late culinary cuisine queen Harmit Harms Kuritsky – yup - that girl whose troth he pledged while holding bubbling flask in hand (at tipping point of lips) constituted their first unanimous bona fide proof chemistry extant between them), which most likely encouraged genetic yen that slow burned while that metaphorical bun in the oven i.e. embryonic fetus incorporating their second born and sole son via osmosis absorbed their chemical qua physical romance.
No matter a bit tentative to experiment (wonka like) with explosive materiel, I received truckloads of ammunition (in tandem with benevolent benediction) to foster dare devil derelict pyromaniac precocity.
Those formative forays assaying, assessing and carefully calibrating this, that or the other liquid or powdery substance found me meticulously measuring and weighing substances using kitchen kid mitten like gloves.
Frequent disappointments arose from yours truly as well as momma and papa when net result (of early attempts to blend powders and/or liquids) merely fizzled self extinguished with inaudible poof.
Continual daily practice eventually bore successful fruit in the form of perfect results. Trials and error did frequently nearly singed my flowing golden locks of hair, or nearly blasted a cavity in the ceiling.
Well, but these early forays when attempting to attain a specific alchemical result back fired served as a vital object lesson constituted small fry, when bitta bing bitta bang one bubbling vial blended with another yielded miraculous results.
Modest adulation (even at the duplication of organic life within a test tube) kept under check since arrogance could induce this then gawky geeky teenager to don the mantle of braggadocio and trumpet results that could only breed contempt, detail envy and foster glowering hatred inside community of soul brothers and sisters seeking camaraderie.
Success in the hotly contested field sans Pyrotechnics requires striking resemblance to any other vocation. One must be able, eager, ready and willing to maintain fiery passion, no matter unforeseen objectionable set backs snuffed out deliberately beckoned conflagrations.
I do sheepishly admit that an occasional outcome went awry. Even when our coveted domicile nearly went up in smoke per some explosive lethal blend of neutral molecules ensued, and/or when yours truly indifferently, haphazardly and brazenly ignored warning label highlighted with that iconic skull and cross bones imprimatur AGAINST MIXING SUCH AND SUCH, thy doting parents merely and gently wagged a finger in rebuke.
Neither thine long deceased mum, nor now octogenarian pop sought to stifle the mad scientist within me.
Their severely strict upbringing (whereby their old World parents) resorted to banishment to a bug infested, dank dungeon of a dark basement devoid of any means to dabble with seemingly innocuous stand alone elements randomly poured into a joint crucible.
Nay, the parochial parentage (my grandparents) postponed predilection per progeny piloting plain potions until college laboratories allowed, enable and provided that perfect testing ground.
Nonetheless, they prided their potential fire branded wizard in the making with kudos and praise. where the word DYNAMITE became an endearing pet name accepted with nor re fuse hull.
Practice from indiscriminately creating unpredictable concoctions, these lethally marshaled nonchalant opportunities provided quintessentially random results though usually very wimpy.
As proof positive and testimony, they proudly pointed to the kitchen ceiling. There such splattered handiworks (Jackson Pollack) practically covered the entire ceiling with variegated splotches.
Quite accurate to assume that father and mother coached, goaded, and nurtured exploratory ambitions. They tried not to stifle my early stage ambition toward scientific artiste bent.
As a home schooled, and self-taught potchka pseudo scientist, I grew up in a Unitarian household that paid close attention also adhered to the pioneer spirit.
The near limitless boundaries of life, liberty and the pursuit of understanding an underlying crash end dough, allowed, enabled and provided endless experimentation even at the risk of life and limb.
Aside from frequently burning down the house amidst parental talking heads, an instinctive uncanny ability found me occasionally singeing the canine fur of Lady, Schultz, or Socrates, or other curious pet (within glassed menagerie) frightful catastrophic outcomes occurred thru nonchalant mixing deceptively harmless looking inert raw materials.
Trial and error via blithely cooking dicey elements forming goulash hiccuped instant karma. The laboratory walls resembled art deco. An observer could become transfixed viz zit ting Rorschach heaven per splashes of mishmash coated dripping goo. Das kindergarten finger painting provided perfect experiential backdrop.
Despite favorable and lovable upbringing, my mother (ever the protector and/or proctor of our family and an excellent chef boy r dee) still managed to insinuate necessity to be careful when igniting flammable materials lest some uncontrollable conflagration ensue.
She (mom) did frequently confess feeling ever so slightly jittery and uneasy with my recklessly slapdash amateurish home brewed pyrotechnics, and much preferred to steer my attention toward a safer hobby such as edible objet’s d’arts i.e., much more drab field, per how to present and aesthetically appealing and nutritious meal.
Fondness to prepare food and pretend to be a faux renowned cook (this confession admitted baldly) actually competed for my most favorite avocation activity and spare leisure time.
In other words, this chap did relish designing his own recipes mainly from leftovers in tandem with unpronounceable multisyllabic organic compounds that filled numerous sized dishes and aged apothecary bottles respectively.
Without question though, the passion plus less riskier factor to combine and potchka dry and wet ingredients together did rank as a considerably safer medium that still allowed, enabled and provided me an equal opportunity to test reactions, than those earlier iterated potentially explosive hazards.
Nonetheless, my cavalier crusading overactive appetite, hunger and thirst to discover causative outcomes (even with purportedly innocuous looking household cleaning supplies or easily acquired inert materiel) nearly witnessed an apocalypse at blank Level Road on one particular occasion our domicile to become rent asunder into an ashen funeral pyre, yet for the grace of some divine force no family members nor pets succumbed from smoke.