The 1996 Sureflame Model 300 00 BTU LP
“Colt I’m tired of these Northeastern winters going from home to home, construction site to construction site, being the old guy on the block”, the 1996 Sureflame Model 300 00 BTU LP cried out his voice weakening with every word.
“Sureflame you can’t continue feeling this way about yourself man, we have had this conversation a thousand times or more. Imagine if you weren’t around anymore. Kids in elementary schools and senior citizens in nursing homes across the country would have frost bite were it not for you dude. You are a stable in many lives. No way are you outdated. You’re like fine wine, you get better with time. Your heating element is just warming up”, I strive to reassure Sureflame.
The look in his eyes say he is filled with disbelief of is worth or how so many people depend upon him. I know it’s up to me to change the course of Sureflame’s life, to bring the heat to him, have people crowd around him filled with excitement to regenerate his will to live and light up his life.
Suddenly a bright light pops on in my head. My birthday is one day from Super Bowl Sunday and is taking place in my hometown of Tampa, FL. If I can get Sureflame into my blue Acura RL 3.5 to make the trip from my grandma’s place in Washington, DC, and down to Tampa for the Superbowl he will be the hit of the party. If Lady Luck is on my side it will be a cold Feb. Sunday and my buddy Sureflame will find an unsuspecting audience of cold Floridians glad to make his acquaintance. When I tell Sureflame I have a surprise for him and scream, “roadtrip” he doesn’t look enthusiastic. I muster up the enthusiasm to sell Sureflame on the idea of the wonders of being on the open road just the two of us.
“Sureflame, come on man, imagine, it’s the middle of the night and we stop at Love’s for a bag filled with beef jerky. We feast in the morning on donuts at Krispy Kreme arriving when the “Hot” light first comes on. We can live the life of the broke and busted but it will be fun man. All you have to do is say yes and leave the rest to me”, I plead hoping my excitement is enough to convince Model 300 his glory days are in front of him not behind him.
On Friday Jan. 29, 2014, one day before my eighteenth birthday, I gas up the “Ac”, short for Acura and pull into the Global Lift Equipment Warehouse and Sureflame much to my surprise has his bags packed with not one but two extra propane tanks ready for the road trip and weekend up ahead. Sure, wasn’t looking so sure he would have the time of his life I had promised but I was determined to have enough passion for the both of us.
“Flame you look hot man and not in a lets go steady way, but hot like you will be the life of the party way”.
“Colt you got a way with words”, Flame says dryly. “Sure nobody gets brings the heat like you do just wait and see”, I say reassuring him. The trip begins rather uneventful. We pass through Virgina and make our way into North Carolina. I take a look at the clock and it is 12:01am. I whip the Ac off the interstate and into a Chevron gas station.
“Lottery ticket time Flame! How many do you want?”, I ask Sure.
Sure says sure however many you want Colt”, and with that encouragement I bolt out of the car and into the gas station with my driver license in hand ready in case I am carded to prove I can legally buy lottery tickets.
I march up to the counter and ask for one hundred one dollar scratch offs. After the clerk shoots me a crazy stare she hands over the tickets and I fork over a crisp one dollar bill. I return to the car to find Sureflame Model 300 picking at his blue paint color and removing peeling rust from his exterior. He’s a sad sight for poor eyes. I ignore his paint plucking pithy party and tell him to light up to a low flame. Confused, he asks how can his low ember flame help me with the lottery tickets but he complies. Once his flame is going all of thirty five seconds I place the strip of tickets in front of him and his heat melts the glitter away neatly revealing numbers and helping me to quickly identify the winners. As I predicted Lady Luck has shown up and we won a cool fifteen hundred dollars. Sure and I cash in our tickets and plan on being the hottest guys at the Superbowl tailgate. Finally, Sure’s voice cheers up and he is looking forward to heating up the Tampa event.
After a night in an expensive five hundred dollar a night waterfront suite Sure and I set out for the Superbowl tailgating parties in the parking lot of Raymond James stadium. At 9:00am Sureflame and I arrive at Ray J. stadium where the Tampa Bay Bucs are set to match up to the Denver Bronco’s and the feeling in the air is party, party, party. I set up a tent for Sure and I and once again I called good money. The normally warm Florida air was unusually cold. Girls in cut off jean shorts and tight tummy revealing shirts are shivering in their boots. I call out to Sure to get out the car it’s “showtime”.
Sureflame 300 angles his tanks to exit the doors and before he can hit the pavement and light up girls rush the car and pull and tug at him to get it on. The heat that is turn it on. Suddenly Sure is smiling and beaming with a hot flame shooting out of his head. He has both propane tanks locked and loaded ready to go and the party was just getting started.
For the first time in years I see a spark in Sureflame I hadn’t seen in a long time. I call out to my dear friend to stay hot and he calls back I am in full flame mode. I see his happiness at his untouchable ability to warm the lives of others and know my mission was accomplished.
Sureflame 300 was back in his element being the hottest guy on the block.