200 Words with Paul Dini #40 – Fire

November 20, 2008



The Los Angeles basin is ringed by high mountains. There isn’t much up there except chaparral, mountain lions and, this time of year, fire. Seems we’re always getting hit with a couple of big ones that start up in late September and continue on more or less until Thanksgiving. After that the temperature drops a bit, and we get what we laughably call our rainy season. That holds us until the fires start again, sometimes as early as April.

Even though we’re lucky to be outside the range of the current conflagrations, our mountain view brings them virtually into our living room (and our sympathy to those who actually had them there). Sunday afternoon the temperature was 95 under a sky yellow and sick with ashes. Succumbing to the logic that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, I fired up my bbq, drowned a duck in some bourbon and molasses and tossed Donald in to smoke for six hours. To pass the time I sat with my uke and plunked out Jimmy Buffett’s “Volcano,” a fitting selection for when the rest of the world around you is on fire.

Some days I don’t know where I’m a-gonna go, either.


Paul Dini is the Emmy and Eisner Award winning writer of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics, Countdown among many, many other things. You can find him online at either kingofbreakfast.livejournal.com or http://www.jinglebelle.com/.



  1. you are a wierd fella dini


  2. That duck sounds delicious.

    And now I’m hungry.

    And I miss Josh’s big iron smoker.

  3. Right now I’m missing it too.  It was amazing how the smell of those fires permeates the entire city.  At least the valley…

  4. Smoked duck?  Damn, you guys are making me hungry.  All I have for lunch here at work is a PBJ sandwich. 🙁

    Intresting post Mr. Dini.  Up here in SF we don’t have to deal with the right now fires, just hippies.

  5. Hm. I guess my dad is right – Jimmy Buffet DOES have a song for every occasion.

  6. @BrianBaer-hahaha, that man can do it all!

  7. Last year, I had a big group of people over for a karaoke birthday party.  That same night, the house behind me caught fire and burned down.  After making sure that everyone in said house got out okay, we all went back to my place and sang the Talking Head’s "Burning Down the House".  Because really, what else CAN you do?