Did you ever notice: flammable and inflammable mean the same thing? Means, watch out, it’ll burn.
My childhood house had a fireplace. We kept logs and kindling wood and old newspapers nearby, loved to have fires.
I got very good at starting and tending fires. Spring skiing at Tuckerman’s Ravine John and I kindled great fires no matter how soaked the mountainside camp site. These days I burn my girlfriend’s yard debris, build fires that burn for days, down to the last cinder, but rooted in “one” spot, they don’t migrate, don’t spread to the neighborhood: safe fires.
With her up north though I douse the fire before leaving: no accidents in my absense, please: I want her house and yard and neighborhood to be here when she returns. But the other day I had the devil of a time lighting the fire: it’s the rainy season, everything is wet, humid. So I brought some magazines in lieu of old papers, junk mail, catalogues, to help light the fire: and I noticed, again: the “paper” that comes in the mail doesn’t burn. It burns for a second, then goes out. This paper has been chemically treated to discourage combustion: like kids in a school room! Like citizens watching TV, reading the news … Like saltpeter in the camp food.
No matter what you tell them, no matter what the truth is, their lids will stir, then they’ll go back to sleep again.
God’s pathologist will find all the corpses to have died in their sleep!