In what could be understatement of the week, a Connecticut town has admitted that "a poor decision was made" when 24 'merkin gallons (90 litres) of petrol were poured on a baseball field and set on fire.
A local government Facebook page for Ridgefield on Saturday confessed to citizens that the miscalculation had been an attempt to "dry the field quicker" on the morning of a high school baseball game.
There as been an incident in town that we want make citizens aware of. A RHS baseball game at Governor Park was delayed...Posted by Town of Ridgefield, CT on Saturday, 6 April 2019
Though a brave stab at science, everyone learned that neither grass nor fire work like that and the kids would have to play their match elsewhere.
The account later added another helpful update.
An update to the field fire situation. The field may be closed for the week due to the need for testing to be completed.Posted by Town of Ridgefield, CT on Saturday, 6 April 2019
As is often the case with government admissions of incompetence, a guffaw or two can be derived from perusing the public's comments.
"Shockingly not an original idea... though a bad one," observed one Tim Hanlon. "Sports Illustrated just posted a story about a high school baseball coach in Utah being placed on administrative leave for doing the same thing... just 2 days ago!"
The Register wonders if Ridgefield staff read the same story and believed they knew where it had all gone wrong.
Invoking the name of the world's stupidest superhero, Chris Lynch lol'd: "This sounds like something that would happen in Florida. 'Florida Man uses gasoline to dry baseball field'."
Pat McMoran said without a hint of irony: "Seems like a reasonable approach to me. Although personally, I would have added the use of a leaf blower to give the fire more oxygen."
But Michael Nolan's thoughts turned to whether taxpayers would be picking up the bill. "This would easily be the funniest Ridgefield story I've read in our sixteen years of living here, were it not that I'm guessing it will cost $10-20,000 to fix this."
Twitter user @AmityNorton posted a clip of the "field maintenance" to the microblogging website.
The Ridgefield Police Department and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection helped extinguish the blaze. No one was injured. ®
For what it's worth, kitty litter is apparently also a very bad idea for drying out a field – and sawdust will simply add a fancy rotting mush to the mix. We welcome your topdressing tricks and gasoline-spraying tales in the comments.