Study Guide

Tangerine Part 1, Chapter 2

By Edward Bloor

Part 1, Chapter 2

Saturday, August 19

  • BOOM! An explosion wakes Paul up in the middle of the night!
  • Okay, turns out it was just lightning, so no biggie.
  • Or is it a big deal after all? When he wakes up the next morning, Paul smells smoke.
  • He gets his mom, and they run around looking for any sign of a fire.
  • Mrs. Fisher finally calls 911, and twenty minutes later, a high-schooler in cut-offs shows up driving the fire engine. Okaaaay…..
  • His name is Wayne, and he's a volunteer for the Tangerine Fire Department. And he's pretty chill, considering the fact that there's a fire somewhere!
  • Oh, that's why he's so laid back. He explains that the smoke is coming from the muck fire in the field behind the development's wall. Duh!
  • Wait, what? What in the world is a muck fire? Wayne tells them that the field's full of lignite, which is extremely flammable. The muck fire is always burning, and has been for as long as he can remember, but the lightning strike the night before must have stirred it up. There's no way to put it out. Like, ever.
  • Mrs. Fisher is shocked and horrified, and threatens to complain to the Homeowner's Association about it.
  • Wayne laughs and explains that they already know about it. He suggests that the Fishers learn to live with it, like everyone else does when they find out about it, and drives off, waving happily. Party on, Wayne 

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