Reporter: Today I’m in Stitzer, Wisconsin. Stitzer is a community often overlooked when it comes to psychotherapy or mental health services. Depending on your age bracket, you may think of Stitzer as an agricultural town settled between corn and soybean fields or as the location where young people dance the night away at the Rock ‘N Dome. It’s unknown how many people actually live in this unincorporated community, but one Stitzerian is becoming internationally known for a unique service he has been providing the human race for the last three years. His name is Clyde Jacobsen.
The camera shows Reporter pushing open a metal horse fence with a tin sign hanging precariously from it. The signs reads: Jacobsen’s. It also reads: Beware of Dog. As Reporter walks down a dirt driveway, he meets two elderly gentlemen sitting in the blazing sun on lawn chairs in front of a decrepit house. Stacked on all sides of this drive are piles of junk. One of the elderly gentleman is 86 year old Clyde Jacobsen. The other gentleman is Clyde’s friend, Arlo. Arlo is also 86 years old, and they’ve been close friends for most of that time. A small, mangy dog is sitting in the dirt between them. The dog is more interested in giving its posterior a cleaning than the Reporter and Cameraman walking down the drive.
The shot cuts to a close up of Clyde’s face.
Reporter: You’ve become quite an internet sensation, Clyde. You have more than three hundred thousand Likes on Facebook. You’ve got fans in more than seventeen foreign countries. How did you come up with the idea for Clyde’s Flamethrowing?
Clyde: Well, I seen more and more dissatisfied people as life went on. People can’t make a dollar or they’re so preoccupied with making a dollar that their priorities get all screwed up. More and more people were making a mess of themselves and each other. So I figured they needed to blow off some steam. I was in the service during dubbeya dubbeya 2, and I got assigned a flamethrower one day. I got trained up on it, and I got ta liking it real good. When I got out of the service I came home and built my own, just for fun. Then I figured, well, if all these people I’m talking to know how to flame throw some stuff, then they might calm down a bit. They might feel empowered. They might feel a bit less helpless. So that’s how it started.
Reporter: How do people find out your business?
Clyde: I don’t know. They just show up, and I give ‘em a go. A few years ago I mainly just told Arlo here, and Carl, and Jerry about my idea to let people flamethrow some stuff if they were mad about something—we all have coffee in the morning at the gas station. It just kind of, took off from there.
Reporter: So you don’t advertise at all? It’s all word of mouth?
Clyde: (shrugs and spits tobacco juice on the ground) I guess. What’d you say about a inner-net? What’s that? I got inner-tubes over here if you want some, but I ain’t never heard of no inner-net.
Reporter: How much do you charge people to use your flame thrower?
Clyde: They gotta pay for the gas and the stuff they torch. I got some stuff they can torch but that costs extra because it’s mine. Usually people want to bring their own stuff in to torch. Lotta pictures of ex-wives, ex-husbands, and bosses. Sometimes they lost a lotta weight and they wanna torch pictures of themselves when they were fat.
Reporter: Have you ever had to turn anyone away?
Clyde: Yeah, I do that some. Usually I do kind of a interview at the beginning and if I designate the person as “too weird” or “ain’t right” then I don’t let ‘em go hands on the torch.
Reporter: Has anyone ever become upset with you when you turned them away?
Clyde: Yeah, sometimes. But it usually don’t escalate much. I think mainly because I’m standing in front of ‘em with a flamethrower in my hands.
Reporter: I see.
The camera shot cuts to the Reporter with the flamethrower strapped to his back, a Green Bay Packers football helmet on his head, and a transparent face shield muffling his speech. Arlo is standing next to Reporter, holding the microphone in front of the face shield.
Reporter (wearing a Green Bay Packers jersey under the gas tube back pack): I’m gonna give this a go, folks!
Clyde: Don’t ferget to show ‘em your war face, guy.
Clyde takes a few steps back and stands next to a fire extinguisher. Clyde looks at his buddy and drizzles tobacco spit on the ground.
Clyde: (to his buddy) This oughta be good.
The Reporter then aims the flamethrower at a line of charred mannequins wearing Minnesota Viking, Chicago Bear, Minnesota Twin, Chicago White Sox, and Chicago Cubs professional sports jerseys and ball caps. Reporter sprays them down with fire. The Reporter shouts a war cry which can barely be heard inside the face apparatus.
Reporter turns off the flamethrower, removes the helmet and face apparatus, and turns toward the camera, sweaty and happy.
Reporter: And now back to the Channel 27 Newsroom for Sports!