Here in the Midworst, we have some odd traditions. One of those odd fellows is that we burn stuff down in Detroit. It's always the night before Halloween and it's called Devil's Night.
I don't know when things started to turn. Devil's Night used to just be a time for some good childish fun with toilet paper and eggs. But then the arsonists got hold of things and it took a turn. It's kind of amazing that arsonists have their own holiday and patron saint. Who is it? Saint Elmo of course. Not the giggling, hairy Elmo either.
So now there are literally hundreds of fires set across the state. It's usually nothing nice like a Michigan bed and breakfast that gets torched. It's typically some crappy old run down building that gets it. I'm got more than a suspicion that some sweet insurance dough might be a reason for some of these antics. I just can't imagine Steve Douglas as a bad guy though.
I'm not sure why burning stuff is so cathartic. One of my buddies moved up here from Texas and his first question was, "What's with all the couch burning?" Then I reminded him that he went to Texas A&M where they used to have an organized bonfire. That shut him up.
But if you could invent fire proof couch covers, I'll bet every campus in the Midwest would buy them.