Fire. (Fire, fire!)

>> Thursday, September 3, 2009

We've gone awhile without pondering the mysteries of this crazy world, so I thought I'd talk a little bit about fire.

Let's start out by talking about candles. I love candles. I even tried making a few myself ... and ... well, we'll just say it was a nice try. I know enough from that experiment to say that the wick is just a piece of braided string that needs to be trimmed to fit after the candle sets up. Since it needs to be trimmed during the candle-making process anyway, I have to ask, why can't the candle-makers (or their machines) just trim the wick to the appropriate length before they sell them to us? Why does every candle come with the instructions, "First, trim the wick so that it is only ___ high." Honestly, I think the process of thinking up and printing the instructions probably takes longer than just getting out the scissors and doing it yourself. Ready-to-use candles, that's what we need! No scissors required!

And, seriously, unless the wick is measuring in inches, do you really bother to trim it? Be honest. Do you? While we are on the subject, how often do you let the candle burn beyond the point the instructions say you should, and you light the wax on fire? Be honest. How many times? In a pyro kind of way, it's a pretty neat thing to watch ... but not that I'm admitting anything ... or anything. Where's that frying pan, anyway? Nice, flat bottom ... good for putting out flaming tea lights ....

On the subject of fire, how are you supposed to light a jack-o-lantern, anyway? If you use a traditional taper candle (even a short one), and you light it first, how do you get the candle into the pumpkin without burning your hand? After all, you need to put the candle in upright and your hand still has to fit through the same relatively small hole in the pumpkin's head. Ouch! On the other hand, if you put the candle in first, then light it, how do you get the match in without shooting the flame back up at your fingers? When I was a kid (using paper matches that had a burn time of about two and half seconds), I used the "light the candle and drop it and hope" method that drove my parents nuts. As an adult, if I can't get the lighter through the mouth of the jack-o-lantern, I use the "light the tea light and drop" method. It's much safer than using a taper candle. Then, if all else fails, I ask DH to do it. Sometimes he does ... and other times I find a nice glowing battery operated candle inside the carved pumpkin.

Nice. Wish I had thought of that.

Then you have gas stoves. When the burner doesn't light, do you ever feel weird, like no matter what you do, it might be wrong? If you light a match, what if so much gas has escaped that you light the fumes on fire and burn your hair? Do you skip the match, and try to light the dead burner from one that did light? It's cool ... but would your mother approve? How long do you leave the burner on and not lighting before you begin to choke yourself out from the fumes? (Does anyone else have these thoughts? All this reminiscing makes me almost glad our house has an electric stove.)

Honestly, I love our gas grill, but I do flinch every time I use the electric starter to light the thing. Does anyone else do that? I don't know why I have the urge to duck and cover. I know that flame isn't coming high enough to burn my hair ... but I always act like it is anyway. And then there is the gas tank. Dad warned and warned about turning it off the right way. Now I'm always nervous that I don't remember which way is the "right" way and I'll burn the deck down or something.

Last, but certainly most memorable, there is the unity candle at a wedding. What a dangerous idea. Lots of veils, long hair, and hair spray next to open flame ... brilliant. Just brilliant. Of course, I'm not speaking from experience or anything. No, there was no frantic motions flicking my veil out of an open flame during my wedding ... nothing of the sort. Nope. Not at all. It was your imagination. Trust me. I was there. ...


worthy September 3, 2009 at 4:58 PM  

Karin, you crack me up! thanks for the laugh!

Karin Kysilka March 28, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

Ah, now those are some words I love to read!

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