Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don’t Try This At Home

I have, or rather I HAD a small but pleasing collection of vintage lighters. I began collecting them when I was young, after my grandfather passed away and I found several old pieces in a box my dad brought home. I cleaned them up, fiddled around with them and got several of them to work. Many of them were novelty lighters, oddly shaped or with clever lighting devices.

My attraction to them didn’t exactly dim over the years, but I’m pretty picky about stuff like that, and the ones that DO catch my eye are rather expensive so they don’t get to come home with me. I have no idea where my collection is at the moment, but I have a feeling my father absconded with them when he and my mother moved to southern Oregon over a decade ago. Prior to that, they were buried somewhere in the pile known as “Karen’s stuff” which got swept up in the big move and I’ve not seen any of it since. Including my Bob Griese Green Bay Packers rookie card.


…or my Mary Poppins lunch box, my Barbie dolls (including my favorite, Midge). I weep…

Anyway, Tam had given me an old lighter of hers and I finally got around to putting in a new flint and filling it with lighter fuel. Now, I will admit, it’s been a while since I’ve dinked around with stuff like this, so I suppose I have some kind of excuse for what happened next, but not really.

Tam had also procured a new lighter for herself and we were spending a little quality time filling and prepping our lighters. Now, she has a valid reason for owning a lighter: she smokes. I do not smoke. I have no reason to own a lighter, much less fill it with fluid and arm it with a flint, but I did.

There was a spill, and I may not have gotten the fill lid on quite right, or maybe it was just because I overfilled it…

All those details don’t really matter when you’re sitting there watching the lighter work beautifully for the first time in years…or when you close the lighter and realize there are still flames, only the flames are on your hand…

…and you drop the lighter onto the floor… the hardwood floor… next to the plastic bag you brought home from the store, and because you’re sitting in an awkward position, you can’t quite get your foot to the right angle in order to snuff the flames, and standing up will mean dangling your pantleg over the flames dancing across your hardwood floor…

…so you say, in your calmest voice, “Uh, we have a fire here,” and your girlfriend jumps up just as you’re able to get to your feet and you both begin stomping out the fire, but unfortunately you’ve gotten some lighter fluid on your shoe and it’s kind of hard to put out the flames because you keep relighting them with your burning shoe…

…and your girlfriend has discovered that the flames on the plastic bag she is attempting to snuff with HER shoe have caused the bag to melt and is now STUCK to her shoe and things just aren’t going well…

…then the two of you get the giggles and your girlfriend has to pee and since the fire is finally out, she wanders away and that’s when you discover the discoloration on your fingernails and the lack of hair on your hand…

Oh, it only gets better, because later, I tried it again and it worked just fine, so I went out to show Tam. I pressed the trigger and it sparked perfectly, only that’s the exact moment I realized the damn thing was leaking and now my OTHER hand was on fire…


  1. Gee, you two have so much fun! Do you have dark nail polish to disguise what all that fun did to your hands?

    Sagacious Woman

  2. Remind me to never have dinner by candlelight with you two. LOL.

    My Dad used to have this fantastic collection of old lighters. Some of them were beautifully crafted. Remember those ones they used to keep on coffee tables, the big and chunky ones? I used to love them. Some of them were works of art. I will need to find out what happened to those old lighters. I would love to see them again!

  3. I think you need a new hobby. Maybe collect fire extinguishers.

  4. I at lest know how to handle flames without torching everything around me. Who do you think builds the fires in the fireplace during the winter. Certainly not the Human Torch that I love and adore. :)
    Kisses, Tam

  5. OMG... @_@ You guys just reminded me why Britt constantly tries to get me to NOT play with fire in the house... XD

    Now that I've recovered from my fit of laughter, I'm so glad that the both of you & your house are ok... I was totally expecting you to say that Tam peed on the fire to put it out... XD

    Thank you for your kind words to me the other day. And for sharing the story. My friend forgave me, no sweat, and all is well. Glad to hear that you & your friend worked things out as well. ^-^

    Hoping you're having a great day & that the hair on your hands grows back soon...



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