I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Molten paraffin...

So... I tend to get impatient with things... I don't know why. If a flower is poking out of its bud, trying to open, I try to speed up the process. Watching butterflies emerging from cocoons drives me crazy, as does watching chicks break free from eggs... they need help, and I'll give it to them.

Same for candles. I want them to burn down. Fast. So, last night, as I for some reason had decided that I would let a tealight burn down before I went to bed, I watched it. And it burned too slowly.

Because I am familiar with the capillary effect, I thought, well, I'll just lean this burnt end of a wooden match against the side of the tealight, with one end up, and one end in the wax, and it'll make the candle burn faster.

And it did. As the paraffin wicked up the burnt wood, it burned. And as it burned, it increased the temperature of the wax below...and the metal sides of the light.

Then, I heard a little whoosh, and I guess all of the paraffin in the tea light had caught fire, because the tealight looked like a little can of Sterno.

I stared at it, marveling at how I had a little cup of wax that was completely on fire. And then I realized that this little cup of wax was on my glass coffee table, and I started to freak out that it would make the glass crack. Because I am a genius, and had burned my finger trying to move the little cup earlier, I thought, "Well, I'll just put some ice in it!"

Bad idea.

I held the ice above this little crucible, and a drop of water fell into the inferno. And there were literally fireworks. A fireball exploded out of the candle, water fizzled, as burning wax arched out from the tea light.


It was at that time that I decided that I'd have to smother the flame, which I did. But there's a moral of this story - even as an adult...don't play with matches, because it means you're going to have to scrape wax off your coffee table, and NO ONE wants to do that...


Post a Comment

<< Home