Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Monday, February 3, 2014

Little Balls of Death

Warning: Use with caution...
“Gramma! Can we make some popcorn?”
Words so innocently uttered.
So casually agreed to . . .
Some of our grandchildren were over for the evening.
A movie was indicated. And what’s a movie without popcorn?
We are a popcorn family. We have a large, ‘theatre’ popper.
Fully capable of keeping up with the masses.
Gramma enjoys making it.
The kids enjoy watching.
Everyone enjoys eating.
It’s a perfect world.
But, sometimes, even perfection has its drawbacks . . .
The machine was in full pop. Kernels sizzling and swelling in the ‘cooker’.
Spilling out in a fluffy, white, delicious tide over the side and into the ‘hopper’.
Then . . . a tiny problem.
The twin lids over the cooker are merely metal flaps. Designed to hold in the hot, rocketing little explosive devices that are popcorn kernels. And to flip up as needed to let the deliciousness out.
One of these flaps got jammed open.
Little molten balls of death were spewing everywhere.
I had quickly ushered the assembled grandkids away.
And was approaching the machine, set on repairing the problem.
And that’s when it got me.
A sneaky little smoking-hot kernel.
And the term, ‘smoking hot’ is, in this case . . . not good.
It hit me above the collarbone, then proceeded to roll into my collar and from there, down under my shirt and into my bra.
Where it stayed as I tried, madly, to reach it.
The dance I performed is classic.
The blisters I have are noteworthy.
After things had calmed down, and noting my woebegone (Ooh! Good word!) expression, Husby decided to cheer me up with a story.
Of someone who had it far worse than me . . .
It was in high school shop class.
Husby and his fellow classmates were being taken, carefully, through the basics of welding.
“Remember, boys,” the teacher said in. “Never, ever, weld over your head!”
Now the consequences of such an action should have been obvious. 
Right
And they were obvious. Except to Monty.
A few days later, he was happily welding.
Directly over his head.
Now I probably don’t have to explain that the temperatures of metal and binding substances used during welding reach temperatures of 1200 (F) degrees. 648.889 (C)
Ummm . . . hot. Really, really hot.
A piece of slag dripped from his project and down the open collar of his shirt.
Where it formed a small ball of death and proceeded to roll - consuming skin, hair and anything else it encountered - down the boy’s body.
Lodging somewhere way too near his groin.
Wrong
Screaming, dancing and frantically shedding clothes, Monty finally retrieved the little purveyor-of-death and spilled it out onto the floor.
While his classmates, teen-aged boys all, laughed at his discomfort.
He and his appendages survived.
Though they sported some rather impressive scars.
Husby was right.
Suddenly my little popcorn kernel took on a whole diminished perspective.
I have seven little blisters.
I’m glad I wasn’t around to count Monty’s.

21 comments:

  1. Owie! Owie! Owie! This sounds like something I'd do, so you have my absolute sympathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And yet I still love popcorn! We're just gluttons for punishment! :)

      Delete
  2. A cold shower might help ease the pain. At least you got the grands away from danger.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Blisters?! Amazing that a popcorn kernel could stay so hot. You have my sympathy.

    While I feel sorry for Monty, your recounting was hilarious :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no idea, either! I mean, I've been touched by one, but mercifully briefly. Sigh. Now we all know!

      Delete
  4. Funny story but OUCH!! I've gotten singed by kernels before and it is NO FUN!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Popcorn. The fluffy, delicious, DANGEROUS food!

      Delete
  5. Correction. Steel melts @ 2700 degrees F. I don't know what that is in Draft Dodger Dictator. A welding arc is usually around 10K degrees F. It burns quite well and fast. I know; I've been there and done that. Welded once in loose coveralls with nothing underneath but a pair of cutoffs. A clinker went down and into my gumboot. I still have the brand in the instep of my foot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YIKES!!! 2700?!!! Oh, well . . . after you get past 1000 it's hotter than I want to be close to . . .
      P.S. You're poor foot!!!

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. EEE---AAAA--I join you in your pain. Been there. Felt that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I always thought of popcorn as the light and yummy snack. It's got bite!!!

      Delete
  8. Ouch! Sounds painful but does sound like something I might do!

    ReplyDelete
  9. OUCH!! I could FEEL it as I was reading this. OUCH!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ouch! seven blisters!
    I have a scar high up on my inner arm, from when I was frying eggs for dinner one hot day, wearing a tank top. You know how the egg whites get all bubbly and spit a bit when the butter is hot under them? Well one tiny piece actually popped off the bubble and flew upwards landing on my tender inner arm. I brushed it off immediately and it took about five layers of skin with it. I slapped on a bag of frozen peas but it still blistered painfully. Now I wear something with sleeves when I fry anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes! Oh, that hurts just thinking about it! I'll remember that. Note to self: Dress neck to knees when frying anything . . .

      Delete
  11. Oh my gosh that was two hot stories to say the least. Nothing worse than burns; so I know the pain of at least the popcorn one and I don't think I want to think about the other one.
    Blessings for a good story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll stick with the popcorn story myself . . :)

      Delete

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