Friday, January 27, 2006

The Day I Blew Up My Face

One of my favorite sites to visit for old time household stuff like kerosene lamps and mechanical kitchen gadgets is Lehman's. About twenty years ago I ordered a butane powered iron from them. I still have it. It is sturdy and, best of all, cordless. You click a button, turn a knob to adjust the temperature like a Bic lighter, and watch the mechanical temperature dial until it's where you want it and then its ironing time. A little stove-like flame makes a neat little roar. A chore made fun, bottom line. What they didn't tell you about, or, in my excitement, I didn't read about, was the butane filling procedure. The flame started petering out during one of my ironing sessions so I whipped out the old Ronson can and stuck it into the tiny filling hole. It was hissing for only a fraction of a second when the thought came to mind, "you know, maybe I should turn off the...," and before the word "flame" came into my mind I heard a huge boom and felt momentarily as though I was staring out from the inside of the sun. I was in the back bedroom, away from the rest of the family. I smelled burnt hair, my own obviously. When I felt my face, little curly remnants of my eybrows dropped off. I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror finding that not only did I not have eyebrows anymore, my hairline had receded by about an inch. Anne was doing her makeup. I asked her, "Didn't you hear that?" She thought I had dropped the ironing board. But go to the site and shop around. It has cool stuff you don't see in this electronic world. And the iron is still there. And, man, it ain't cheap!