In my previous post, I said I was going to burn the photos of my parents basement. That turned out to be more difficult than I thought.
I had 4 pictures in a stack.
I had a deep glass pan.
I had a long nosed lighter.
I had a box of matches.
I had one pot lid.
I had the sprayer for the kitchen sink at the ready.
All I had to do was light the stack on fire and monitor, right? As if…
First I held the stack of photos and lit one corner with my lighter. I held the stack until a good flame was licking up the sides of the photo, so I set the stack inside my glass pan and watched. The flames STAYED in that one corner, fanning out to curl the four edges of the photo, but not consume them. HUH?? Where did I go wrong? Paper, fire.. should have been easy.
I then tried to re-light the stack of photos, but I couldn’t pick them up because I didn’t want to spread the bits of smoldering ash off that one corner, so I kept the lighter angled into my dish to ignite the rest of the photos. The edges would not catch. I put the lighter in the center of the picture hoping the chemicals would catch. NOPE! In fact, the flame from the lighter seemed repulsed by the pictures and instead looked to be traveling back up the long wand part. I figured this out because when I lifted the lighter and let go of fuel trigger, the flame didn’t stop right away.
Ok, time to get tough. I got some olive oil and poured some on the center of the stack. I didn’t want to catch the house on fire, just burn the darn pictures. I also got out a small funeral pyre of wooden kitchen matches and set them up over the oil in the center of the stack to MAKE SURE these photos went up in smoke. Guess what. I had a beautiful little fire going in my kitchen, and only half of the TOP picture burned by the time my bonfire died. A full 3/4 of the remaining photos were untouched.
By now, I had a pretty good smoke cloud in my kitchen, so I opened the back door to air things out. My dog, Piper, came in with nose atwitchin’ at the smell and started running pell mell all over the house to find the source. I decided that maybe I should just give it up.
I doused the charred remains of the pictures in water, letting them steep for a few minutes to help them on their journey back to organic matter, and then took them outside. I’m not kidding you when I say I picked them out of the water and when I tore them into little pieces, the paper was STILL DRY. Now, fire and water didn’t destroy these pictures, but I did tear them into little pieces and pitch them over the deck rail along with the ash bits and water.
As I walked back into the house, I noticed that Piper had followed me when I had gone out to dispose of debris and was nosing around the area I had just defiled. I went to see what she was doing and lo and behold, she was EATING the bits of photo that hadn’t been harmed by my fire or water torture. I didn’t really have the heart to tell her to stop…let’s see if those things can survive a dog’s digestive juices and trip through the intestines. And , no, I will not be inspecting Piper droppings to see if they do!
BTW, Piper is fine. She shows no signs of intestinal discomfort. Dog is a misnomer for her. She’s more of a goat.