I ate my wafer...


In a smoke shrouded reflection

So, I spent a couple of hours yesterday helping my dad clean out his storage shed building. Over the last 15 years or so, it had been accumulating various bits and pieces of lumber, pipe, wiring, electric motors, cannibalized appliance parts, electronic bits, and other similar items that just seemed to useful to throw out. The goal of the cleanup was simply to remove and organize enough to park his new lawnmower inside (which would condense all of the lawn equipment into a single building). Anyway, in the process, we stumbled over lots of interesting and long forgotten bits and pieces, including the inside review mirror for my mother's 1974 Nova. Why keep a mirror? Because the car had been ordered without adding the option for a day/night mirror (little switch for driving at night), and in early 1975, my dad had gotten my mother a mirror via the Goebel brother's automobile recycling facility ("junkyard"). As it turned out, given GM's quality control in that era, the new mirror didn't fit quite right, and occasionally loosened. So, my dad kept the original mirror around, probably for quick replacement if the junkyard mirror ever fell off entirely and broke. Remember that this was 30 years ago, and my Mom traded the Nova for one of the first k cars=the Nova has been gone for a very long time.

When we rediscovered the mirror, my dad thought about it for a second, then decided that he would keep it, and put it in his workshop building for safety purposes (It would be a handy mirror to check ones eyes for errant chips). He then placed the mirror in the tool basket of the Propane BBQ (which hasn't been used this year due to the purchase of a charcoal model) and wheeled the whole thing outside. At this point we spent another hour cleaning things up. After finishing, we decided to light the BBQ, and let it burn for a bit, to clean it up a bit, and possibly use it to cook that evening. We pulled the lava rock tray out, set it aside, inspected the burner parts, then finally lit the burner. Everything looked good, so we stuck the lavarock tray back in, and decided to let it burn for an hour or so to clean the lava rocks. We then wandered away.

Some ten minutes later, we walked back past the BBQ, noticed a horrible smell, and turned to see sheets of flame dripping from its underside, immediately over the rubber hose from the propane tank. So, we were a bit concerned, and discussed possible causes. I favored the "there is something inside of it onfire" theory, while my dad favored the "there is something horribly wrong with the propane burner" theory. We decided that the fastest way to find out was to shut off the gas, so we did, but the flames keep coming, with the addition of molten drips of metal. At this point we opened the cover, and looked inside so see our own reflections staring back at us, surrounded by vile, black smoke and orange flames...when we had removed the lava rock grate, we happened to set it on top of the mirror, and the mirror had stuck to the grate, at least long enough to transfer into the BBQ. The mirror continued to burn for another 2 minutes or so, at which point very little, other than the glass was left.


1. We need new lava rocks. I don't think whatever toxic plastic residue and molten metals the mirror left behind will improve the taste of meat.

2. It takes at least 5 minutes on "Hi" to light a rearview mirror. Fortunately it must take more than 10 minutes to melt the propane hose with molten mirror chunklets.

3. The instructional manual for the BBQ does not have a warning with regards to this situation, I suggest the following:

"WARNING: Lava rock basket (Part "r") has slots that may trap rearview mirrors. This may lead to the accidental incineration of a mirror, and may cause an explosion from molten metal dripping onto the gas cylinder hose (Part "g"). Before each use, carefully inspect the Lava rock basket (Part "r") for stray 1972 Nova mirrors. Failure to follow this precaution may result in death, serious injury or create steaks that, if consumed, will cause your children to be deformed in the manner of a Hindu deity, possible even as badly as Lord Ganesha."


  • Hey, no warning label. Obviously, you must use your legal-jitsu to sue their asses. Bob's a millionaire. Sweet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:06 PM  

  • Funny, funny, funny! Great stuff. Once you've finished making a million by suing the grill company, you can collect another couple million if you happened to snap a photo of the thing--sell it as modern art or simply a poster. I bet I'd know a few takers. ;-)

    By Blogger TeaLizzy, at 6:53 PM  

  • BTW, I've been meaning to ask this for awhile...what is the meaning of your blog's subtitle?

    By Blogger TeaLizzy, at 6:56 PM  

  • A. I have to pay more attention to the suggestions that blogger spell check makes! "rewrap mirror", etc!

    B. Lisa, are you refering to the "I ate my wafer" line? I thought everyone knew that story, but I can certainly tell it again.

    By Blogger Bob, at 12:02 AM  

  • Very nice. I too am interested in the wafer story...

    By Blogger Blandus, at 12:25 AM  

  • Me too! Me too!

    By Blogger Jane, at 10:26 AM  

  • Yes, I am referring to the 'I ate my wafer' story. I am immensely curious and would love to have my curiosity gratified. :-)

    By Blogger TeaLizzy, at 6:37 PM  

  • Don't forget the "and then I found $10" part...

    By Blogger Finite, at 1:06 PM  

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