Tuesday, 5 January 2010

light my fire

There was a thing on the radio this morning about the Darwin Award, which has been granted this year to a pair of bank robbers who used too much explosive, and blew up the bank and themselves. It's all a bit sad, really, like the Brazilian priest who flew off out to sea under a cluster of party balloons and was never seen again. I laugh, then feel a bit guilty at laughing.

Of course, I would never do anything so daft.

When the gear change mechanism on my bicycle froze up in the cold weather yesterday, I tried freeing it up with a gentle application of the blowtorch. And then a short time later realised that I'd set fire to the lever mechanism. The gear changer worked, though, until this afternoon. When it Ceased To Function.

So I stripped it down, and what did I find?

Uh-huh. New bits on order, and, well, maybe a lesson learned. Don't hold your breath though.


  1. So they were Belgian bank robbers, no wonder...

    Weren't Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid buried next to someone who decided to dry out damp sticks of dynamite on top of a stove?

    As you say; lesson learnt. At least you lived to tell the tale.

  2. A blow torch is only to be used for caramelising sugar on top of deserts!

    Caroline XXX

  3. Or for the removal of stubborn hard skin.

    Silly girl..


  4. A little of your damson vodka would have done the trick!

    Lucy (I'm attempting to be droll)

  5. My dad used to (successfully) defrost frozen Calor gas cylinders by lighting a small fire (newspapers) underneath.

  6. Do the French make jokes about Belgians in the same way that the English joke about the Irish, Anji?

    Thank you for your useful tips, folks.

    Crikey, Padraig. And he's still alive? I was a bit alarmed when I learned that acetylene bottles can start heating up spontaneously if they receive a hard knock, to the point where they'll explode. I have always felt mistrustful about acetylene since then.

  7. I am not sure about the French - but the Dutch certainly do... :)