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August 04, 2005

First-Hand Reportage: Cheap Lighters Can Explode

Even when you're not freebasing.

You know those very cheap transparent lighters you can buy? That aren't worth the cheap price, as they cease working after four or five lights?

This sonofabitch cheapo lighter crapped out on me earlier than usual. The flintwheel wouldn't turn (as usual). So I did what I've seen people do-- rubbed it down my pantleg to see if I could free it up.

All that accomplished was to rip off the little piece of cheap metal that guarded the gas-spout.

I tried it without the little guard. Still wouldn't turn.

A little pissed off, I tossed it -- well, threw it, not super-hard, but with a bit of zip because I was angry -- at a steel-mesh street trash container five feet away.

I guess I hit the steel mesh. The lighter exploded, louder than a gunshot, in a fairly big burst of blue light, about half as bright as a camera's flash.

I wasn't hit by plastic shrapnel or anything (unfortunately...). But this came as a surprise. I experienced, what's simplest way to say this?, an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

I knew these lighters were prone to malfunction. I didn't know the little bastards would actually blow up with such minor prompting.

Just letting you know. Don't buy 'em. And definitely don't throw them angrily at anything hard.

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posted by Ace at 02:39 PM

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