Friday, March 3, 2017

The mad (boy) scientist!

Not a hyperbolic '50's sci-fi film! Not a cautionary tale ripped from today's headlines about a meth-cooking tweaker in the Midwest!
This is an autobiographical tale of scientific discovery and ensuing tragedy.

In the '70's, I asked "Santa Claus" for a chemistry set. He delivered.

Hunkered in the basement, the first thing I tackled was an experiment involving sulfur, wax and flame. (If you're wondering what a kid was doing playing with fire in the basement, that was par for the course in the late '60's and early '70's. All the cool toys involved an element of danger. Miniature hot plates that could set houses on fire! Dangerous electrical devices that produced sun-like heat! Red hot iron plates. Sure you suffered burns from time to time. Part of the cool allure. Nothing like the namby-pamby, politically correct and all-too-boring toys made nowadays.) Anyway, my first experiment produced a rotten egg smell. Awesome!

It worked so well, the entire house reeked and my parents confiscated my chemistry set. Man! Parents are such a drag!
Two years later...

"But, Mom and Dad," I whined, "I love science..."

Shamelessly, I played to my parents' wish (hope?) that an intelligent person resided somewhere in my juvenile delinquent body.

Ta daaa! That Christmas, I got another chemistry set! Beautiful! 

Immediately, I retreated to my basement lab. And commenced with the rotten egg smell again.

Thirty minutes later, my second chemistry set was confiscated.

Parents just don't get it! Sooo uncool!

I think they pretty much gave up on me at that point.

1 comment:

  1. I got a sealing wax set and burned my fingers with hot wax. The scar is still there today.