Oh, and how to sleep with your hand in water.
I recently poured boiling oil into a can, which I do all the time, but this time I got distracted and I was foolish enough to be holding the can. So, this was my brilliantly self-tested research on the efficacy of pouring boiling oil over the side of a medieval castle wall. That’s the only way I can look at it and not hang my head in shame.
Anyhow, I’m going to share the top five things I learned from this little “experiment,” in case you find yourself facing a group of sinister knights at your castle gate, or you just burn the heck out of your fingers.
1 – This one is helpful for medieval writers - Boiling oil would have been an extremely effective means of attack against castle crashers. Not only does it sizzle upon contact (ouch) but also it continues to burn for some time afterwards. I couldn’t imagine not having any water to soak the wounds. And if you consider that the movement above them would have made most men look up . . . Yowza!
2 - Oil burns laugh at burn cream. I could literally hear the laughter between each “Ouch, expletive, ouch, expletive” that came from my lips.
3 – Certain types of home remedies work great for burns. For instance, I keep a container of aloe in the fridge to cool sunburns. Honey is great for cooling a burn from hot water or touching a hot pot. Two-year-old kisses are effective on all minor injuries. Even so, oil burns really seem to need water.
4 – You can sleep with your hand in water. Take one big and one small sandwich bag. Place two to three ice cubes inside the smaller one. Place it, and your hand, in the larger one with a about a tablespoon of water or so. Enough to cover the burns while you lay down. Have someone tape or use a shoestring to tie the bag around your wrist. If you’re doing this alone, you can put a rubber band around your wrist, then slip it down over the bag after inserting your hand. Then you simply wrap a bath towel around your hand, and especially your wrist, and go off to sleep.
5 – This one is helpful for middle grade writers (and possibly college students ;D ) - Having your hand in water while you sleep does make you have to pee. You’ll probably wake up two or three times to go.
*One note of caution, with all joking aside. If you burn yourself badly, go to the hospital—if you burn areas where your fingers bend, or if you burn the palm of your hand, especially. If you scar and don’t get help from a doctor, you might lose mobility.
So, help me feel less silly by sharing a time when you did something this head-slappingly brilliant. Or at least tell my your home remedies for burns. I’d love to hear them.