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Monday, October 21, 2013

Efficacy of Boiling Oil as a Weapon by Robin Delany


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.



17 comments:

  1. Oh no, Robin! I hope you're all healed now. I just did something not-so-bright last week. For some reason, I ran upstairs to answer the phone and I kicked the riser and jammed my toe. I never run for the phone and I knew it was a telemarketer, so I have no idea what got into me. I couldn't wear shoes the whole day. I couldn't even stand the bedcovers touching it that night, and every time I twitched (which I do often), it woke me. And talk about ugly! It's still bruised.

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    1. Oh no! That sounds just as bad. Hopefully it will heal soon. My fingers are better now, but ouch. What a pain.

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  2. I'm sorry to hear about your burn! You have my sympathies, as I burn myself all the time when cooking. The last memorable burn I had was when making a chess pie (with a layer of homemade raspberry jam--yum!). I was baking the chess pie in the toaster oven, which is up high (like a microwave) and I was obsessively checking the browning of the bottom crust through glass pie plate. Not surprisingly, I slipped and the molten mixture of egg, butter, sugar, and raspberries poured down my (bare) arm.

    That hurt like a...well, add your own nasty word.

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    1. Ouch! That sounds really painful--and delicious. Have you ever considered a pie exchange? ;)

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  3. Oh Robin,
    I feel so incredibly awful laughing about any of this, but you are so darn funny in your telling. I'm not much of a cook in the kitchen lady...my husband does the cooking. But there have been more than one instances in which I HAVE been cooking and I've of course grabbed a pan out of the oven with my bare hands. Well super hero I'm not. I've found for me, the best remedy is a lot of crying and cursing. ; )

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    1. Lol, don't feel bad about laughing, I did. Laughter is the best medicine (as long as you know the trick about keeping your hand in water). If I took my hand out, the cursing just wouldn't have stopped, and since my little ones are just the age to mimic whatever they hear, curse words and all, I figured I had to keep the pain down. XD

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  4. Its not a holiday meal if I don't burn myself! I have thin white lines on my arms from the oven racks where I reach in and it touches me. I'm such a delicate flower!!

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    1. Oh boy. I think you and I both need full sleeve pot holders. Well, for me, maybe they should be full body. ;)

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  5. OUCH!
    One time, when I got sunburn, my mom told me to take a vinegar bath.
    Well...she never told me I should moisturize afterwards, so it felt not only burned but then chapped on top of it!!!

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    1. Ohhh, yech. Those homemade remedies can be more of a pain than the burn. Like the old butter on a burn rule. Ouch.

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  6. Oh no! It sounds terrible. I worked in a camp cafeteria the summer after my freshman year of college. I was covered in burns - mostly up and down my arms from pulling cookie sheets out of the oven. Not long ago I dumped a pot of boiling pasta into the strainer as I was walking to the sink. Duh! I don't know what I was thinking. I got lucky that time and I was wearing shoes.

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    1. Yikes. I'm glad you were wearing shoes, that would have been bad! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  7. Oh no! Burns are the worst. I'm glad you are healing.

    I've had my fair share of kitchen accidents, but the worst was when I was a kid. From 3 to 5 years old, I had a series of accidents...ended up in the ER several times and drove my mom nuts!

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    1. Wow, I'm sure you must have driven your mom nuts with the fear you were going to do yourself in. :D With two little ones, I can understand the feeling. Some days I'm amazed my son can be so fearless, because the things he does give *me* a heart attack. lol

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  8. Eek, I can feel past burns just from reading your post! Even after they stop actively hurting, they ache in that constant "I'm still here!" sort of way. I feel for ya!

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    1. Oh yeah. And this was the worst, as far as kitchen burns. (And my cousin poured a pot of boiling water over my hand when we were kids, so I should know. haha)

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  9. Aw - hope the hands better, Robin! I hate burns as well - they're the worst sort of pain. I usually use ice but I'm guessing there wouldn't be too much of that about in a medieval castle - unless it was winter of course!

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