Re: TOT: Rigger's diary: revision
- From: Dave Farrance <DaveFarrance@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2007 13:44:42 GMT
Roderick Stewart <escapetime@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I remember buying meths in a chemist shop for a toy steam engine at the age
of nine, and painting model gliders with fume-laden stuff called "dope"
which I was also able to buy in toyshops without any problems. Some of my
friends had model aircraft with those noisy little engines that ran on
stuff that stank of ether (and had propellors that could slice your fingers
too if you weren't careful), but judging by the signs in some DIY shops you
can't even buy a tube of glue today without showing proof that you're over
eighteen. As for photographic chemicals, which as a child I could purchase
by the gallon, does anybody even bother nowadays? I can't help wondering
how today's kids are going to get their valuable formative life-experiences
(or cautionary mishaps if you prefer) without all this. It's just not the
same if you've only seen something on a screen, and everything happens at
the push of a button.
Well, this is all remarkably familiar.
About the same age, I accidentally set a meths blaze around my steam
engine in the garage. Fortunately, the garage was built from concrete and
corrugated asbestos (!) I grabbed a cloth and managed to put it out,
then carefully put everything away and returned the cloth to the
cardboard box of tools that I'd got it from. A little later, I saw my
dad rushing into the garage with a bucket of water to put out his blazing
toolbox. The tools with their slightly singed and melted handles still
remain in the family as a reminder of this incident.
I was into aeromodelling in my teens. Radio-control was still too
expensive then, so I was into "control line" flying where you had
mechanical pitch-control via two steel wires connected to a U-shaped
handle, and the plane would fly rapidly around you in circles. Never
hear of it, these days. I was young and resistant to dizziness, but my
Dad also joined in and would resolutely fly the plane until he fell over.
Luckily, the plane was robust enough to withstand repeated crashes into
the heather. I did manage to set a blaze or two of that high-nitrated
ether fuel around the engine when bench testing it, but of course, I
checked the cloth afterwards for any sign of smoldering.
My only teenage photographic mishaps related to the pictures affected by
splashed fixer solution before development was complete. If Fortean
Times readers saw them, they'd probably be exited by the spirit-orbs and
wraithlike entities. Oh, and I did once get thumped by a kid that took
exception to the way I'd doctored his image.
As you say Rod, the learning experience was useful, and my adult life has
been pretty much accident free, probably as a result.
But I dunno, though. I can hardly say that it was a _good_ thing, apart
from the amusing anecdotes. The media did seem to be able to find an
awful lot of those burned-up kids for their horror stories back in those