The lighter side of engineering — 12 Comments

  1. I just have to remember not to drop it any more.

    Or run over it with the car.

    Unlike Herself, whom you can simply kiss sweet goodbye.





    • Why?  Is she going somewhere?  And for the record, I have never run over her with the car.  Yet.

  2. I was, as a Child Of The 80s, wedded to my zippo…until I kept on losing them…or rather until I realised Eldest Son Of The Dwarf was nicking them and flogging them to buy sweets with. If he had at least been buying his own smokes with the ill gotten gains I wouldn’t have minded so much but he didn’t start smoking until he was 13 or so, and by then he’d gravitated to simply nicking chocolate from the shops-cutting out the middle men of the playground blackmarket. Ahh the joys of having a kid with undiagnosed diabetes (ie displayed all the symptoms from birth but his bloods always came back ‘ok’, “Look Doc, I hear what the lab says but are you really telling me a child normally drinks 4-6 litres of coke before going to bed?”)

    Recently Granddaughter1 bought me a Xmas present of a ‘fake’ zippo inscribed with ‘Granddad’ on and when I finally found a shop locally that still sold lighter fuel (and none of the supermarkets do) I used it avidly until one day I overfilled it and the petrol leaked out and gave me a rather impressive chemical burn on my thigh. Since then i have gone back onto disposable plastic, which don’t taste right but at least when I lose them I don’t have to worry about choosing between eating that day or a new lighter.

    And of course, as a professional smoker I always carry several disposable lighters. Infact so many that I got stopped by security boarding a plane in Bremen last year…’You do appear to have an inordinate number of disposable lighters about your person, Sir’ (think it was 5 disposables, one empty fake zippo and probably a booklet of matches…’professional’ as i said).

    If I had the money I’d love to have either one of those DDR ‘ronson’ copies or one of those weird ones from Austria.

      • Cripes! I had one of those back in the ’60s! I’d forgotten all about it. As I remember, the same company (? I’m sure it was from Austria, anyway) also made a variation which was like a Derringer pistol which ignited when you pulled the trigger. I had one of those, too. Cool!

        I had Zippos for years, but I got fed up with having them nicked all the time. I had a couple of the classic Ronson Varaflame, too, but they were always such a pain in the arse to refill (clouds of butane going everywhere but in the lighter and putting my fingers in a state of cryogenesis) that I gave up on them in the end. These days I stick to Bic disposables. I like Bic because they’re reliable, last for ages and they’re the best lighter for opening beer bottles.

        • they’re the best lighter for opening beer bottles.

          That was one of the few facets of living functually as a German that I never ever got the hang of. My almost-teetotal Frau could do it, all my mates of course had mastered it at bloody kindergarten but this vital life skill was not taught at the secondary modern i attended and so I had to carry a small bottle opener on my key ring. Embarrassing as hell it was. The other ‘trick’ of functional teutonicness I could never master was thinking Mayo goes well on fries. Even to this day I shock waitresses  in Germany by asking them to go back into the kitchen and get me some vinegar…even if it’s that 7-herb stuff they use as standard.

          • Yes, I must admit that it was during a year or so living in in southern Greece where the expat community was predominantly Germans that I learned that particular skill!

      • Damn!  I used to have one of those, many many years ago!  It was liquid fuel though, not gas.  I wonder what happened to it?

        • I wonder what happened to it?

          I’ll send you my Eldest’s email addy and you can ask him yourself 😛

    • Until I fixed the damned thing I had been using a disposable.  I have a Zippo but only use it in extreme emergencies as it gives off a taste and it’s bloody messy to refill.  Pity, as I got it as a present:

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