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Jul 07

When Life Gives You Lemons… Set Them Ablaze.

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“Alright, I’ve been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade – make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I’m going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”
– Cave Johnson

Lemons
By now I’m sure you’ve all had a chance to enjoy Portal 2 from Valve. It’s pretty much all my Compoundmates could talk about when it came out. Chell this, Aerial Faith Plates that, Aperture, Aperture, Aperture, blah blah blah. Can you tell I’m not a big fan of the Portal franchise? At any rate, they kept going on and on about this Cave Johnson guy and his friggin’ lemons. Someone even asked, seriously, “Are lemons really flammable?”. You laugh.


“Alright, I’ve been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade – make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I’m going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”
— Cave Johnson

 

I decided to put this to the test and devised a plan to set lemons ablaze in a tip o’ the hat to Cave Johnson. I ended up using the following items :

  • (3) lemons
  • 3/8″ drill bit
  • Cordless drill
  • (3) ground stakes
  • Tiki torch oil
 List of items needed
I drilled a total of 4 holes into each lemon – one on the bottom and three evenly spaced near the top. Next up was soaking the lemons in the Tiki torch oil for several days (or weeks in my case). Last was sticking the lemons into the ground stakes and setting up my camera for a perfect shot of my flaming lemons in their full Cave Johnson glory. My first attempt resulted in the realization that Tiki torch oil makes a shitty accelerant sans wick. So shitty they wouldn’t burn. Unfazed, I rummaged through the compound until I ran across a bottle of Goo Gone. I had managed to get a crappy little wick system working with a small flame using the torch oil… I thought I’d just pour the Goo Gone over the lemons to see what happens.

Pro tip #1 : When you pour Goo Gone from a can onto an open flame, even if it’s 8+ inches away, the flames will fucking run up the pouring liquid and set the can, your arm, and the surrounding grass on fire. That shit is fucking flammable!

Luckily I had my hose at the ready, and was able to extinguish myself, the can, and the yard.

Pro tip #2 : Water doesn’t do DICK against chemical fires, especially ones burning out of control in small cans. Here are some better suggestions.

I decided to give it one last go by extinguishing the weak tiki oil based flames and pouring the rest of the Goo Gone that hadn’t ‘gone’ into the lemons. The result was pretty decent (see right).

The next time I plan on soaking the lemons in Goo Gone for several days… that should really do the trick. If you end up trying this at home, Geek-vs-life assumes absolutely no responsibility for any fires, or injuries leading up to and including Death, based on your irresponsible following of this article.

If you do end up burning lemons, let me know how it goes : @SeattleDre

Flaming Lemons

Flaming Lemons a la Dre

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