Rule #1-Stay In Your Comfort Zone

“WTF? I blew myself up!”-Me

One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned as I have navigated through this life is that you don’t mess with what you don’t know. Why? Because you stand a good chance of looking like an idiot, or you just might get hurt really bad.

When it comes to home repairs, I have made it my business to stay away from two things-electricity and any form of gas. Both have the potential to well, kill you quickly and efficiently.

Several weeks ago I noticed that I keep hearing a strange “booming” noise coming from our basement. Our water heater, which was now over twenty years old, appeared to be the culprit of this strange noise. This was confirmed one morning when we didn’t have any hot water. So down I went with my daughter, who was holding the flashlight, into the darkness to light the pilot light.

Of course, this went against every survival instinct I have but after watching several youtube videos, I felt confident that I could do this and survive. So as my daughter held the light so I could see, I laid down on the floor next to the heater and with my extra long lighter, and also with my face about three inches away from the opening, I started to try and light the pilot light. After several failed attempts, I decided to let it sit for a few minutes since I was only getting a very weak flame and I could smell gas. 

To make a long story a great deal shorter, I apparently didn’t wait long enough. As I made another attempt to light it, I heard the familiar boom and felt the heat of a giant fireball as it scorched my beard and my face.

As I stood up, the look of shock, surprise, and horror on my daughter’s face was obvious. It told me one thing-I had screwed up. I could smell and taste the burnt hair of my beard, eyelashes, and eyebrows and after examining it in the bathroom mirror, I confirmed the obvious. My beard was screwed. Luckily my daughter was able to do some repairs because I absolutely refused to fully shave it off. It was bad enough that I had to trim it.

Needless to say, that lovely smell persisted for weeks, especially when I washed it. I can now laugh at what happened, especially since my daughter did almost immediately after it happened. It has also reinforced my belief that you shouldn’t mess with what you don’t know. I am now a believer, without a doubt.

The pictures above are just after I failed in my attempt to light my hot water heater.

IMG_6008

I think my daughter did a fabulous job of repairing the damage.

Any comments? Suggestions?

3 thoughts on “Rule #1-Stay In Your Comfort Zone

  1. Barb Knowles

    This was horrible and scary. And I knew about it before reading the blog. But the way you led up to the “event” and “wrote “the heat of the giant fireball” I laughed. Because your description was great. I’m so sorry you came so close to really blowing yourself up and thank God your daughter was there. You’re like my husband. You guys think youtube holds the mysteries of life..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      Wait a second. Youtube doesn’t have all of the answers to life? And here I am having wasted all of that time!!!! You know, the video I watched even had the same crappy old model water heater that I had. The problem was the mechanism in the pilot light wasn’t lighting the flame so when it did, a higher than usual amount of gas had settled in that area. After I saw that I wasn’t badly burned and my daughter was laughing and not freaking out, I was laughing as well. (I wonder where she got that from?) Needless to say, I will never, ever try to light another pilot light ever again. I’ll pay the professionals!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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