Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps. This week, we're going out to the backyard, a.k.a. the Not-O.K. Grill, for another seminar in how not to do it. "Foon!" connoisseurs, this one's for you.
An E-8 was at home in Illinois, firing up his charcoal grill and fixing to cook dinner. He was still at the inspecting-the-charcoal stage, which unfortunately came just after the squirting-on-too-much-starter-fluid step, because the fluid hadn't caught fire yet. It flared up just as he bent over the grill.
You know those kits for grills that include the oversized spatula and fork? They ought to include a fireproof apron and face shield.
An E-3 in Japan wanted to grill some steaks. He had the grill and the beef, he just didn't have the utensils.
Because he was an aircraft mechanic, "use the right tool" should have been second nature to him, but the best he could do in this case was his pocket knife. While he was trying to turn one of the steaks, the report explained, the knife blade "got stuck," then "came loose" and sliced him between two knuckles.
The report says he was on light duty for a week, followed by not being at work at all for three more weeks. That struck me as both excessive and reversed, but there it is.
In Georgia, an electronics technician second class started out with some regular charcoal briquettes and some that already had the starter fluid soaked into them. He poured on some more starter fluid, then used what the report called a "lighter pen" to torch off the briquettes.
Flames erupted, engulfing his face and head. He suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns on his face, neck and chest.
Nothing funny about that one, and this next one is even worse.
A Marine sergeant in Texas was trying to grill food in his barbecue pit around noon. Apparently he was dissatisfied with the coals. Maybe they weren't catching quickly enough. He figured that gasoline was the answer. And as so many others had already discovered to their shock and pain, it wasn't.
I've seen gasoline called an "accelerant" in arson reports, but I'm never sure that is the right term. We think of cars accelerating. Gas vapors go from zero to where-the-heck-are-my-eyebrows before you can flinch.
In this case, the fireball scorched the Marine from his waist to his neck, including his arms, with an assortment of 2nd and 3rd degree burns. He was immediately taken to a burn center. He spent two weeks in a hospital and three months on light duty.
That's all for this time, chefs. Until we meet again, beware the "Foon!"