Has anyone out there ever scorched their hair whilst lighting a gas grill? No, you say? You’re too smart to have a giant gas explosion burn your eyebrows, eyelashes and hair? That only happens in the movies, you say? Well, let me tell you, it happens in real life, and I, obvious grill-master that I am (not), had it happen to me last Tuesday evening.
I got home from work to a perfectly thawed salmon filet and the desire to cook it over an open flame, so I headed outside and went about setting up our gas grill. First I turned on the gas, then turned one of the burner knobs to the flame symbol, and then pushed the ignition button a few times. When that didn’t work, I took the lighter that was next to the grill, bent down to the little hole where you can stick it in and light the flame manually, and flicked it on.
And then this happened:
Since I, unlike the well-prepared public servant in the photo, was NOT in a fireman’s suit, I was hit with a huge flame like a slap in the face.
My first thought was “I’m dying!!!!” (sometimes I can be a little melodramatic). When I realized I was still alive, I thought “I’m on fire!!!!!” As I patted myself down and touched my face to be sure there were no burns, I smelled it: burnt hair. I immediately touched my bangs, my eyebrows, my eyelashes… and felt scorched hair every place my fingers landed. Since I’m nothing if not practical, I decided to grab my salmon from the fridge and pop it on the now working grill before I went to check out the damage.
When I finally stood in front of the bathroom mirror, the reflection that greeted me was alarming. I had a halo of burnt hair surrounding my face. The eyebrow and eyelashes on the left side of my face were in bad shape. And my bangs were scorched to within an inch of their life.
Ok, so it wasn’t as bad as the picture above, but it was pretty awful, especially considering I’d just had my hair cut and colored two weeks prior.
I’ve since come to terms with the fact that my bangs are going to be just a little bit shorter than I’d like for the next few weeks, and my eyebrows and eyelashes are going to take some time to grow back properly. But at the end of the day, I know that it could have been MUCH worse, and I’m so grateful to God for protecting my face, my body, and my life. If burnt hair is all I have to show for my terrifying experience on Tuesday, then I’m happy to put up with it for a while!
For everyone out there who intends on grilling this summer, this article provides some good tips to make sure your BBQ’s don’t end in burnt hair or worse: MSNBC
You can be sure I’ll be following all of those tips, and getting our ignition button fixed before attempting any more grilling! If you don’t want to end up like me, I implore you all to do the same. 🙂