Shewed a sign

Last week a Polack riding a bicycle had his pants spontaneously burst into flame:
Mieczyslaw Jasinski, 55, was on his way home from work in Koroszczyn, Poland, at the time.

A police spokesman said: "Witnesses said he was like a flaming human torch. We do not know how it happened..."
And to think there are those who continue to deny the existence of God.

Comments

  1. non de guerre4/3/08 8:07 PM

    I have heard of people whose pants burst into flames due to a fiery flatulent expulsion, usually after dining at Taco Bell.

    Perhaps that is the case with this Polish fellow. Strange things have been known to happen to people who let loose southerly winds in Poland:

    http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2019571.html

    "Polish Police Hunt Farting Dissident"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wait, even in Poland you can't escape Taco Bell? Ignore what I said before, there is no God.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lynn Thorndike, in his monumental "History of Magic and Experimental Science" (8 vols.) notes that an extensive literature on human spontaneous combustion began to appear in the seventeenth century. He does not make the connection, but it seems rather obviously to me to have to do with a habit Sir Walter Raleigh popularized at about the beginning of that century.

    Do you suppose our Pole smoked a pipe? Pipes are treacherous things. They are always going out, and constantly have to be re-lit, but sometimes they seem to be out when they are not. One of the more edifying moments of my misspent college days was seeing the resident advisor of my dormitory, a postgraduate student who affected donnish accoutrements such as tweed jackets with suède elbow patches and smoked a pipe, fleeing from the building into the center of the quad, holding a flaming wastebasket. He thought his pipe had gone out, and had emptied the dottle into the basket, which was full of discarded paper. From a wee cinder grew first smoke, then a merry blaze.

    A pipe in one's coat pocket could prove hazardous, and maybe in combination with flatulence, disastrous. I'm sure a diet of kielbasa and sauerkraut doesn't help.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting remarks Michael. Did you know I nearly wrote a tour de force essay on spontaneous human combustion in 19th century literature? That one is still forthcoming. I don't think the Polack was smoking, but you reminded me of this chap I used to see riding (slowly, very slowly) around my neighborhood on bike while puffing on a pipe. What was his deal? I enjoy smoking, but it shouldn't be combined with certain activites - before, after - certainly - but not at the same time.

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