Thursday I mentioned that I burned my arm doing a photoshoot.

It was pretty alarming, though thankfully not ‘disarming’.  Ha.

Here’s a photo of my injury, proving that I’m Hubris in real life.

How does it prove that I’m Hubris-like?  Well, there were also two children and a grown woman who were engaged in the selfsame activity, and they sure didn’t get hurt.  In fact, until this happened, we were pretty amazed at how safe the operation seemed to be.

You put a bit of steel wool in a wire whisk.  You put the whisk on the end of a foot or two of rope.  Hold a flame to the steel wool, and it starts to smolder.  Whirl the whole mess around at arms length in front of you.

If you do this in the dark, with a camera trained on you, you get a neat effect.  If you stand just to one side of the camera’s view, you get a neater effect: glowing rain.  The tiny bits of smoldering steel fly out of the whisk and if you’re using long exposure times on the camera, you get a neat shower of sparks.  With a little practice, you can even direct the height of the fall and the general direction.

And without much practice at all, a whole chunk of molten steel can somehow get out of the stupid whisk and land smack on your arm.  Your first instinct will be to brush it off with your other hand.  Bad instinct, bad!  The resulting blisters on your other hand will hurt a LOT worse than the ruination on your arm… mostly because those nerve endings in your arm have seen their OWN end.  Them li’l suckers are cauterized, and you don’t have to worry about them anymore.

What you DO have to do is get some of those soothing gel pads from your local pharmacy and stick one to your arm, and some high-grade aloe product for your hand.  The hand will be fine in a day or two, though you might suspect there’s  a tiny piece of charred steel where there had been a couple of blisters.  Cool.  The arm, on the other hand… oh, the arm.  Still no pain, so you start showing it off, leaving the bandage off after a couple of days, and letting a big ol’ scab form.  Except that if you’re not careful enough, that scab gets awfully wet in the shower and sloughs off, and then you’re back to square one with the gel pads and the bandages.  Putting the bandages back on is good.  Because as your friend, who tore his face off in a mountain bike wreck, will tell you, you don’t want open sunshine on your wound, ’cause the scars turn an unmistakeable red and everyone says, “OOoogh.  Nasty scar, there.”  On the arm, that might be okay, but he wanted his face to heal up proper and so he didn’t go outside for, like, two months or something.

I was told all this after spending a couple of hours at the skatepark thinking a little sun would do my wound good, since it was fresh out of the gel pad and I didn’t like it looking all wet and gooey.

And before you ask- no, the fire didn’t burn all the hair away from the wound.  I hadda shave my wooly arm to keep the bandages from sticking to the hairs and making removal some kind of wax-job joke.

Y’all be careful out there.  But if you’re not, send photos.