August 20th, 2003


My Hands Are En Fuego, Baby.


For the past 24 hours I've been able to shoot fire from my hands like that Mortal Kombat guy. Fortunately for you all, I've been using this new power to benefit humanity: incinerating bank robbers, grilling mesquite-flavored beef for the homeless, melting fucking SUVs that take up two compact parking spots, etc.

How did I acquire this newfound ability, you ask? Not from a benevolent race of aliens or a cold fusion experiment gone awry. I gave my girlfriend a massage last night.

She recommended using this new “anti-stress” massage lotion with manly chamomile and masculine lavender. As I poured it onto my hands and started rubbing it all over her back, I noticed it kinda smelled like Ben Gay. In fact, it sorta felt like it too with the deep tissue heating action. But she seemed to like it (as I'd mentioned in last week Monday's entry, she's a supernova with breasts), so I shrugged and rubbed the stress away.

After she passed out, I washed my hands. Ten minutes later I noticed my palms and fingers were stuck with the burning sensation, as if instead of massaging my girlfriend I’d given the Antichrist a handjob.

Oh alright, I’m exaggerating – it wasn’t that bad. But it was annoying. And no matter how many times I washed my hot hands that night, the warm burning sensation wouldn’t go away.

The next morning, it was still around. My hands looked fine – no swelling, reddening or charcoal for fingers - but they were still en fuego. Muy caliente. Living la vida loca.

At the office my hands got so warm that they actually started to sweat a little. To ease the discomfort, I was constantly laying them on any cool surface: my desk, the refrigerator, even an account exec’s bare arm.

“What the hell are you doing?” she asked as I gripped her icy skin with both of my hands.

“Can’t be helped,” I replied. “Your arm is so cool and refreshing.”

When I got back home, I checked the lotion bottle to see if there were any warning labels. None.

I checked the list of ingredients and narrowed it down to three culprits. It’s the wild peppermint oil (hence the Ben Gay smell), isopropylparaben or butylparaben. Wild peppermint oil seems to be the most likely candidate, but the other two sound like they contain the words “propane” and “butane.” Both are highly flammable liquids and could have possibly turned my hands into Bunsen burners.

I guess it’ll wear off eventually. That or I’ll fart tonight in my sleep and blow myself up.

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