Burns night

There I was: sitting in the pub, minding my own business, when my leg started to burn. I hadn’t dropped a cigarette on it (smoking ban, remember?), nobody was using a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays on it, and it was safely esconced in a pair of jeans. Nevertheless, my leg was burning.

Off to the bogs I trotted, and sure enough, my leg *was* burning. A bit of skin on my thigh, roughly the size of a 50p piece, was showing all the signs of a pretty nasty sunburn – but it hadn’t been in the sun. It was, however, right next to my pocket. The pocket where I keep my burny things!

Actually, I don’t keep burny things in my pocket – just keys. So it had to be something on my keyring – either the little LED torch, or the glow in the dark tag I bought from The Register a few years ago (it’s radioactive, but El Reg promised that it’s perfectly safe – like the glow in the dark dials on a watch). Neither of them seemed to be hot, but when I took them off the keyring and got rid of them, the burning stopped.

I’ve still got the burn (and it definitely *is* a burn, not a scratch, not an insect bite, not chafing from an errant car key), but I’m none the wiser about the cause. Maybe it was acid leaking from the battery in the LED torch, or – more worryingly – maybe there is a hairline crack in the luminous tag, and it somehow managed to give me a radiation burn. It’s all very mysterious.

11 thoughts on “Burns night

  1. Stephen says:

    I highly doubt it’s the glowtag; I have two, and through dropping etc the end caps have come off both of them, and I can report that inside the impressive-looking plastic cylinder is a thin little plastic thingy, like the end of a shoelace, that glows. I just pop it back in and put the cap back on. No burns have afflicted me from this manouevre.

    Are your jeans the riveted kind? Were you sitting next to a radiator or fire? (There’s a story about the president of Levi’s going camping, back in the days when Levi’s had a rivet in the crotch. He and his buddies were all squatting around the campfire, when suddenly… painful burning sensation in sensitive spot! The rivet disappeared soon after.) Or could the rivet have shorted out the torch or something?

  2. Stephen says:

    S2, I’m sure I don’t know what such an arrangement could be used for: I’ve certainly never owned or worn jeans of that nature, if they even exist. No, it seems the rivet was not on a pocket but was used to reinforce the main seams, and was removed in 1942:
    Crotch Rivet on Levi 501’s

  3. Gary says:

    > Get thte torch, switch it on

    Don’t think it’s that. The burn is too big (it’s a very small torch) and the button’s recessed; I don’t think it could be triggered by accident.

    > Are your jeans the riveted kind?

    Not where I’m burnt, no.

    > some chafing

    Nope, it’s definitely a burn.

    I’m with Jo. I think it’s aliens.

  4. David Marshall says:

    Lighter fluid leaking used to do that to me. Only when wearing jeans though.

    Is it possible that somehow you managed to get some washing powder stuck in the rough edges of your jeans pocket. Mixed with moisture on your skin at high concentration could probably give you a mild chemical burn.

  5. Tony Kiernan says:

    >>Don’t think it’s that. The burn is too big (it’s a very small torch) and the button’s recessed; I don’t think it could be triggered by accident.

    Tell us that after you’ve sat there with it on your leg for an hour.

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