Spontaneous combustion has always intrigued me. I mean one minute a person is just sitting there, probably in his/her favorite chair, minding his/her own business and then WHOOSH up you. Well part of you anyway because in all the pictures I have seen there are still parts of the person left behind, usually feet and a portion of the legs. I’ve always wondered about if the person is even aware of what is happening as this combustion takes place. Surely if the person were to be aware, it would be super brief. And I must confess to being intrigued how a person can be consumed by fire and nothing else around the person be destroyed.  

As a child I had many questions about spontaneous combustion. I blame my mother for she used to say things like she was getting so mad that smoke would soon be coming out of her ears. Was that the trick? Did a person get that made that they just suddenly went up in flame? (My mother never did reach the smoking point, not even the smallest of wisps of smoke came from her ears, so I never got to witness what could be the beginning of the process. To be honest there were times I wondered if her ears did smoke, what would I do about it, throw water on her or get the extinguisher.)


As I grew older, I kind of filed the whole thing to be back of my mind. It got buried between school work, then my job and about a million useless facts that I must hang onto because someday I just may need them. (Of course by the time that day comes around I won’t’ remember where I filed those facts; heck I will probably on some game show and blurt out the wrong answer as the tiny person in my head desperately pulls out a useless fact not worrying about how it fits as an answer.)


And then today spontaneous combustion hit me again. No I did not ignite, although I did wish for a moment that someone else would just go up in smoke. I may have a bit of a morbid mind come to think of it because I’m pretty sure no one else in the budget meeting had thoughts or wishes of the accountant suddenly combusting before our eyes as he explained why we can’t have this or that and why we need to cut more things and do more with less. After the accountant did not go up in smoke, I wondered if maybe my mother was onto something, if maybe a person could get so worked up, so emotionally wrought that s/he would just go up in a plume of smoke. Just a theory because I’m not that angry and no one else is volunteering to let me test out the theory. 


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