Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 17/05/99

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Gusworld confirms: Jelly don't burn

Gusworld as a site may have a casual air about it, but rest assured we check our facts. Recently, I've been cowriting Gusworld's first Choose Your Own Adventure story with founding contributor Kerrie Murphy. (Look for it in around a month or so.) At one point in this epic saga, The Black Friday Hunt For Buried Treasure On Death Island In The Bermuda Triangle Of Doom, a jelly factory explodes, sending flaming chunks of jelly everywhere from a storage silo.

Dramatically, this is highly satisfying, but it does raise the question: do jelly crystals really burn? Not wishing to look ill-informed in front of the kind of highly critical audience that has time to read online Choose Your Own Adventure books hosted on largely unvisited sites, we decided to experiment by pouring a bunch of jelly crystals into a saucepan and then adding a lighted match. To prove the point, we also took photographs.

It has to be said, though, that the results were disappointing. Despite our best efforts, the damn stuff simply wouldn't burn, even when we packed it with matches or added easy-burn materials such as tissues. The lame outcome of these attempts can be seen in the first picture. Granted, we probably could have added some lighter fluid and got results, but why would a jelly factory store lighter fluid mixed in with the crystals?

In the end, we had to settle for melting the jelly crystals over a high heat, as shown in the second picture. This created a right old mess (although I did get the frying pan clean eventually), and also gave off unpleasant fumes and smoke. We don't recommend it, and we urge all jelly factories to check their security and ensure that terrorists armed with portable gas cookers aren't attempting sweet sabotage.

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