You know that instant hand sanitizer? A bottle of it can be
endlessly entertaining, especially for those with
You see, this stuff is an almost perfect mixture of alcohol and
water. It burns -- but
it burns slowly, with a steady blue glow
that scarcely even looks like flame.
This opens up endless
possibilities for really remarkable effects.
Here's how to use it:
Find a flat,
A tile floor will do in a pinch,
as will the inside of your kitchen sink, but it's safer (and
roomier) to work
outdoors. If you have a balcony or back patio,
great. Otherwise you'll have to work on the driveway and risk
attention. But you're smart kids. You'll figure
Now comes your real opportunity for creativity.
Get yourself a
bottle of sani. A flip-top container is preferable to a pump
bottle; it draws more even lines.
And drawing lines is what you
want to do -- outlining whatever it is you'd like to see in
I should reiterate:
Even, consistent lines are key. Draw your
lines too thin, and they won't light. Make them too thick or
and they will flare and spread, leaving your image hard to
Start simple: a line, a circle, an X,
a couple of block capitals
or a smiley face.
Touch a match to it, and watch the blue glow
spread across the whole layout.
If you have disconnected sets
of lines (such as that smiley face),
you don't necessarily have to light them separately. It may work
a "filament" between them -- a line thick enough to
communicate the flame, but thin enough to burn itself out
without disturbing the picture.
Experiment: it isn't
always possible, but when it works it's a great effect.
Once you've learned to
make clean, even lines, you can draw images
of more complexity. You could try simple cariacatures or
for clarity's sake these should be drawn as large as
Writing in cursive and lighting the first stroke can
give an "invisible penman" effect. Making pools of sani
connecting them produces a flaming mountain range.
I am certain
you can come up with more.
When the fire goes out, the sani may -- especially if it contained
aloe or moisturizers -- leave a slimy residue.
trying to re-light this stuff: it won't burn. It is harmless and
will go away.
same can't be said for the sani habit. Compulsive cleanliness
was never this much fun.