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Spontaneous Human Combustion

By Jayne Nagy (nagymom)


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When I was a young girl, I'd guess around 10 years old, I loved snooping in

my brothers bedroom. He is 6 years older than I am and at that time owned an

amazing collection of the most amazing and interesting junk I had ever seen.

He had pipes, tobacco, sin-sin mints, marbles, hair grease and various

sundries of things important to 16-year-old boys of that era. I have no idea

if he still does since I'm far too old and mature to be snooping in his

bedroom now. Besides, I suspect he'd have booby traps set in memory of the

aggravation he endured all those years ago. Like the pipe that mysteriously

filled itself and was left half burned in his drawer. I still gag thinking

about the taste. He of course couldn't rat on me since the folks would then

find out that he was smoking a pipe!

One of the fascinating things he had was a pile of magazines. The names are

fuzzy after all these years but I think one was named "True Stories". I sat

down once with one that had the captivating title of "Spontaneous Human

Combustion". As long as I live, I will never forget the article or the

graphic pictures! I had no idea that people could just burst into flames and

burn up, leaving only ashes yet burning nothing around them, including the

chairs they may have been seated in at the moment of eruption. I was

absolutely terrified! To think that at any moment we can just burst into

flames was one scary idea for a 10-year-old. So scary in fact that I don't

have any memory of ever snooping in my brother's room again. It took me many

years to convince myself that it just isn't possible. Still over the decades

I do think back to that article and wonder...I just laugh at myself and tell

me "Quit being ridiculous! You know this isn't possible" then I feel better

and sleep more soundly at night.

There are some good reasons to hate the Discovery Channel as I just

discovered last night. They had a show about "Spontaneous Human Combustion"!

Ahhhhhhh!! It was like reliving the horrors of "True Stories" all over

again. They had all of the graphic pictures and even live eyewitnesses to

round it all out. Of course I watched it, I had to find out if it was fact

or fiction. It turns out this depends on whom you are talking to and I will

admit the ones pushing the theory had stronger arguments than the ones who

don't believe in SHC. Hello old friends, sleepless nights and worried days.

Since this is an internal problem, the old rule of "stop, drop and roll"

doesn't apply. However, by listening closely I think I figured out a way to

avoid becoming a crispy critter. It seems one theory is some people tend to

expand with a gas called diphosphates. This can occur with constipation

(forgive me for being so personal, but I feel you should have a fighting

chance as well!). When this gas reacts with air, you have instant

combustion. This combustion is so hot it cremates the host body in a matter

of minutes! My remedy is so simple it boggles my mind that no one has

thought of it before. In fact, I'm going to write to Discovery Channel and

share it with them.

Gotta run for now though-I'm on my way to the store to stock up on Beano and


Jayne Nagy

(July 24, 2003)